All posts in “Testimonials”

Michele Piironen

Highest praise go out to Sensei Mike for his endless creativity, patience, and kindness towards my 8-year old daughter. She has been attending private instruction at the East Wind Budo Life Centre for the past nine months, under the direct tutelage of Sensei Mike.

Eve has a global LD, which affects all aspects of her being. Sensei Mike’s dynamic teaching methods have allowed Eve to follow basic martial arts movements, and to participate in an individualized program that she would otherwise be unable to follow.

Motor planning/coordination, spatial awareness, sequencing, focusing, and self-discipline have always been a challenge for Eve. Through ongoing instruction at East Wind Budo Life Centre, she now views her challenges as something that can be overcome. She believes in herself and her abilities, and has discovered strengths, where once she saw only weakness. The confidence, discipline and self-awareness that she has gained over these short months is incredibly awe inspiring, and a true testimony to Sensei Mike’s compassion and talent, as a martial arts instructor and as a human being.

Thank you most sincerely.

Michele Piironen
Personal Chef

Hannah Johnson

I recently left home to attend Queen’s University and to partake in the Arts and Science Under-Graduate society declaring psychology as my main area of study. While packing up one day and getting ready to leave, I came across my old notebook that I had started when I received my junior brown belt. I remember how I used to write down everything I had learned in order to make sure that I never forgot anything that Sensei had ever taught me; all the way from my stances and techniques to how to properly use my chopsticks. It got me thinking about everything that had happened to me since I had joined East Wind at the age of seven.

I had come from England, leaving behind friends and family but keeping with me my love of the martial arts. I searched high and low (well actually my parents did because I didn’t know how to use the phonebook yet) for the perfect place to continue my training. Luckily we found this little tiny place in the corner of a parking lot that was incredible. I met Sensei Mike and Sensei Laura and instantly decided this was the place I wanted to be. The training atmosphere that they had created was unbelievable. I felt such a sense of pride and joy training with them and all of the other members in the dojo. With their help and guidance I continued to train and improve my skills. I traveled to Okinawa with them to further my training and to help prepare myself for the World Championships in Atlanta, Georgia. Since then I have been back to Okinawa for a second time and it just keeps getting better and better. Training on the beautiful beaches with the masters was just a dream come true.

Sitting there in my room that day, holding onto that old notebook, I realized just how important karate has been to me. It had transformed from this tiny little girl into a strong, independent woman, and it was all because of their help and guidance. Karate was not only was a great way of staying healthy and feeling safe; it was a way of life, a way of existing. I am so incredibly honoured to be a part of such an amazing family and I can’t thank them all enough for how much they all mean to me. Thank you guys!

Hannah Johnson
Queen’s University Student and founding member of EWBLC

Yvonne Valentine

My three children have been members of EWBLC for more than four years now and I could not have chosen a better martial arts family to belong to.
The first visit to the dojo left us all with such a warm feeling of belonging – that has not changed over the years.

Sensei Mike and Sensei Laura devote endless hours of their time to teach and pass on their knowledge to their students. Both are always full of encouragement when needed. It certainly brings things home when, coming from school after a tumble in the playground, your child can say ” It would have been worse if I’d not break fall. ” This is a special way to fall that you learn in karate and the knowledge goes with the children, even to the playground.

We all go through difficult times in life but belonging to EWBLC makes those difficult times easier to cope with. There is always someone there to offer support, lend a hand if needed and maybe some advice as well.The EWBLC karate family are always there.

Yvonne Valentine

Private Health care nurse

Mark H Bonnet

I have been studying martial arts for over seven years now, and it has truly been a blessing for me. The development I have
experienced in my physical, mental and spiritual health has convinced me that it is truly worth the time that I have invested in it.

Physically, I am stronger and more flexible, I have more endurance, better balance, improved posture and far more control
over my body than I did before starting my martial training. I have also improved my coordination, lowered my stress level and
reduced the frequency and severity of the various aches and pains from which I once suffered.

My mental health has also improved greatly, as I have developed my concentration, my focus and my mental endurance. I have a
much better understanding of the human body and how to care for it, and I am constantly being challenged by what I learn about
human interaction. Now that I am a senior student in my dojo, I am even learning about the art of teaching, and how important–and powerful–such knowledge can be.

