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

Community support keeps girls hockey alive on the North Island

“A successful program depends on community engagement and support.”

Proposed public art installation sparks debate in Victoria

$250,000 sculpture compliments an interactive sound element of First Nations drumming and singing

#MeToo at work: Employers play a role in fixing culture of harassment

B.C. workplaces are getting ahead of being the next MeToo debacle, calling on experts to train staff

Wilson recognized by Port Hardy Council for commitment to thrift store

Marg is a true leader for Port Hardy’s auxiliary and her nominators feel she is unstoppable.”

#MeToo at work: How reporting sexual harassment works – and how it doesn’t

British Columbians have four options to report harassment or assault, but none of them are easy

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Tri-Port Midget Wild continue hot streak with back-to-back wins at home

The Wild had a quiet start to their season, going 1-2-1 before suddenly coming alive.

Family suspends search for missing Alberta couple, plane near Revelstoke

Due to bad weather, families of missing Albertan couple say they will resume in the spring

Canadian grocers make $3M per year from penny-rounding: UBC study

Ottawa announced plans in 2012 to phase out the copper coin

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

B.C. anti-hate campaigner finds Google search on his efforts redirects to porn

Text from online news article about Cran Campbell being used to link to suspect websites

‘The Last Jedi’ opens with $220M, 2nd best weekend all-time

As anticipated, the movie fell shy of the opening weekend for J.J. Abrams’ 2015 franchise reboot

INTERACTIVE MAP: Follow the 2017 Tour de Rock

Follow the Tour de Rock, as they pedal more than 1,000 kilometres fundraising to combat paediatric cancer

Most Read