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House of Kenpo celebrating 15th anniversary
As the House of Kenpo Karate School celebrates its 15th year in Comox, it's crystal clear to see why sensei Don Roe has established a solid presence in the Comox Valley and across B.C.
Roe is constantly upgrading his skills in order to benefit his students, and his dedication is reflected in the school's excellent results at martial arts competitions on Vancouver Island as well as the Lower Mainland.
Roe is a 5th degree black belt in Kenpo Karate, 1st degree black belt in Panrkation, has a brown belt in Submission Arts Wrestling (SAW) and blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He is the director of the All-Japan Joint Technique Federation (AJJTF) of B.C., an official representative of the AJJTF, and official representative of the Canadian Federation of Panrkation Athlima.
All that knowledge has enabled his students to amass many medals in high-calibre competitions such as the Tiger Balm Internationals in Vancouver. Roe notes his students are looking forward to returning to the Coastal Martial Arts Tournament this June in Port Alberni. Participation in such competitions is voluntary and requires extra training and commitment, Roe notes.
He himself has qualified for the Canadian international martial arts team six times and notes, "One of our students went to Mexico in 2003 representing Canada and returned home a world champion with two gold medals from the World Karate Championships."
Roe offers both group and private lessons for men, women and children. The school currently has about 50 members, ranging in age from seven to 61. Private lesson schedules are flexible, with the school open every day but Sunday.
Along with karate and grappling, Kenpo Karate School also teaches a variety of traditional weapons, such as bos, spears and escrima sticks. Roe stresses that Kenpo teaches practical self-defence karate, not sport karate.
The school is now offering kickboxing lessons almost every day of the week, and those interested need not be school members to participate.
In order to let prospective students see what the school offers, there is a free trial period with sample lessons in kenpo, grappling and kickboxing. The trial must be complete within a one week period, and people are welcome to drop by the dojo at 1747 Comox Ave. or call 250-339-5992 for details.
One frequent visitor to the facility is Mike Martelle, winner of numerous pro MMA titles in a variety of disciplines all around the world. His annual visit to Comox to deliver a seminar is a highlight on the Kenpo calendar. Former UFC champ Royce Gracie has also shared his expertise with Kenpo Karate School students.
You might not meet an MMA world champion when you visit the dojo (which is located below Smitty's restaurant), but you will find a warm welcome and a wealth of knowledge that has been a trademark of the House of Kenpo since it opened its doors in 1999.