Welcome To Midwest Karate Saskatoon
Midwest Karate Saskatoon was established in 1981 and is owned and operated by the Saskatoon Midwest Karate Students Association, a non-profit organization.
We have a wide variety of classes, geared towards many different age groups, skill levels and Interests. Classes include Traditional Shotokan Karate, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Kettlebell Fitness, Yoga and Women's Self Defense. Check out our Classes Page for more info.
SKA Spring Provincial Tournament
The spring Provincial Tournament will be hosted in Martensville at the Athletic Pavilion on March 18th, 2017. We hope to see you there! Please click here for more information.
Seminar with Sensei Rokah
Midwest Karate Saskatoon will be hosting a Dodgeball fundraiser coming up on Saturday February 19th! Open to youth students ages 7 - 12, teams of 5 can be registered or we will create teams for those signing up individually. You may also bring a friend who does not currently train with us. If you are interested in volunteering, we welcome the assistance.
For more information on how to contact us, or to find us on Facebook, YouTube, or MindBody, check out our Links page.
A Word From Sensei
Transition in the Art of Traditional Karate and Life
When we decide to start training in Traditional Karate, the reasons that individuals give are as many as there are individuals themselves. Some begin Karate for reasons such as Self-Defense, Health and Wellness, Physical Fitness, to meet new people and the list goes on. What we do not realize at the time of our registration is that, for some of us Traditional Karate will become a lifetime endeavor; it becomes a part of our lifestyle and even our way of life! I for one, am grateful that it has been a part of my life for the past 34 years.
Once one starts training in the Martial Art of Traditional Karate they begin learning the basic movements called Kihon (stances, blocking, punching, kicking, etc) and while all of this information is coming to us in vast quantities we wonder if we will ever be able to do this stuff to the instructors satisfaction. As we learn these and become more adept with their movements, there is more that is asked of us to refine the movements, become smoother and more natural in the movement itself and again you feel like a beginner.
The next time you come to class and are feeling confident in your movement and all gung ho to train and strut your stuff, the instructor says today you are going to learn Kata (a sequence of movements known as forms but translates to the meaning SYMBOL from which we recieve principles for our training). The feeling of confidence seems to dwindle and you're back at square one trying to put your movements that you know into a sequence that somehow makes you forget everything you learned up until now. Then you finally remember that the sequence of the first Kata you have been taught (confidence is starting to come back) then you are told that there are 25 more that you could learn and become somewhat familiar with throughout your time training. Sheesh, will it never end, all this information, constant refinement, proper repetitions to learn correct movement and...you have not even been introduced to Kumite (sparring) yet.
Tomorrow arrives, the next training day has come and we are back on the floor pushing ourselves to strive a little bit more today than yesterday. This training in Karate has done a lot for many of us to help us endeavor in our daily lives and or careers as well. What you may have noticed during your time of training, (even if it has not been that long that you have been training), is your growth or transition in Karate. Those of us that have had the privilege of teaching or assisting with your instruction, have noticed your growth and your transition in your Karate and the development of the Self over the years, months or even the few days that you have been training. Just sometimes you are too close to yourself, to notice it for yourself.
I would like you to remember this phrase. Life itself is of constant transition, so give up the struggle to remain the same and embrace change in its entirety.
Traditional Karate is also a constant transition of your technique and your own human development. Every day we see people in the dojo getting better and more skilled in the art of Karate, sharper movement, cleaner lines of energy, stronger, faster, smoother, they seem less stressed, calm and centered, a beautiful thing to experience when even just watching it, never mind when you actually feel it.
Think of a beginners movements when they start training, they are very labored and external. As they reach the intermediate and advanced levels they are much quicker, sharper and focused on learning more advanced techniques rather than going in depth with the basic ones that they have been taught. As the reach maturity in their training of Traditional Karate you will eventually see them go back to the basics and achieve a much morein depth and centered movement with their techniques. They seem to move with very little effort, soft and relaxed but their energy exudes for their bodies and can create a tremendous amount of power within this, what seems like effortless movement.
I believe this transition is necessary for us to learn most things in life. In Karate it teaches us to get rid of all the excess that we hang on to in our technique, muscles that are to tense and are taking away from the total body mechanism (eg: stiff shoulders, tight quadriceps, etc.). Once we transition through this excess within our movement and realize that it is hindering out development, we realize that more internal body use (breath control and imagery of the external body from the inside) is what is needed to create strength with calmness. It is the calm state of the mind, body and spirit that gives us the ability to achieve the highest levels in out karate development.
