Karate teacher Bill Houghton demonstrates blocking and kicking techniques recently to students at the Ponoka Gymnastics and Trampoline Club. Karate training returned to Ponoka last September and is seeing strong interest.

Karate teacher Bill Houghton demonstrates blocking and kicking techniques recently to students at the Ponoka Gymnastics and Trampoline Club. Karate training returned to Ponoka last September and is seeing strong interest.

Karate kicks back in Ponoka

Training in the fine art of karate has made a return to Ponoka.

Training in the fine art of karate has made a return to Ponoka.

The dojo has found a new home at the Ponoka Gymnastics and Trampoline Club where training in the martial art is provided by long-time teacher Bill Houghton.

For many years he and his wife operated the Battle River Shotokan Karate Society and taught in Ponoka. Houghton and his wife took a three-year hiatus before being approached by the gym club to have them start up again.

“They said they wanted something different to come through,” said Houghton in an interview.

Facilitated through the gym club, interest for the program, which started up last September has been high with children and adults of all skill levels signing up. “We just started to build it up.”

There are about 26 people who take in two classes, about two nights a week. The first is more for a beginner group and the second class is more advanced.

“It’s an alternative. Karate is something that people can enjoy but you have to work hard at it,” said Houghton.

“If you think the mind, body and the spirit of karate, it’s huge.”

Karate returns to Ponoka

Houghton started with the discipline when he was 28 years old and has found a life long love of the sport. He’s 56 now. “I’m still moving, kicking and punching and snorting like a dragon,” he joked.

Through physical and mental development, Karate helps a person stay focused and it gives them an awareness of their body. He is seeing just that with those who take part in the training. Everyone has their own personal reason for signing up.

“Parents might have reasons for their children. Adults have reasons for why they’re here; whether it’s mental health, whether it’s physical health,” said Houghton.

“I find more so with kids, that just to set these small goals, and that achievement, it’s amazing.”

He added that the goal setting developed in karate training creates a strong sense of confidence and work ethic in those who take part in the martial art. Add to that muscles develop and strengthen from the training.

“I’ve seen students of mine from the past that have come back and they shake my hand. They went to university. They are successful in whatever they do,” said Houghton. “They attribute that to a lot of their training.”

He also enjoys being able to have the gym club facilitate class sign ups so he can focus solely on the training. For more information contact the gym club at 403-783-1756.

 

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