SAULT STE MARIE: The International Karate Daigaku led by owner and Sensei Chris Troch, has been practicing karate a little differently since Covid-19 and has turned to zoom sessions and karate in the park to provide lessons to his many karate goers.
Sensei Troch decided to start Zoom sessions three weeks after he had to close his dojo and the feedback he’s received is what’s kept his karate community thriving. He’s had attendees from the United States, Nova Scotia and Toronto.
Since the nicer weather started to pop out he thought to take advantage of the opportunity by giving lessons in Bellevue park.
“A month and a half, once the nice weather started coming, then we decided to do this. Monday Tuesday we have the little guys here ages 4-6. Monday and Wednesday we have the kids ages 7-13 and adults on 6:30 p.m. and on Saturday’s I have a special needs class in the parks,” says Sensei Chris Troch, Owner of International Karate Daigaku.
Some parents who have been observing their kids at the park were overjoyed by the decision to have outdoor karate lessons.
“They didn’t know what to do with themselves. I think this is the best the sensei could have done, the kids are still able to see each other. It’s never the same at home doing it on zoom, because the kids are goofing around and they can do whatever they want. If it’s a rainy day we’ll do it through zoom, but it doesn’t even compare. They all keep their distance anyways so it works out great,” said Kaliud Thiel, karate parent.
Another parent found having karate in the park brought some normality to what is our new normal with Covid-19.
“It brings back more of a reality of it and the closeness of the group. It’s more beneficial for the social aspect and it feels united again as a team,” said Quinn, karate parent.
Sensei Chris Troch brings over 36 years of karate experience to each lesson and connecting with Zoom is just an extra level for him to direct his karate skills. During his park summer lessons he’ll have 10-12 kids participating, all of which come from different belt levels. With businesses reopening today so will his dojo, but Sensei Troch will remain having park lessons while the weather is nice, but will resort back to zoom if it starts to rain.
SaultOnline had the chance to ask Sensei Troch, what do you think the importance is in conducting karate during Covid-19?
“Mental health, physical health. Keep engaged, you can’t let this get you down. Even though it’s not ideal you just have to keep going and push through. After you exercise and train you just feel so much better. It’s definitely a good stress reliever.”
Sensei Troch finishes the interview by thanking all his supporters, and to the parents who have been supporting him throughout the past four months.
“I want to thank everyone who is supporting the dojo. Some parents are even giving me money and not showing up, it’s really nice – It’s good support.”
For more information, or if you have a little one interested in karate please go to their website at or by calling (705) 759-8552.