Monday April 16, 2012, marked the second day of karate instruction in Kisbey. A weekly event now held on Mondays at the Kisbey Recreational Centre from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thirty-three people signed up to partake with great interest. Ranging in age from two year olds to adults, everyone was excited for a new after school activity.
Karate teaches discipline, respect and humility; which are all important characteristics for youth to be involved in. It also provides a fun and unique way to exercise for all ages. Sensei Joan Adams described Wado-Kai as a “very traditional style of martial arts whose symbol (fist and dove) stands for the ‘way of peace and harmony.’” The intention of Wado-Kai is teaching students to avoid confrontation. “Only if their personal safety is being threatened do we condone the use of karate as a way to protect themselves.” Adams states.
“You will never initiate a fight.” Cara McNair, Sensei, declared as teaching those present how to perform certain blocks.
“If you block their blow and say ‘I don’t want to fight.’ What do you think they will do?” McNair asked. “Back off.” The karate students replied in unison.
Senseis Joan Adams, Cara McNair, and Jayson Humphries from the Moose Mountain Wado Kai Karate club in Carlyle have been happy to instruct those from the Pheasant Rump First Nations. Their willingness to travel to Kisbey is great as it is sometimes difficult for youth to travel the 20 km and participate in Carlyle. The people in Kisbey were excited to get an activity offered right in their own community. If there is enough interest kept for karate in the fall then it will continue.
This came with much effort on the part of Amy Vandermeulen, resides in Griffin, who works for the Yorkton Tribal Council Child and Family Services as a Prevention Services Worker. While conducting research on the internet she came across a grant that she could apply for in order to have the instructors come out from Carlyle. In addition to this, however, she is looking into raising the money to rent and take over repairs of the rink in Kisbey. It has fallen into disuse, but with a bit of effort could become a great community centre.
Vandermeulen is hoping to achieve this through the application for another grant. In addition to this, a planned fundraiser is tentatively being set for May 26, 2012. Vandermeulen and the community hope to put on a silent auction, a live auction if they are able to find an auctioneer, a toddler triathlon, and an overall fun-filled evening for those who want to attend. The date may change but the fundraiser is something they hope to do to insure that their community will continue to have activities to participate in.
“Many are willing to help out in the community and numerous are very supportive of what we’re doing here.” Vandermeulen explained.
The Girls Club (ages 8 to 16) in Kisbey has also been raising money by selling flower bulbs, which finished on April 25. A few of the girls were even able to surpass raising $500 each.
If they are able to raise enough money then they will be able to renovate the rink in order to create a space that can be utilized in variety of ways. They would keep the skating rink area as such, but the curling rink would be turned into an archery club. An elder’s tea room could be opened, while also providing an area for the Boys and Girls Clubs to hold their meetings.
“There are endless possibilities once we have the space.” Vandermeulen states. At the moment there is really only the Kisbey Recreational Centre, which doesn’t have the necessary space for some of the planned activities.
Raising the money is the first step, but it would be a huge one. Vandermeulen made it known that “Everything we’re trying to do is geared towards the youth.” Though directed at the youth in the area, it is something that would provide the entire community with a chance to participate in a variety of new activities.