Erich Eichhorn (ISN) – Members of Canadian Associated Schools of Karate ( C.A.S.K. ), established in 1982 and Victoria’s longest running karate school, celebrated their twenty-sixth annual beach training event Saturday in Cordova Bay.
Members young and older of the Canadian Associated Schools of Karate travelled from near and far to attend the 2 hr beach training held in Victoria last weekend – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Sand was flying and water drenched the many Wado Karate practitioners that attended as they kicked and punched their way during the hour and a half training session in front of curious on-looking beach goers.
In what seemed to be almost a family reunion of such, members from as far away as Grande Cache, Alberta, travelled to take part in the annual event to sharpen up their skills.
Hoping for a softer landing, Sensei Wayne Duguay demostrates on JJ Leblanc – Erich Eichhorn (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Sensei Gary Wong teaches the youth the finer points of some advanced karate techniques – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Living in an area predominated by mountains and forests; the pilgrimage to the coast is a special one for those able to find their way.
JJ LeBlanc, a black belt with a fifteen-year tenure from Grande Cache, AB, was one of those fortunate to make it to Victoria, travelling twelve hours by car to take part in the event. When asked what makes the journey to the coast so worthwhile, LeBlanc would comment, “ It’s worth it. You come and take back to our school what you’ve learned. You come hear a meet the rest of your C.A.S.K. family. It’s about learning and meeting new people.
Grande Cache’s black belt JJ LeBlanc forges deeper into the waters of Cordova Bay sith committment – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
“C.A.S.K. is one of the best things in life that has happened to me,” LeBlanc would confide with no shortage of praise for the organization.
The event was run by local island instructors Erich Eichhorn (Victoria HQ) and Wayne Duguay (CASK – Campbell River).
Vancouver Island event organizers and instructors Sensei Wayne Duguay (left), and Sensei Erich Eichhorn give to two thumbs up after a successfull morning beach training event – Charles LaVertu image
With sixth degree black belt instructors and 1994 Canadian Wado Karate teammates to the Word Championships in Tokyo, Japan, there was no shortage of knowledge on the waterfront as students clung to their every word and movement.
Sensei Erich Eichhorn demonstrates a few self defense techniques for the dedicated attendees – Charles Lavertu image
The Island pair, with more than 60 years experience between them travel extensively across Canada to pass along their knowledge of Wado Karate.
“I couldn’t be happier with the turnout today,” said Eichhorn. “Within our organization, not only do we teach to standardize Wado Karate-do, we try to instill a sense of family.”
Sensei Wayne Duguay hams it up for ISN during a few body conditioning exercises – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
“It’s great to have as many dedicated individuals as we have that wish to learn and pass along the knowledge that C.A.S.K. has to offer. It’s because of this amazing karate family’s dedication and willingness to sacrifice their time that makes this event possible.”
Yellow belt Kiara Eichhorn, from the Westshore Recreation Dojo demonstrates here flexibilty – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
C.A.S.K., making in roads internationally, also saw members from as far away as Abu Dhabi attend.
Jennifer Lang, third-degree black belt, and long time student in Victoria, was happy to exchange her normal desert surroundings for the gentle beach breeze and familiar yells of her local karate clan.
Third degree black belt Jennifer Lang, now of Abu Dhabi, UAE, travelled countless hrs to be a part of CASK Karate – Victoria’s event – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
For Lang, the visit was extra special and couldn’t wait to be in familiar martial arts surroundings since her move to the UAE one year ago.
Trying to keep her black belt skills sharp, and aspirations of starting her own dojo (school) there, she as no illusions of the uphill, cultural roadblocks to hurdle. “ The culture there (Abu Dhabi) makes teaching, and even just training as a woman difficult. I have been fortunate to find another person in my compound that also has martial arts experience, and we get together to exchange ideas and train, but organizing a formal school will take some time and a whole bunch of paperwork. It’s nice to come back home and train,” Lang would comment.
Blue Belt Kier Robins makes a splash with his water training – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
With affiliate membership in five provinces nationally and two international dojos (schools) located in Switzerland and Cayman Islands this local karate school certainly has a lot to offer those interested in Wado Karate.
If all the smiles on the faces of the sandy and ocean-soaked participant’s is reflective of a successful event, then it is evident that C.A.S.K. has a lot to offer to those interested in learning and enjoying Wado Karate-do.
Wado Karate, founded officially in 1934 by the late Master Hironori Otsuka (1892-1982), is one of the four largest recognized karate styles on the world stage today.
C.A.S.K. Karate members are fortunate to learn Wado Karate in its purity, with instructional lineage only two people removed from the founder.
Worldwide, Shihan Sensei Greg Reid (8th degree black belt) oversees CASK Karate. Reid, his martial arts knowledge encyclopedic, is a direct student and successor to late Master Masaru Shintani.
Master Shintani, before his passing, was North America’s Wado representative, understudy to the founder of the style.