Kyoshi Sensei Chris Taneda put karate students through a workout on Sunday

Kyoshi Sensei Chris Taneda put karate students through a workout on Sunday

Sensei mentors Chito-Ryu karate students

The Beaver Valley-Rossland Chito-Ryu Karate Club welcomed a very special guest to its dojo for a tournament and clinic on the weekend.

The Beaver Valley-Rossland Chito-Ryu Karate Club welcomed a very special guest to its dojo for a tournament and clinic on the weekend at the Fruitvale Memorial Hall.

Kyoshi Sensei Chris Taneda was the very honoured guest of Beaver Valley sensei Scott Hutchinson.  A seventh degree black belt and seven-time National Kumite champion, Taneda lives in West Kelowna and is head of Chito-Ryu style of karate in Canada – and one of the most respected men in martial arts.

“He is a very significant individual in Canadian Karate history, still living, and also of very important family heritage,” said Hutchinson. “If you’ve ever seen ‘The Last Samurai’ then you know his family history, Taneda Sensei is a Satsuma clan family member. They unified Japan, they oversaw Okinawa and karate evolution.”

Over 20 Karate practitioners from Fruitvale, Rossland, Castlegar, Nelson, and Salmo participated in the two-day event to compete and learn from Sensei Taneda, but also to enhance their relationship in the Kootenay karate community.

“We are getting to know each other better,”  said Taneda. “And even though there is three different styles here, we’re together and I see a bond starting to happen. Even though we’re not close to each other and there’s different styles, there’s a good fellowship between them to try to build that martial arts culture here.”

As Sensei Taneda led the karate kas through various exercises at the clinic Sunday, his movements were fluid and precise, instilled with calmness and control, his instructions brief and to the point, but accompanied by a sense of humour and encouragement for the young karate students.

“No one is like Taneda Sensei and for our students to have the opportunity to meet him and train with him, even if it’s just basics, the opportunity for them to have the chance to train with sensei is incredible and a privilege,” said Hutchinson.

The special form of Chito-Ryu karate is steeped in tradition, and Sensei Taneda’s task is to ensure it maintains its collective integrity across the country, from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, where he visited in December, to Victoria.

“My position across Canada is to try, for ourselves, to make most of the techniques very similar,” said Taneda.

“In many martial arts what happens is, it gets passed down from one instructor to the next, and you find that people’s likes or dislikes kind of will evolve in different ways . . .  I’m trying to follow what they are doing in Japan as close as I can, and disperse it out.”

The Kelowna resident has been teaching karate since 1981, and has developed exceptional skills as both a karate master and an educator. Taneda readily admits, he likes to think “outside the box,” so many of his exercises and workouts involve unconventional games that improve reaction time, fitness, and intelligence.

“We develop games that gives them skills.We throw them (balls) at the kids, and the kids are really good at getting out of the way, but they love it because they’re playing a game . . . and they’re running so they don’t think they’re actually exercising.”

More importantly, Taneda expects that the confidence and discipline built in the dojo will be applied in everyday life.

“You are giving them a work ethic, so when you do that it translates into everything else in their life,” says Taneda. “So when they look at something they say, ‘That’s not an obstacle, that’s easy.’”

Chito-Ryu Karate is a very old style of martial arts that combines traditional aspects of discipline, respect, wisdom, and hard work with more contemporary elements of sport and healthy competition, something that Chito-Ryu students practiced on Saturday at the tournament.

“There’s a lot to do with character and about building that character and you can see they’re learning how to behave in respectful ways,” says the 59-year-old father of two. “You see the development of the kids, and how they work through their lives and how it helps them in all other aspects of their life and sports.”

Fruitvale native Meagan Campsall is a Beaver Valley karate student, and was awarded the top female athlete, after capturing three gold and a bronze in Saturday’s tournament.

“I learned a lot from Sensei Taneda,” said the 12-year-old Fruitvale Elementary School student. “He teaches us to work on our technique and once he leaves, our sensei (Hutchinson) does it with us in our dojo.”

Similarly, Dawson Stemmler, who took home the boys top athlete award with two gold, one silver and a bronze medal, was happy with his results and the unique opportunity.

“It’s just so cool,” said Dawson. “You know everyone here, and when you get to know Sensei Taneda, I just find I learned how to improve on a lot of stuff.”

For Hutchinson and all the West Kootenay Karate clubs, the visit was indeed an honour and one they’ll look forward to again next year.

“For me, the most important thing is just to have the privilege of seeing, and not just learning . . . I have to spend more time with Sensei Taneda because whatever it is I think I know, I don’t know a darn thing when you stand beside someone like that.”


In the Kumite skills competition Morgain Watts of Rossland won gold, Silver – Jessa Buckland, Bronze – Emilio Ruiz, Johnathan Gardner, Oliver Best.

Little Kata: gold – Emilio Ruiz , silver – Sam Richardson, bronze – Jessa Buckland.

Beginners Kata gold went to Saskia Rabone of Rossland, silver- Nate Taylor, bronze – Lachlan Rabone, Johnathan Gardner.

Intermediate Kata gold went to Fruitvale’s Dawson Stemmler, silver- Findlay Smith, bronze – Lohan Buckland, Emily Gardner, Cristobal Ruiz.

Advanced Kata, Meagan Campsall earned gold, silver went to Salmo’s Kobi Stephenson, bronze to Tyson Nelson and Andrea buckland.

Kobudo Weapons, gold went to Meagan Campsall, silver- Tyson Nelson, bronze – Dawson Stemmler.

Beginners Kumite, gold – Emily Gardner, silver – Dawson Stemmler, bronze – Lohan Buckland.

Advanced Kumite gold – Meagan Campsall, silver- Tyson Nelson, bronze- Kobi Stephenson.

Just Posted

Presently in Canada, it is illegal to be in possession of a personal stun gun. Use of this tool is only licensed to federal and provincial police officers. The personal use of stun guns by unlicensed civilians is considered to be illegal and considered under the Canadian Criminal Code to be the equivalent of a weapon. Anyone found importing or in possession of a personal stun gun and is not a licensed law enforcement officer can be prosecuted under the Canadian Criminal Code. Photo: BC RCMP
Trail faces weapons charge after police confiscate stun gun

The incident took place on Sunday near downtown Trail

The Fruitvale community garden is located on Beaver Street across from the municipal office. Photo: Submitted
Harvest Central Community Garden opens in Fruitvale

A growing opportunity for all Beaver Valley residents, from kindergarten and upwards

“This is very costly to replace and it seems that Rossland is getting more and more theft and vandalism happening, which is really unfortunate,” says the commission’s Michelle Fairbanks. Photo: Submitted
Update: Return Rossland heritage plaques, no questions asked

The plaques were located at Washington and Columbia by the Olaus statue

TELUS is proposing to construct a 5G tower at Pople Park. Photo: Sheri Regnier
First 5G tower in Trail proposed for placement in popular park

TELUS has a consultation process open until June 28

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League met for their AGM and announced a number of new initiatives, new awards and changes in their executive committee, as well as the starting date for the 2021-22 season. Paul Rodgers file.
KIJHL announces start dates for 2021-22 season

Season set to begin Oct. 1 with league still following all health guidelines

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Most Read