Valentyna Zolotarova is the chief instructor of Hayabusa Karate School, offering instruction of Shotokan Karate to children and adults ages 3 and up. She’s also a six-time national champion as well as Premier’s Athletic Award Recipient.
What inspired you to start your company?
My passion for Karate-Do and working with children inspired me to open Hayabusa Karate. I started Karate at the age of 6 and it has helped me overcome asthma and keep my mind and body healthy throughout my life. Having recently become a mother, I realized that now is a good time to introduce and share this lifestyle with the next generation.
What is your company all about?
Hayabusa Karate is about developing healthy children and adults and helping individuals achieve their personal goals. Some of my students hope to compete for the National Canadian Karate Team, while others wish to stay in shape. I work with each student to help them achieve and exceed their personal goals. I also encourage families to work out together as it is truly a blessing to see mothers and fathers working out with their children.
What’s your vision for your company?
I envision a future generation of healthy, fit, hard-working and righteous young men and women. Karate builds mutual respect, self-confidence, and concentration. It engages the mind and body, which is essential to lead a balanced lifestyle. Karate simultaneously encourages individualism and team work. It helps children grow up to be wonderful team players and equips them with the ability to be independent at the same time. With these values, I hope to create a healthy and caring community, while opening opportunities for athletes who wish to pursue competitive and traditional karate.
What excites you about what you’re doing?
The most exciting thing about teaching is seeing the sparkle in the eyes of a student who learns a new move or performs it in a new way. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing that sparkle. Even that one second of joy can inspire an instructor for years to come.
What are some early examples of success?
Hayabusa Karate welcomes students of all ages (3 and up). I wanted to open the doors for all age groups, because karate is lifelong activity. Within the first two months, Hayabusa Karate has received interest and has welcomed several exciting and energetic 3 and 4 year olds into the program. The youngest members inspire us all because they are the hope and future for their family, community and our country as a whole.
Another success is the coverage that Hayabusa Karate has received in the Vancouver Express Newspaper as well as Acento Latino TV.
What about challenges?
Although Hayabusa Karate has not yet encountered too many challenges, I predict that one of the major difficulties will include finding funding for athletes that will qualify for the provincial and/or national teams in the future. Athletes in Canada have often struggled with funding in the past and the current recession has made the situation even more difficult. Nevertheless, I am a firm believer that anything can be accomplished if there is desire. As Hayabusa Karate athletes grow, we hope to see a better economical situation in the world and more opportunities for sponsorship.
What’s next for you?
In the next couple of months, I hope to prepare some of my current students for next year’s competitive season and help others attain their personal goals for 2011.
Diane Wild is a writer, editor and web communications consultant, working in the solar, health care, and arts industries. She also runs the website TV, eh? about Canadian television.