Heather Faulkner started training in April 2000.
"I was quite lazy and had low self esteem. I also needed to challenge myself. I heard great things about the karate club and the benefits of learning a martial art and it turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life!"
In December 2003, she received her Shodan from Sensei Frank Woon-a-Tai.
An ambitious competitor from the beginning, Heather traveled to Halifax to compete in provincials as a yellow belt. She didn't fare too well but that only drove her to work harder. As an orange belt she was part of a team kata with Pat Patterson (then yellow belt) and Norm Robitza (then a purple belt). Performing Nijushiho the team competed in a division with higher ranking students and finished in 4th or 5th place. Continuing to compete every chance she had, her skills improved. In 2002 she joined the NB team and competed at Nationals for three consecutive years. She was part of the women's team kata (with Isabelle Bordage, Mylene Gigou, and Stacy Mills) and did the individual kata and kumite as well. Her best performance was 2003 in Vancouver where she placed 2nd in Kata and 3rd in Kumite as a brown belt.
Unfortunately a bad turn of events in her personal life led her away from karate for a few years.
"I made a few attempts to return but I wasn't ready yet. I could have completely abandoned it but the thought of turning my back on something that brought me so much happiness wasn't sitting well with me. Returning wasn't easy. But seeing many of my old training buddies and making new friends has made it a pleasure-it felt like coming home!"
She started her training with the Shihan David and Sensei Janice Pyke and still can be found training at the Amherst Shotokan Karate Academy. She also enjoys training with the Moncton club when she can and has done a few classes with Sensei Norm Robitza in Sackville. She has also had the honour of training with several visiting Shihan including the Woon-a-Tais, Shims, as well as Masters Okazaki, Koyama, and Yaguchi.
Heather received her Nidan in June 2017 from Shihan David Pyke.
Heather's goals and priorities are different now.
"I compete against myself and that's motivation enough. Sometimes I catch myself smiling in class for no reason and feel incredibly happy to be there training. Sure, it's corny but honest."
Heather manages an Integrative Health Centre and teach Yoga. She also enjoys Food, creative writing, fishing, reading, and Yoga.
"And nothing beats a riveting game of trivia!"