Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
How many years have you been working with Kids Kicking Cancer?
How did you begin with martial arts?
I am a karate mom. I decided to start at the same time as my youngest son. I was 45 years old. That is when I realize that there is no age limit to begin martial arts. After years of hard work and getting out of my comfort zone I obtained my first-degree black belt at 50 years old. I have since obtain my second-degree black belt.
A fun fact about my family, we are 5 black belts (my husband, children and I). Our mantra is “a family that kicks together sticks together”.
What lessons have you learned over the years from practicing or teaching martial arts?
Lessons learned when practicing martial arts: I have learned that I was better able to focus, I became physically stronger, I felt more empowered mind & body, I develop more self-control in stressful situation and I became part of a community that helped me grow and improve.
Lessons I have learned when teaching martial arts: In a dojo, you are always a student even when you are the sensei that is teaching. When teaching kids, you learn to be flexible, patient, a better listener and you learn to stop taking life so seriously, you learn to have more fun. 😊
What inspired you to join Kids Kicking Cancer (KKC) as a martial arts therapist?
One day Rabbi G. came to our dojo to talk about the KKC program. I realized that if I became a Martial arts therapist with KKC, it would be an opportunity for me to share the lessons that I have learn from martial arts and I would have the privilege to teach children how to breath in the light, courage and hope.
What do you love most about Kids Kicking Cancer’s mission?
I love that the mission is helping each student unlock their inner power. That is why we call them powerful martial artists. I love that we teach them to find peace, so they can calm their mind and focus on breathing in the light and I love that we watch them become teacher of the world.
Do you have a favorite KKC story or experience you would like to share?
The first year we started the KKC in-person classes, we had a young boy of almost three years old that join our group for his first class with his father. He enjoyed learning the Body Scan, some martial arts, the Ninja Needle and the Power Breathing. When the young boy and his father came back for the class the next week the father told me that we (KKC) had change his life. A few days after his son’s first KKC class this young boy had a doctor’s appointment and he needed to have a poke. Usually, the father or a nurse would have to hold the boy down, however, on that day the boy told his father and nurse that he had learned a new trick, the Ninja Needle trick and that he did not need anyone to hold him down. He explained that he was a powerful martial artist! He proceeded to do his Ninja Needle trick then allowed the nurse to poke him. This was the first time that the young boy did not cry during a poke session and never cried again for any of his pokes.
How do you tailor your lessons to suit the needs of very young students?
When teaching very young students, I like to play games as a mean to teach martial arts moves. The students do not realize that they are learning new skills as they are playing. For example, when we play Sensei Says, the students learn to listen, focus and self-control of their movements while having fun.
What do you do for fun?
I go to my dojo to do some karate. I also love to cook for my family and travel to new place for adventure.