Prince Rupert Karate Club Sensei Wade Wilkins recently had one more student achieve his first degree black belt, or ‘shodan’ – the beginning stage for any black belt karate martial artist.
Blake Foxall received this designation in shito-ryu karate in March. Wilkins has been impressed with Foxall’s constant commitment to the martial art over the past decade to get himself to this level.
“Blake started about 10 years ago when he was nine-years-old. He has trained hard, and learned all the [different] kata he’s needed to know and learned all the bunkai, which is the breakdown of the katas. Blake is a very dedicated student. He trains hard and is very serious about it, which is really nice,” said Wilkins.
The instructor gave some clarification on the type of achievement Foxall has completed.
“Shito-ryu pronounced “sheetu-reeyeu”, is a style that incorporates the two main branches of karate: shorin-ryu and shorai-ryu. The person who founded rhito-ryu, Kenwa Mabuni, had studied both branches. What he wanted to do was maintain the two branches, and preserve the kata. kata are the forms and pre-arranged movements. One needs to learn 50-70 kata through this training. Mabuni helped introduce this type of karate from Okinawa to mainland Japan. Shito-ryu is an all encompassing style. In this style, you are exposed to all these different types of kata, then choose the ones you prefer, then you focus on those. Shorai is more circular, avoiding, and shorin is more linear, moving forward and back. To get your belts you have to do certain kata. You have to choose two kata of four to earn each degree moving through the black belts.”
Wilkins’ doors are always open to new members.
“We train Monday evenings and Thursday evenings. Seven to 13-year-olds train from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Then the 14-and-over age group goes from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m,” he said. Drop by the club, located at the top floor of the Fisherman’s Hall during these hours, to register.