Local martial arts practitioners got to attend a clinic taught by one of the top black belts in the Canadian Karate Kung-Fu Association (CKKA) on Saturday (June 1).
Eight students, ranging in age from 11 to 69 learned kickboxing and self defence combinations in the Valois Kung-Fu dojo from Master Alex Atkinson, who travelled from Toronto for the one-day class.
In addition to being a ninth-degree black belt in CKKA, Atkinson is a head official with the World Amateur Kickboxing Organization (WAKO).
While the kickboxing portion involved sporting techniques that saw the students work to perfect their punching and kicking, the self-defence lessons were much more close range in nature.
“He was working on different attack modes and different combinations of grappling, locking up joints and returning with takedowns, trapping as well as kicking and punching,” says Marc Valois, an eighth degree CKKA black belt who has hosted Atkinson for the last five or six years.
Valois adds the combinations are an acceleration of what he would ordinarily instruct, so the students get an idea of what lies ahead in their training and get a taste for future levels.
“They help the students get a heads up on what they’re learning and that gives them a little boost,” he says. “Also they’re getting similar information from someone different, which makes what I’m teaching them more concrete. It lets them know I’m not teaching them something out of the blue.”
Valois says his partnership with Atkinson has been helpful both here and in Toronto, where he will often stay with Atkinson and help him with his classes there.
The martial artists practiced from 10 a.m until 3 p.m. with a break to eat lunch at the farmer’s market.