Sensei Chris Bezaire gives some pointers to Julie Morozoff and Rory Sinden as they grapple for control during training at a newly formed Judo school at Port Hardy's Civic Centre last week.

Get fighting fit with judo in Port Hardy

Local residents now have the chance to get hands-on in martial arts with the formation of a judo club in Port Hardy.

PORT HARDY—Local residents now have the chance to get hands-on in martial arts with the formation of a judo club in the town.

Students will be in the able hands of Chris Bezaire, a constable with the local RCMP detachment and a teacher with a considerable pedigree in the art of judo.

Bezaire has practiced the martial art for more than 35 years and holds a 4th-degree black belt. A former member of the national team, he trained in Japan before going on to fight in Europe.

Prior to coming to Port Hardy, Bezaire was the head coach of the Campbell River club, a trainer for the Vancouver Island team and a member of the provincial coaching team.

Judo is a Japanese martial art and Olympic sport founded by Jigoro Kano, who developed the art from jiu jitsu roots. With its primary focus on grappling, holds and throws, Judo practitioners aim to use their opponents’ own momentum against them.

The sports aspect of the art was developed from judo’s emphasis on hands-on training as a way of allowing practitioners to test and develop their skills.

“(Judo’s) great for hands-on people,” explained Bezaire. “It’s all done with a partner.” He said that a motivated person could be grappling on their first night’s training.

He explained that while competition is encouraged for younger practitioners, it is not mandatory for all students. “We start out slow — you work at your own pace,” he said.

Judo has a belt system, similar to karate, and with Bezaire’s experience he can grade students all the way up to brown belt in-house.

Classes are held on Monday and Wednesday nights in Port Hardy’s Civic Centre, with juniors in the 8- 12-year-old range from 5 to 6 p.m. and the senior group taking to the mats from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Those interested in attending should wear sweatpants and a sweat top for their first lesson.

“(With judo) you get hands-on training, you test your skill against a partner and you make great friends,” said Bezaire. “It’s a great way to build self-confidence and fitness.”

 

Just Posted

Rachel Blaney ‘humbled’ as NDP incumbent earns second term

Blaney will remain MP in North Island-Powell River riding

Trudeau has won the most seats — but not a majority. What happens next?

Trudeau will have to deal with some of the implications of Monday’s result

LIVE MAP: Results in Canada’s 2019 federal election

Polls are now closed across the country

ELECTION 2019: Here are the results from our 12 B.C. races to watch

Incumbents mostly won our 12 key races, but there were a few upsets too

BREAKING: Canadian Press declares NDP’s Blaney winner in North Island-Powell River

Canadian Press is declaring NDP candidate Rachel Blaney as the winner in… Continue reading

Raptors Bling: NBA champions receive their rings in pre-game ceremony

There are over 650 diamonds — at a weight of 14 carats — in the 14-karat yellow gold ring

Faster response may have prevented fatal outcome at B.C. trampoline park

Coroner’s report rules Greater Victoria father Jay Greenwood’s death accidental

100-pound pumpkin stolen a second time from B.C. business

According to security footage, a man and woman took the pumpkin on Oct. 20 at 8:20 p.m.

Greta Thunberg declines invitation to Victoria due to time, not ferry emissions

Thunberg confirmed that she will be joining a climate strike at the Vancouver Art Gallery on Friday

‘Havoc and chaos:’ Alberta separatist group gains support as Liberals re-elected

The idea is getting interest from people in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and parts of British Columbia

Feds decriminalizing drugs possible if Jagmeet Singh pushes for it, expert says

National pharmacare was one of Singh’s most highly-touted platform policies

In the news: Wexit, Brexit and Trump sparks outrage

There’s been a surge of support for an Alberta separatist group

Horvat’s hat trick lifts Canucks to 5-2 win over Red Wings

First career three-goal game for Vancouver captain

Most Read