Where I feel I benefit the most from my martial experience however, is the area of spiritual growth. A dedicated,
traditional martial arts teacher knows how to inspire their students to want to become better people, to learn that success is earned through service, and to understand that all people are capable of great things. As a person dedicated to his Christian faith, I cherish all of this, and feel that my spiritual development has been greatly enhanced by my experiences with the traditional martial arts.

With all that I have received from my martial experience, I know that my time is always well spent when spent in the dojo. I am thankful for the time, talent and resolute guidance that I have received from those who have taught and helped me, and I am
committed to helping everyone I can benefit as I have. I am especially thankful for the world-class quality of the people within the Y.K.K.F. organization. I hope that I will have the opportunity to continue to meet and train with people from around the globe, and who are among the best martial artists in the world.

Mark H Bonnet

Nortel Employee

Ian McDowell

Nearly six years ago, as a father of four in his early 50s, I was looking for a sporting activity for my youngest son who, at the time, exhibited a remarkable ability to convert food into body mass. A wise friend recommended the East Wind dojo, and along we went. My son took to it instantly, and soon persuaded his sister to give it a try as well. This left me sitting alone in the parents’ gallery, watching them train. Silently I recognized how badly I needed to re-gain some of the rather limited flexibility that I once had. But I was embarrassed, and had concerns over the whole idea of learning about how to punch and kick other people. On the other hand, I could not imagine myself sweating into the plastic seat of an exercise cycle pedalling up imaginary electronic hills in front of a blaring t.v. in an exercise gym. Perhaps my boredom with being a spectator tipped the balance; Sensei Laura calmly assuaged my concerns about the fighting aspect (I still think she mainly wanted me to free up that seat in the waiting area), and I took the plunge. Shortly afterwards, seeing the pleasure on our faces as we returned from the dojo, my wife agreed that she would risk life and limb and give it a try. So for five years we have been family members at East Wind. I have no natural ability for karate and, unlike the kids, take an inordinate time to learn the kata and the Japanese terms. But the great thing is that this does not matter: there are never any negative words, only encouragement. Even better, every visit to the dojo is different; I cannot recall a time when I have not learned something new and interesting. It really does combine training for body and mind, and it is a wonderful setting in which the whole family can pursue an activity on an equal footing. Well, actually, not really equal: the kids are WAY better than the parents — but learning from each other makes us all feel good.

Ian McDowell
University Professor

Mike Valenti

I recently left home to attend Queen’s University and to partake in the Arts and Science Under-Graduate society declaring psychology as my main area of study.  While packing up one day and getting ready to leave, I came across my old notebook that I had started when I received my junior brown belt.  I remember how I used to write down everything I had learned in order to make sure that I never forgot anything that Sensei had ever taught me; all the way from my stances and techniques to how to properly use my chopsticks.  It got me thinking about everything that had happened to me since I had joined East Wind at the age of seven.

I had come from England, leaving behind friends and family but keeping with me my love of the martial arts.  I searched high and low (well actually my parents did because I didn’t know how to use the phonebook yet) for the perfect place to continue my training.  Luckily we found this little tiny place in the corner of a parking lot that was incredible.  I met Sensei Mike and Sensei Laura and instantly decided this was the place I wanted to be.  The training atmosphere that they had created was unbelievable.  I felt such a sense of pride and joy training with them and all of the other members in the dojo.  With their help and guidance I continued to train and improve my skills.  I traveled to Okinawa with them to further my training and to help prepare myself for the World Championships in Atlanta, Georgia.  Since then I have been back to Okinawa for a second time and it just keeps getting better and better.  Training on the beautiful beaches with the masters was just a dream come true.

Sitting there in my room that day, holding onto that old notebook, I realized just how important karate has been to me.  It had transformed from this tiny little girl into a strong, independent woman, and it was all because of their help and guidance.  Karate was not only was a great way of staying healthy and feeling safe; it was a way of life, a way of existing.  I am so incredibly honored to be a part of such an amazing family and I can’t thank them all enough for how much they all mean to me.  Thank you guys!

Mike Valenti
Grade 10 High School Student