Students of the Tsilhqot’in Associated School of Karate (TASK) proudly display their certificates and new yellow belts following training and testing last week in their community of Tl’etinqoxt’in. A lawyer with the Tl-elinqox government, Elizabeth Hunt (front) founded the association as a way to give back to the community and has been training about 25 students and staff members for more than a year in the style of Shintani Wado Karate and invited her mentor, Sensei Wayne Duguay (pictured) to come to the community for the week to suuport the association and test the students.

Students of the Tsilhqot’in Associated School of Karate (TASK) proudly display their certificates and new yellow belts following training and testing last week in their community of Tl’etinqoxt’in. A lawyer with the Tl-elinqox government, Elizabeth Hunt (front) founded the association as a way to give back to the community and has been training about 25 students and staff members for more than a year in the style of Shintani Wado Karate and invited her mentor, Sensei Wayne Duguay (pictured) to come to the community for the week to suuport the association and test the students.

Karate kids

Tsilhqot’in First Nation community celebrates achievements of students

Visitors to the Tl’etinqoxt’in First Nations community shouldn’t be surprised if they see students and staff of the local school training for their karate class by running outside – barefoot.

“Even if it’s snowing outside, we go. That’s a big thing they’re proud of. It develops grit,” said Tsilhqot’in Associated School of Karate (TASK) founder, Elizabeth Hunt, of the unique training. “They have grit and that’s the longevity in life. It’s good for them.”

Hunt, who works as a lawyer for the Tl’etinqoxt’in First Nation, said she was a point in her life last year when she thought of leaving Williams Lake when her mentor, Shihan Greg of Wado Karate, suggested she consider helping others by sharing her karate skills.

“Sensei Greg suggested that I give back what I have learned. I work here and I really care about the kids and the community and decided that this would be a great place to start a small club,” she said.

“I was introduced to karate when I was 17 and it’s been with me ever since. It’s helped me in everything I’ve done. I love the aspect of the martial art, I like the team aspect of it, I like the grading system (as) it has benchmarks, I like that it doesn’t require equipment and you can take it anywhere. It helps me in every facet of my professional and personal side of my life.”

Hunt started the club one year and three months ago and has been training about 25 members since.

“It’s great for the children. They learn how to show up, they learn how to listen, they’re learning more about their body and the centre of their body and conditioning, they’re learning Japanese, and a martial art. It’s not about the fighting but they do learn how to defend themselves and be more assertive and strong, (and) learn how to do things step by step. I think they’ve developed a lot over the last year.”

If the smiles on the faces of the students and families that turned out to watch to children get their yellow belts Friday, Dec. 1 are any indication, Hunt’s efforts are paying off.

“They have a great thing here. Good community support, great students, a lot of positive energy,” said Sensei Wayne Duguay, who travelled from Campbell River to train and test Hunt and her students.

“It was good to see it. I was glad to come up here.”

Chief Joe Alphonse, who was on hand when the students received their belts and certificates, said it has been exciting to see the progress they are making.

“When you live in a rural setting like this our kids often don’t have recreational opportunities so if we don’t bring it into our community these kids generally won’t ever have that chance,” Alphonse said, noting he is grateful for Hunt’s efforts to give back to the community through her volunteer work.

Read more: Anaham residents find strength in fighting fires

“Karate and martial arts is a universal language in itself so no matter what city these kids go to, if they want to continue they could step right into another class and they’d fit right in and become a part of another family.

Alphonse said he strongly believes where they is no education there is poverty.

He dreams of big things for his community’s youth.

“You know, at the end of the day you just want your kids to become educated. When you are a minority and you’re walking into a bigger centre you want your kids to have as much confidence as possible. The more confidence they have, the chances of them succeeding is so much greater,” he said.

“Every community has got to do their part. We have to provide opportunities like this if we want to deal with the social problems that are often encountered in Williams Lake like youth gangs.”

Hunt said TASK teaches one of the four main styles of karate in the world, called Shintani Wado Karate. Wado was founded by Master Hironori Otsuka in 1934 in Japan.

Classes are taught in a traditional way with emphasis placed on the art, rather than sport.

She said there are many benefits of karate-do training: fitness, flexibility, coordination, balance, discipline, strength, self-awareness, self-confidence, Japanese language skills and self-defense.

Karate is an excellent way to get fit and active, hunt said, noting traditional karate training develops three areas: mind, body and spirit.

TASK is taught to Tl’etinqox School children and teachers on Tuesday and Thursday. If you live in the community, Hunt encourages you to bring shorts and a T-shirt and come try it out.

“Karate is for anyone at any time of their life,” said Hunt.

Hunt was herself presented with a first-degree black belt following testing by Sensei Wayne on the instruction of Shihan Greg Reid on the Grand Cayman Island.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Karate kids

Karate kids

Karate kids

Just Posted

Cariboo Festival Society president Robin Ford, left, and board member Chris Ford outside of Williams Lake Evangelical Free Church on Eleventh Avenue where a virtual version of the festival kicked off Monday, April 12. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune).
Cariboo Festival showcasing virtually in lakecity

Each performer was allowed one spectator and Angela Sommer accompanying them on piano

“These artworks combine the grittiness of our urban and port-side environment with the lightness of a playful and exploratory creative process,” note the artists in their artist statement about the show.	(Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Station House Gallery’s latest exhibit features a port-themed collaboration

Valerie Arntzen and Lori Sokoluk created the pieces when they had adjacent studios in Vancouver

Emergency crews respond to a structural fire on Highway 97 between Williams Lake and Quesnel on Friday, April 16. (Photo submitted)
Update: Famous Cariboo carver Ken Sheen’s wood shop destroyed by fire

The shop was located between Williams Lake and Quesnel

The city of Williams Lake has been doing routine maintenance to one of its wells at Scout Island as seen here earlier this week. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake residents asked to reduce non-essential water use

One of the city’s pumps is under repair

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

An Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island (XRVI) climate change event in 2019 saw a large crowd occupy the Johnson Street bridge. Black Press File Photo
‘In grief for our dying world’: B.C. climate activists embark on 4-day protest

Demonstrators will walk through Vancouver for the first two days before boarding a ferry Sunday morning

A vial of some of the first 500,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Canada’s 2nd blood clot confirmed in Alberta after AstraZeneca vaccine

The male patient, who is in his 60s, is said to be recovering

Valen a student of Coldstream Elementary writes advice for adults amid a pandemic.
‘We can get rid of COVID together’: B.C. kids share heartwarming advice

Elementary students share their wisdom to adults in unprecedented times

The funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)
PHOTOS: Prince Philip laid to rest Saturday as sombre queen sits alone

The entire royal procession and funeral took place out of public view within the grounds of Windsor Castle

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. health minister says delay in Moderna vaccine ‘disappointing’

‘The sooner we get vaccines in people’s arms the better, and inconsistency in delivery is a consistent problem. This is simply a reality and not an issue of blame,’ Adrian Dix said Friday

Most Read