Hello my name is Robert and my son’s name is Arye (pronounced R E ) and I want to start at the beginning. It was early in the winter of 2012 and I asked my then five year old son what do you want to be when you grow up. He said plainly “I want to be a ninja.” My reply was I too would like to be a ninja when I grow up, so from there it began.
We were invited by our friends the Picard’s to join the karate club at St Patrick’s family centre where we continue to be instructed by Sensei Isabelle Bordage, Sensei Craig O’Neill and Sensei Barry Ripley. We learned quickly that training for our goal would be a long tough road ahead. Our first grading was in June of 2012 by Shihan David Pyke. Arye was giving much praise for his spirit and kiai. I was told after I passed to yellow belt by Sensei Craig that I moved like and elephant and Sensei Isabelle said timing and grace of step were things one must practice.
I was a financial advisor but I felt in order to really use my karate I needed to switch professions so ever since that time I have been working for Canada Post protecting the mail. Arye continues to be a student at Birchmount school going into grade six and is involved in many sports such as Track and Field, Badminton, Baseball and Basketball plus plays Trumpet at Sistema.
We have competed in many tournaments and gradings locally with our maritime family over the years to try and strengthen our craft. Arye even performed as a white belt at Canadian Tire to showcase our youth in karate. Although we have yet to become ninjas we have made many great strides in that direction. In December 2015 I received my Shodan and in June 2016 Arye received his Shodan.
In the summer of 2016 Arye felt as black belts we should move to Japan, shave our heads, live in a monastery and learn the advanced art of ninja. I agreed and shaved my head ( he did not ). After looking at the balance in my checking account I felt that another Island might be a better choice for further training so we attended the IKD camp in Prince Edward Island hosted by Sensei Roy Stuart and Sensei Doug Dennis. It was a great way to live off of the land and learn to survive in a harsh climate (or at least camp and have fun with fellow enthusiasts). Sensei Roy saw we were flabby and told us to work on our cores, so he challenged us to a 22 day push up challenge which I am pleased to say we both completed.
Our training had to be taken to the next level after getting back from the summer. Sensei Michel Gaudet attended World IKD camp in Ontario and was ready to start teaching weapons. He felt that true ninjas needed bo training before moving on to swords. With focus and agility one could learn to defend and respond with the correct training.
Sensei Barry has been a great source for history and the traditional approach to karate. He always teaches us the basics, because the masters say you must do a movement correctly at least 1000 times to get the muscle memory to retain the movement. His knowledge is a real asset in Moncton. He has learned from the masters. We even have one of his early students now teachings us Sensei Anthony Fahey. As long as he doesn’t get accepted to go to mars we can continue to learn from him as well.
We have been blessed to have so many great resources in the Maritimes. Shihan David teaches the importance of connectivity. Sensei Janice Pyke has helped with the importance of breathing. Sensei Isabelle watches to make sure her students make the proper stances and techniques. Sensei Craig focus our training on katas and Sensei Tony teaches real world application of movements. Also we have many guests come to the grading including Shuseki Shihan Frank Woon-A-Tai & Shihan Maureen Woon-A-Tai.
Lately Arye and I have been learning the importance of stealth in our training by not being seen, but as the year continues I know we will learn more and more. It is not the destination but the journey that is important. So don’t find us we will find you.