|Back to Home||Feature Article - February 2, 2012|
Shaku Martial Arts sets up shop in Harrowsmithby Julie Druker
Photo: Two new young Shaku students, Karina Covell and Jessica Chepil, with Shaku instructors Ashley Letourneau, Kim Gow and Sensei Dan Cole at the S&A Club in Harrowsmith
It was not by chance that the S&A Club in Harrowsmith was chosen by Sensei Dan Coles as the location to expand his Shaku Family Martial Arts School. Coles is the owner of one of two Shaku centers located in Kingston (there are also two Shaku centers in British Columbia), and he said he decided to open the Harrowsmith satellite location for two simple reasons.
First, there was a demand for it. “We'd actually been thinking about locating here for about year now”, Dan said when I spoke to him in Harrowsmith earlier this week. “I have been inundated with calls from people in the surrounding area who have been struggling to make it to our Kingston location. Considering the populations of Harrowsmith, Verona, Hartington, Sydenham and Yarker taken together, we think that we could serve about 8,000 more people. We are starting classes at this location part time with the hope to expand and so long as this hall is here and allows us, we plan to stay here. Once we reach approximately 50 or 60 students in this location, we would at that time consider finding a new permanent location in the area.” The second reason for choosing the Harrowsmith location is the fact that long-time Harrowsmith resident Kim Gow, who was named the vice-president of the S&A Club in January of this year, will be the new Shaku center’s main instructor as well as its administrator and manager. Kim has been studying at Shaku with Sensei Dan for 11 years and has earned two black belts: one in North American Kickboxing and the second in Japanese Shotokan Karate.
Kim is thrilled to be able to bring Shaku to her home community, where she has been living for the last 19 years. She said, “I'm really excited about it. It's really great to be able serve my own community in this way. I'm happy both for the school and the hall and am sure that the classes will bring new life to this building as well. At one of two open houses held at the club last week I talked to children and parents who were thrilled to have the a new Shaku location in the area and who did not hesitate to sign up. Children’s classes are available for children ages 5-12, and adult classes for teens and adults, ages 13 and up.”
Sensei Dan explained that the classes are “goal-oriented and fitness-based. They promote five basic qualities in participants, which include perseverance, discipline, respect, confidence, and health”.
He also specially highlighted the fun element and added, “We pride ourselves on the fact that we use a family approach and encourage a fun, positive, uplifting and non-threatening environment. We do not use a militaristic approach. There are no gruff voices, and no yelling or screaming here.”
Classes begin on Tuesday, February 7 and will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Anyone who missed the two open houses can call 613-389-0399 to sign up or for more information. They can also visit www.shaku.ca