This past weekend was the IFK Canada Seminar, with Shihan David Pickthall. This was the second seminar hosted by IFK Canada, this time by the affiliate dojo in Quebec, Karaté Laval, under Senseï Jonathan Hemond.
Unfortunately, due to work schedule, I couldn’t make the first day of the seminar. But I attended the weekend sessions. Speaking to the other participants, I was told the day before was an exciting event, covering kihon and basics, and making use of the beautiful weather for some outdoor training.
It was wonderful to see Shihan Pickthall again, and I was greeted by a warm hello from the Vice-President of the IFK. The last time I saw him was at the BKK Summer Camp last year.
Saturday’s morning training began with some very unique warm-ups by Shihan, that had us “warm” and gasping in no time. The event was held in a gymnasium across from the Karaté Laval dojo. A great space, but no A/C, so breaking a sweat was not hard!
Shihan Pickthall is an amazing technician and such an inspiring teacher. Approaching his teaching with humour and giving us a clear understanding of the techniques. He made each class engaging and enthusiastic, you could feel the energy in the space. If you ever have the chance, I would highly recommend participating in one of Shihan Pickthaill’s seminars.
On tope of that, it was such an honour to be surrounded by so many black belts, not only from the IFK, but other organizations as well. As it was an open seminar, and attendance was just over 100. IFK, IKO, Shinkyokushin, Kyokushin-kan and others all working together.
Saturday’s classes focused on kumite drills, applications and sparring. It was so nice to be exposed to new techniques and new people to work with. You get use to sparring with the same people from your home dojo all the time, so events like this really expose you to new things.
Thirteen of us attended from the IFK Canada Headquarters and Dojo, Contact Kicks, along with Sensei Steve Fogarasi, and his family.
After Saturday evening’s training we attended the Sayonara party for food, drinks and laughs. Meeting and getting to know our extended family.
During the closing class Sensei Fogarasi talked about the growth of the IFK in Canada, and the openness of the organization. As I mentioned, many different organizations were represented. It is so wonderful to belong to such a great nonpartisan organization.
Another highlight included the news that two more dojos will be joining us from Quebec. Sensei Mikhail Zimerman and Sempaï Marc Cabana with their dojos and students.
The IFK is growing fast and strong in Canada under the leadership of Sensei Fogarasi, and I couldn’t be more proud to be part of it.
After the Sunday morning training we all said our good-byes and for myself it was a little emotional. I love these gatherings, meeting new people, seeing old friends and the feeling of being part of something bigger than you. Though we might be splintered into different fractions, we are all Kyokushinkai!
I want to thank Shihan David Pickthall for an amazing seminar, all students, sempais, senseis and shihans for sharing your knowledge. As well, thank you to Senseï Jonathan Hemond and Karaté Laval for organizing everything.
I look forward to next year when we have our first annual summer camp and seeing how much we have grown. And who knows… maybe Ontario’s first Kyokushin tournament is just around the corner… but that’s whole other story.