Seikido classes grow throughout the district – Fort Frances Times

The Rainy River First Nation gymnasium was buzzing on Saturday morning as 18 seikido students took tests to move from the white belt to the next level of the yellow band. Later that afternoon, seven more students would take tests for other higher belts. Seikido Master Hayley Broadbent started teaching courses in the region in 2019 and will likely grow in the new year.

Seikido is a martial art that combines aspects of the Korean martial art of taekwondo and the Japanese martial art of aikido.

“Our offensive style is international taekwondo. So every graduate student will have a black belt in international taekwondo, ”said Broadben. “This is the heart of our program and then we use aikido techniques for the defensive part. “

Broadbent started the Rainy River First Nations Seikido Taekwondo Club in 2019. When she first moved to the area with her family, no Seikido programs were available in the area. Broadbent had started training in martial arts in the 90s but moved away. She returned to it in 2012 with two of her children. Although she had been in training for years, she had to start over with a white belt after a 15-year absence. After spending time learning in southern Ontario before moving to the Rainy River District, Broadbent and his children were disappointed to find that there was no Seikido program here.

“When we moved in here, we had all stopped. They just tried taekwondo and they got used to so much more in the program that they were bored, ”said Broadbent. “Then they tried judo and everything was fine, but they really missed seikido. “

The inspiration to start their own club came when Broadbent’s daughter Tashie visited their old club in London and told the Grandmaster they needed a club in Northern Ontario. Soon after, Broadbent received an email from the Grandmaster asking him why they hadn’t started a class.

Broadbent responded with a long list of excuses, including the fact that there was no one with a black belt and no qualified instructor.

“I gave him a long list and he said, ‘Host a seminar, I’m coming, you’ll have a club.’ And that’s what we’ve done. We take his advice and he contacts us regularly to make sure we’re doing everything the way it’s supposed to be, ”said Broadbent.

“When we created the club, we were under the supervision of Grandmaster Gagel in London. So he came four times a year and made sure that we taught the techniques correctly and that we maintained the class and the records correctly. “

Seikido has grown in popularity throughout the district. The students recently took part in a scoring exercise to get past the white belt level. – Photo of Allan Bradbury

Broadbent and his two older children did not have a black belt when classes started, so they continued to train and the club was operating under the authority of their grandmaster Gagel of London. In September 2020, Broadbent and his two oldest children tested for their black belts, shortly after the club was formed as its own entity taking on responsibility at the local level.

The club has seen many ups and downs since its inception, especially with the complications of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, things are improving.

“We reopened in September and had probably the biggest response we’ve had so far. We had over 25 students enrolled. We currently have a list of 47 students, ”said Broadbent. “In January we will have classes at Rainy River, Big Grassy and Manitou. “

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