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Flips N’ Kicks: Kitsilano Karate for Kids

Flips N’ Kicks: Kitsilano Karate for Kids

Article by Elke Porter, who thinks that if you’re wondering what to do in Vancouver with your kids, you should check out karate.

Karate Training

In 1995, my husband and I moved to Sydney, Australia. While we were there, we took up karate, studying Koryu Uchinadi Karatedo. The style, under founder Canadian Hanshi Patrick McCarthy, is described as a “non-competitive, application-based defensive practice”. We trained at least three times a week, as well as augmenting this with boxercise classes and courses in self-defense. By the time we came back to Vancouver, my husband had his probationary black belt and I was up to orange.

When we had children, we were naturally eager to get them training at a young age. The only issue was that we didn’t have access to a karate studio in our neighbourhood. Then we moved to Kitsilano, where there are three martial arts training schools in close proximity on 4th Avenue. Purple Dragon, from the West Indies, the United Studios of Self-Defense, and Flips N’ Kicks, the home dojo of the Kitsilano Kyokushin Karate Club. We decided to go with the latter, as Sensei Anthony Evangelista who worked at their school as a Special Education Assistant was a familiar face.

Classes for All AgesKarate Kitsilano What to do in Vancouver Flips N' Kicks Orange Belt

Flips N’ Kicks Martial Arts all started when Anthony performed two demonstrations of Kyokushin karate at his elementary school and both were a hit. When he was asked to teach karate after school in November 2007, Sensei Anthony quickly formed the Kitsilano West Dojo. In 2010, Sensei Anthony was appointed Head Instructor, which is when he rented the studio space close to 4th and Blenheim. The school has grown over the last five years. 28 Members participated in the local Newton Tournament on February 25, 2011, and four students competed in the US Karate Championship in Los Angeles on January 22, 2012.

Sensei Athony began his lessons at age 11 and still trains and grades regularly, sometimes in Japan. In the Kitsilano Dojo, children attend beginner’s classes at 4:00 pm, higher-level classes at 5:30 pm and adult class at 7:00 pm when they are at least 13. Sensei Anthony has also recently started a new “Little Tigers Karate Class” for children ages three and four on Mondays. Each dojo depends on its teacher, though, and Sensei Anthony is what makes this one great. He is one of those teachers that children of all ages naturally like and respect. His classes are fun and always make me feel like I want to participate in them myself. My older daughter was at first reluctant to train and then graded to the next level in only three months. It is encouraging to see her confidence growing with each success!

Disclaimer: Don’t Attack a Bull

Kyokushin is one of the largest and most famous of all karate styles, with its headquarters in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, Japan. The founder, Sosai Masutatsu, opened his first dojo in 1954. He is famous for his ability to attack bulls in hand-to-hand combat. Kyokushin is a hard style of Karate, characterized by full-contact fighting. KYOKU means “the ultimate” and SHIN means “truth” or “reality”, KAI means “meet” or “join”.

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Parents are welcome to watch their children train in the tiny waiting area out front, or they can use the time to go grocery shopping at the local IGA, have a coffee at The Corner Cup or eat pie at Aphrodite’s. They can go to Displace, browse at Banyan Books or if they have a car, can visit any number of specialty shops in Kitsilano. Sensei Anthony encourages drop-ins and tryouts and is always happy to meet people who want their children to study karate. If you’re wondering what to do in Vancouver to keep your kids active, why not come down sometime?

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3317 W. 4th Avenue, Vancouver

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