In the summer of 2008 at age 53, I began studying karate at the same time my daughters enrolled in the Kanto Sho kids’ karate program at the Haysboro Community Centre in Calgary, Canada.
As a beginner with no previous martial arts or fighting experience, I particularly enjoyed the fitness intensity of Renbukai karate training and especially the special energy and sense of tradition that Sensei Glen Smith and Rob Kirik bought to the club and their students. It is this energy, mentorship, role-modeling, and friendship within the club that motivated me to stick with training at Kanto Sho over the past 10 years while juggling family, work, travel, and occasional injuries. Through Kanto Sho I have made tight connections to Japanese karate culture with Kikumura Sensei and his club in Atsugi Japan, as well as with friends from the Lao-Japan Budo Centre in Vientiane, Laos. I achieved the rank of Shodan in May 2017.