In life, transition from birth to death is very much the same. As we become more able and independent we try to achieve more through our lifetime (money, material things, recognition, etc.) but, as we age, we slowly realize that we only need so much money, so much material stuff and we slowly start to cut back and get rid of things, much like our excess tenstions in the body and we become stronger on the inside (human spirit) and we eventually realize that all that stuff we needed when we were developing in life was not what it takes to be strong or satisfied in out lifetime. Finding ones own energy and living within that energy is what one realizes is all that they really need.
Give up the struggle to remain the same
In karate we must let go of what we have learned (stop trying to remain the same, move on to the next stage) in order to continue to develop and grow in our training. Find out own way for out own body , using the principles of Karate training and sport science. Most important, use your intuition when it comes to your learning, technique alone will take you so far in your training but, using your intuition will take you to places that logic cannot.
In life we must let go and move forward as well, leave home to be on our own, let go of the job that you may have been let go from, and in the worst case, maybe losing a loved one. These things that seem like tragedies at the time of their occurence are more than likely stepping stones to your growth in this lifetime.
We cannot pick up any more if our hands are full, do not continue to struggle against that which you may not agree with and do not cling to that which you do not wish to lose. Let them come and go and continue to move forward and deepen your knowledge and your experiences in this lifetime.
Embrace Change in its Entirety
When one door closes another door opens, or maybe three more doors open! In Traditional Karate we sometimes feel as though that what we have been training in is the only correct way of doing it and that nothing else could be any better or as effective. Then we meet others who train in the Martial Arts or maybe just a fighting system and we become more open to their concepts and see the strengths in their training as well as the weak points. Apply these good points to your training and remember the weak points, you do not have to start training in a new system to learn it, study it from the outside, where you are now. As we age or maybe become injured we sometimes have no choice but to change the system of what we are training in or to change the way we are training in the system we are currently training in.
Some athletes sustain injury and undergo surgery and can still continue to train but may no longer compete. This is very difficult at times for some individuals, especially if they have been just peaking in their career of competition. If they embrace the change and let go of the struggle of no longer being able to compete and continue in the art of Karate in the form of teaching, coaching and/or officiating they usually find a new competition that takes place within themselves. They have to research deeper, communicate better to others and have an even greater responsibility that goes beyond their own development. Being able to help others in the right direction to improve themselves and to learn from your own mistakes is a great feeling. What was once a personal endeavor of the individual has now become an endeavor to create a better community and society.
In life, an individual may have been working for a company all their life and one day he/she is let go from their job. The feeling of instatnt abandonment occurs and we are lost as to what to do. Embrace the change of not having to go to the same job that you did for how many years and feel the freedom to move on with your own company, or apply to another company that may even pay you more than the old job you had. Feel the freeedom to spend more time with your family and friends and maybe take up the Art of Traditional Karate. This change may be the push you needed to attain the next level of achievment in your life.
So, transition through your Life and Karate Training, do not immediately confront or continue to cling to things that you may fear, and embrace the change that occurs in your life in its entirety and you will continue to grow deeper, wiser and more compassionate in the lifetime.
Mark J Minarik
Contact USEmail us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Call Us: (306) 382-7434
Or Visit Us At: 506 Duchess Street, Saskatoon SK
My first thought when my 9 yr old son wanted me to join Karate with him was "I'm 42, I'm way too old to start learning Karate...all that kicking and punching and probably a lot of exercising."
But, I really wanted to do an activity with my boy so we researched different clubs and because of the quick responses to our inquiries we joined Midwest Karate. There was a one hour "Family Class" on Saturdays which was perfect for us.
I say "us" but one hour a week didn't sound so bad for me. With just a few classes in I was immediately impressed with Sensei Minarik and the assistant instructors, all are positive influences and great with the students.
I was also impressed with the way my body was moving....I wasn't feeling so broken down all the time. I could really tell my energy levels were up throughout the day, especially at work.
Well, it's been over a year and a half and I'm 44 now. I feel great physically and mentally and try to get to class at least two, sometimes three times a week. My daughter has also joined and now the three of us go to the Family Class.
I'm proud to say that Karate has become a part of my family's lifestyle. I'm proud of me and my children as we progress to higher ranks and I'm happy I finally realized that I am not that old.
- Rob Miller