Thank you…

Thank you to everyone who helped to make this year a great one! We had a very busy karate season, and we couldn’t have done it without the help of our many members and their families.

We started our year with a bang with the Black Belt Grading in October. A few of our members were able to travel to Regina on the Tuesday evening prior to the grading for a workout with Sensei Ron at the dojo of Sensei Ryan. We are always happy when Sensei Ron can come for a visit as well. Sensei Rolland, Sensei Rick, and Sensei Payton all achieved the rank of Shodan (1st degree). Sensei Savanna, and Sensei Quinn achieved the rank of Nidan (2nd degree). Black belt gradings are some of the most important events held in our Federation, and we were honoured to host for two years in a row. We would like to give an extra special thank you to Vicki for providing awesome food and snacks for all of the participants and the Joseki (grading) board.

We quickly followed up the Black Belt grading with our annual Bottle Drive. This is one of our main fund-raisers of the year and, once again, so many of our members turned out to make the day easy and fun! Thank you to everyone who helped out, and a big thank you to those who lent us their trailers to haul the bottles and cans to Sarcan in Redvers! We couldn’t do this without you!

Following the bottle drive, we had about a month to prepare for our annual Provincial Tournament at the end of November. We had an excellent number of participants again this year, and Sensei Marlee’s awesome headphones “participation award” was the hit of the tournament! This event requires assistance from the entire club, and we were so pleased with all of the work everyone did. Thank you so much to the Bouchards for organizing the “prize” table and draws; thank you to Juanita for coordinating the canteen, and to everyone who signed up to help them. Once again, we owe Vicki a huge thank you for providing the food and snacks in our “Black Belt Room”. This is a unique feature to our tournament. Few tournaments even have such a room, and none have one so well appointed as ours. Vicki is a legend in our black belt community! We also owe a huge thank you to Kathy Tomaszewski for stepping up and volunteering to take on the role of “draw master”, taking over from Sensei Cara, whom we missed dearly this season. Kathy did great job keeping the competitors and judges organized and the scoring tables in order with the correct draw and scoring sheets.

After our home tournament and winter grading, we get to settle down on the hosting front and begin to attend events in other communities and dojos. This is such a fun and rewarding time. It’s great to visit other dojos to see how they run and where they work out. It is also great for us to support the dojos that come to support us in our events. 

We would also like to thank the Arcola Optimist Club for allowing us the opportunity to help with their snowmobile rally and raffle. Their donation to our club for us selling their tickets is deeply appreciated. Thank you so much to the Brownridge family for setting this up for us.

The first event was the Manitoba Provincial Tournament in Hamiota, MB, in February. This is an excellent event and so many of their members attend our tournament that it almost feels like working out at home. Sensei Scott and his wife Shelley have begun an awesome annual event that we are happy to attend!

The South Calgary Tournament, one of our federation’s biggest events, occurred at the beginning of March, and a few of our members were able to attend that event as well. The Calgary clubs have all been closely connected to our dojo in many ways. We always enjoy seeing our friends from the west!

The folks at the Melita, MB dojo hosted an excellent tournament this year. Sensei Cindy achieved her shodan at the Black Belt grading we hosted in October, and is a regular participant in our tournament. Sensei Alby, after a bit of a health scare last year, was back in usual form as well. While Sensei Alby was recuperating, we were happy to see Sensei Alex return regularly to instruct and compete in a few tournaments. 

Thank you to Sensei Jeff and Sensei Scott, who, along with all of their students, regularly support our club by attending events in Carlyle. We are always happy to travel East and attend all the events we can in Manitoba!

The Saskatoon/Warman Tournament was next on the schedule in early April. Many of our karateka make the trip to Saskatoon to participate in this event. Thank you so much to Sensei Crystal and Sensei Jeremy for their continued support of our events, and all of the work they do with the Federation as Provincial Representative (Sensei Crystal) and member of the National Shindo Committee (Sensei Jeremy). We appreciate all of the ways you help us out!

This year, the Melfort dojo celebrated their 10th Anniversary, and a few members from our club were able to attend their 10th Annual Clinic and Tournament at the beginning of May! It was an excellent event, and Sensei Jon has developed an excellent club in Melfort.

This past weekend, the club worked the kitchen at Carlyle’s new “Chase the Ace” weekly fund-raising event. We would like to thank the following people for donating food and supplies and working at the event itself: Raylene Forseth, the Cormiers, Kathy Tomaszewski, the Bouchards, the Dycks, the Wolfes, Leanne Brown, the Millers, and the Flynns.

We held our Spring Grading this week, and many of our members were successful in achieving either a new belt rank, distinction belt, or stripe(s) for their hard work this year! Good job everyone!

The final event of the Shintani Wado Kai Karate Federation is the annual Memorial Tournament in Ontario. Last year, we sent 18 members to that event. A few members plan to attend the event again this year. We wish them the best of luck!

To continue an earlier theme of this post, we cannot give enough thanks to Vicki Flynn, for taking on the role of treasurer this year. She has done a great job! Our entire dojo owes her a debt of gratitude.

We talk often about our “Karate Family”, and the more you get involved in the events of the dojo and Shintani Federation, the more you realize this to be true. Thank you to everyone for your hard work and respect in dojo. We are so fortunate to have a very active club with excellent volunteers! The best compliment we can be given is when someone tells us how smoothly everything went for whatever event. This speaks loudly to organization, and commitment shown by our members and their families.

Thank you so much from all of the instructors of the Moose Mountain Wado Kai family. Have a great summer! Keep practicing those katas! They feel great in bare feet on the grass!

See you at the dojo!