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Kids Karate Camp - July 14/15 2012

Members of the Northumberland Karate Club ranging in age from 4 to 12 spent the night under the stars Saturday as they held a training camp in Scotsburn. During the camp they did some training led by instructor Chris Cruikshank who has his fourth degree black belt. Here Jorden MacDougall, 8, hops his way through one of the obstacle courses. ADAM MACINNIS – THE NEWS

Gasshuku 2012 - Saturday Class Photo

In its 39th year of existence the Northumberland Karate club is showing no signs of slowing down according to Sensei Chris Cruikshank.

Cruikshank is happy with registration numbers this year throughout their various classes, but said registration is open any time.

The club practices Monday and Wednesday nights at Trenton Elementary School, with three different sessions depending upon the student’s level. As a member of the Nova Scotia Karate Association, the club participates in tournaments throughout the year as well as instructors taking part in two training seminars. Cruikshank said although they participate in events throughout the province there is no specific focus on preparing his students for tournaments.

“Our main focus here is treating every student as a potential teacher and to keep building on skills as the progress,” he said. “We just keep testing their techniques as they move through the skills and belts are awarded at certain points.”

The sessions the club runs are the kids 7-12 starter class, kids advanced class, and juvenile and adult groups that participate in the same class together. In the kids class there is a 4:1 student to teacher ratio. Cruikshank said the main reason for being able to offer such a good ratio is their teaching program.

“What we do for some of the youth and adults that have advanced is we run the teaching accreditation program,” he said. “Once they go through the program they can come in and apply the skills and at the end of the year they receive a certificate when the testing is done.”

For anyone interested in joining the club, contact 485-4017 or

You can also visit for more information.

Cruikshank also teaches in Scotsburn on Sunday nights.

Wednesday night during class at the Trenton Elementary School, Northumberland Karate Club head instructor Sensei Chris Cruikshank received an award from the provincial government for work his club has been doing through their anti-bullying program. The award was presented to him by club founder, Sensei Ron Fagan, who brought the award from Halifax. Fagen said the program was discussed in the legislature, which he believes is a major statement about the work Cruikshank and his fellow instructors are doing on the ground. The program is base on three w’s. The first being words, the second walk and third being whatever. “The idea is to use words first to try and diffuse the situation,” said Fagan. “If that doesn’t work, we want them to walk away to create distance between them an the aggressor. The final step is whatever, meaning whatever it takes. It could be running or anything to get the youth out of the situation they’re in.” Cruikshank said that it’s an honour for the club to receive this recognition. More information on the program can be found at

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