FEATURED NIAGARA BUSINESS
Welland Martial Arts Centre
The Welland Martial Arts Centre is a non-profit dojo offering excellent instruction in Karate, Jiu-Jitsu, Kendo, Iai-do and Recreational Kickboxing.
All instructors are volunteers who have proven experience in their arts. They teach because they love the art, not because they’re looking for any financial reward.
Classes are available for students of all ages. Whether you’re 7 or 77, it’s never too early (or late!) to begin training in the martial arts. Children and youth in particular benefit from having fun in a structured environment that teaches discipline and respect and improves their physical fitness.
Wado-Kai is a Japanese karate style founded in 1934 by Hironori Otsuka. Wado, meaning “way of harmony”, is one of the four major Japanese karate styles, and is perhaps the purest form of Karate-Do. It is steeped in classical bujutsu (Code of the Samurai) as Mr. Otsuka applied this outlook and experience to his teaching. He rejected hardening certain parts of the body, such as callusing the knuckles of the hand, believing it to be a useless preparation. The aim of Wado-Kai Karate is perfection of technique as well as development of a mind that is tranquil, yet alive. Also the aim is to develop the ability to react intuitively and without hesitation in any situation. The training and concentrated effort required in Wado-Kai helps the student acquire inner strength and calmness of character. Students also learn the virtues of self-control and true humility.
Karate-Do for Mr. Otsuka was primarily a spiritual discipline. In his own words: “Violent action may be understood as the martial arts, but the true meaning of martial arts is to seek and attain the way to peace and harmony”.
Wado-Kai Karate is ideal for all body types and age groups due to its versatility. The study of karate is a rewarding and enriching experience.
Jiu-Jitsu is an ancient Japanese combat art including stand up and groundfighting techniques using the science of joint manipulation and body manipulation to overcome your opponent. Modern Jiu-Jitsu has taken many forms. At the Welland Martial Arts Centre, we concentrate on all aspects of the art including stand up fighting, throws and takedowns as well as groundfighting and submission techniques.
We study three levels of the use of force in situations so our students can understand the use of appropriate force in controlling a situation. There is not always the need to injure or hurt someone in defence. We learn how to take control with the minimum amount of force necessary. Through the study of a core system, students learn to adapt the art to their individual needs and how to develop fighting strategies and problem solve.
Kendo – The Way of The Sword
Kendo is a vigorous, full-contact Martial Art derived from the original sword training of the Japanese Samurai. Practiced by millions of men, women and children worldwide, Kendo is growing in popularity in North America.
The Niagara Kendo Club is run by Sensei Mark Kawabe, a 5th degree black belt who has trained extensively at various clubs in Canada and Japan.
Kendo training consists of drills which focus on improving co-ordination, strength, breath control and stamina. Beginning students spend their time honing basic strikes both with and without partners. Advanced students wear bogu (armour) and practice basic and advanced techniques with partners. There is always a session of keiko (free sparring) for advanced students.
The Niagara Kendo Club is affiliated with the Canadian Kendo Federation (CKF), which oversees all approved Kendo clubs in Canada. Clubs that belong to the CKF are eligible to participate in tournaments, visit other CKF clubs (at no additional cost) and can participate in the only official Kendo gradings in Canada. The CKF also runs seminars and other special events open only to its member clubs.
All are welcome to try a class of Kendo. Wear loose, comfortable clothing and be prepared to sweat. A bokuto (wooden sword) will be available for your use. To continue in Kendo, you will need to purchase a uniform and a shinai (bamboo sword) or two. Bogu (armour) is available for purchase or rent.
Iai-do is the art of drawing the Japanese sword.
Sound simple? Think again . . .
. . . think back to the days of the samurai. Two samurai are about to duel. Neither has drawn their sword. In a flash, blades are drawn, a cut is delivered and one samurai stands victorious.
To draw one’s blade and cut in a single motion requires intense training and focus. This was the beginning of Iai-do.
Today, Iai-do is practiced by men, women and children worldwide. It is a non-contact martial art, with all cuts being delivered to an imagined opponent.
Iai-do helps develop and maintain your mental focus, physical balance, strength and flexibility. As martial arts go, it is similar in many ways to Tai Chi and is performed at a slow, determined pace.
Beginners in Iai-do will be provided with a wooden sword to practice with, although if you want to train seriously, a specially-designed Iai-do sword and uniform will be in your future.
Iai-do is taught at the Welland Martial Arts Centre by Sensei Ron Mattie, 5th dan.
Kickboxing is a great workout for the mind and body.
Classes are run by Sensei Ron Mattie, 7th degree black belt.
Expect a lot of vigorous punching and kicking drills which will get your heart pumping.
This isn’t your regular “cardio kickboxing” class where there’s no contact. Expect to be sparring each and every class. While there is contact during sparring, it’s light and all class members have protective gear for hands, feet and sometimes shins. Body protection is also available for those who feel it is necessary. You will have to purchase your own mouthguard.
Kickboxing classes are listed on the dojo schedule. They occasionally change, so please check the schedule as that’s where you’ll be sure to find the correct information.
Classes are open to men and women from age 16 and up.