I spent this past weekend in Kingston at the revival of my favourite marital arts event. After being missed for a few years, Kingston Kicks assembled martial artists from far and wide, at the Ambassador Hotel, to put on, and take part in seminars in karate, aikido and jiu-jutsu. There were also special courses in iaido, bo and both women’s self defence and cane defence.
I met a gentleman from Belleville who seemed to think it must have been a long boring day for me. Quite the contrary. It is always great to see so many old friends and meet new ones at events like this. Some such events are huge but Kingston Kicks is small enough to make it very special. As a non-participant, I can check out what’s happening in each of the six simultaneous seminars four times a day, pick the ones that interest me the most, and actually sit down and hear what the instructor is saying. The seminars are not all put on in one room, as is sometimes the case at other events. By having just one or two seminars in each room, it is much easier for the participants to hear, and work out without fear of being beaned by someone being taught another style in on a nearby mat.
The fact that there are others from our club taking part makes it even more interesting for me. My hubby taught the cane defence and there were several comments afterwards by amazed students who were surprised at how little pressure was needed to make the cane an effective weapon. I watched a young member of our karate club take the opportunity to learn something about jiu-jitsu and aikido. He had a great time learning break falls and front rolls, and later learned how to dodge a pool noodle. The other members of our club that attended this year were all adults, but they all learned something new and had lots of fun in the process.
The hosts of this event, Carol and Ted Theelen, of the Rideau Lakes School of Martial Arts always make everyone feel like part of the family. They had a meet and greet on Friday night, a dinner gathering at the Mandarin Restaurant Saturday evening, and even put on a party for everyone to attend, free of charge on Saturday night. Even some of the young children were there. If you don’t happen to be a dancer, the floor show can be quite entertaining as some martial artists apparently have moves we weren’t aware of.
Sunday there was a tournament, which was especially enjoyed by the youngsters. They do love to get those metals! After watching such tournaments for over 30 years, I can vouch for the fact that there is a lot of talent coming up through the ranks, and great things to come in the future.
I’m already looking forward to Kingston Kicks next year.
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