STRONG FORM – Sensei Mike Roe

Various skills gained through karate and kickboxing

Lacombe Karate and Kickboxing Senseis Mike Roe and Clint Robison work together to teach values of self-discipline, fitness and safety.

Lacombe Karate and Kickboxing Senseis Mike Roe and Clint Robison work together to teach values of self-discipline, fitness and safety.

Each Sensei began their journey differently and have trained for most of their lives to be able to share their wealth of knowledge with new karate and kickboxing students.

Robison said that once you begin karate or kickboxing, it almost becomes an addiction. He said that there are many new things you can learn, and many reasons people take interest in the sport.

“I think everyone’s got their own take on it. I don’t think one person will have the same answer. Some people are into competing – they want to go out and get in that ring and do it. We start them off as a beginner and help them work their way up. Other people just want to do it so they can get in shape,” said Robison.

“For me, I kind of did it for all those reasons. I trained, I competed, I lost and I won. Now, my main focus is helping other people and helping them fulfil their goals. Basically, what I enjoy about teaching is seeing the evolution of the student, and watching them grow. It’s very rewarding for me to be able to see that growth.”

Robison has been participating in karate since 1993 and through this time has experienced many competitions and achievements. According to the Lacombe Karate and Kickboxing web site, Robison became a certified Second Degree Black Belt in 2005. He has also won the Men’s Black Belt Sparring Grand Championships five times.

There are three areas of competition in Zen Karate – kata, point sparring and continuous sparring. Katas are stances and holds that the students learn. Point sparring is quick and students achieve points for touching parts of another person’s body, but the intent is not to cause harm or pain. Continuous sparring is the category with the most contact.

Roe has achieved some impressive titles during his 13-year career, including several world titles that he achieved at the 2010 World Martial Arts Games in Las Vegas –  first in continuous sparring, second in point sparring and third in kata competition -and in 2011 at World Karate Championships in Cadiz, Spain, where he won third place in continuous sparring.

“I used to run around the house kicking, and my dad suggested I get into a martial art. I was given the choice between karate and hockey, and ended up joining. It’s addicting, like Clint said. It wasn’t easy for me right at the get-go. I had a little bit of natural ability, but I was a bit of a crazy kid when I was younger and this really changed me into a more disciplined, respectful person,” Roe said.

“I have the drive and I love competing. I love the feeling of it – the adrenaline and the feeling you get before. Aside from that, I like being able to accomplish and move up in rankings. There is excitement and the feeling of accomplishment when you move forward. I like sharing the knowledge I have now.”

In the upcoming month, Roe is going to compete nationally and he said that he hopes to make it to Worlds again this year.

Karate and kickboxing can be contact sports, but there are a variety of styles and competition types to fit all kinds of skill levels and commitment.

“Even to someone who isn’t very active, I would say come and give it a try anyway and just go at your own pace. A lot of times, families do stuff for their kids but maybe they can take some time and learn something for themselves. I believe that at some point, everyone should know some form self-defence,” Roe said.

The classes range from young children to adults and private lessons are also available. Both instructors said they carry a lot of passion for passing on their knowledge to others.

“I’m very glad to be able to do what I do. It took me years to get where I’m at, and I enjoy it so much and now I get to share that,” Robison said.

Roe agreed, and added, “I love the sport- it’s pretty much all I’ve ever done. I found a new love for sharing my knowledge, as well as I still enjoy getting out there myself. It’s definitely a sport that anybody can do – it doesn’t matter who you are. A little bit of hard work and determination and anybody can do it.”

Competitive, non-competitive and fitness classes are all available at the studio. Information, introductions and registrations are all available online or in person.

kmendonsa@lacombeexpress.com