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A Note from the Head Instructor

Sensei John MacCallum

Sensei John MacCallum

I started in the martial arts with Jiyu-Shin in 1990. My head instructor was Sensei Mark Bell, founder of the Jiyu-Shin Karate School. I received my Shodan in January of 1996. I was allowed to grade with my fellow black belt Tony Jones who came up through the ranks with me and allowed me to grow and learn with him. Tony gave me the drive and determination that I needed during my kyu rank years.

In October of 2004, Sensei Bell made a decision that he would like to step away from the martial arts and move to Victoria, BC, for a well-earned break. I received my San-Dan from Sensei Bell and he gave the karate club to me, with the hopes that the club would live on. It has, and Sensei Bell’s name and position of the founder of the Jiyu-Shin Karate School is brought up at most gradings. Sensei Bell still attends some gradings today. 

I had the honor of training with some very impressive students and some amazing black belts. All of the black belts have left strong impressions with me. I would like to mention a few and a quick comment for each:

Sensei Rick Mullin for working on tension so much you shook like a leaf and could not see due to sweat in your eyes.

Sensei Rick Doyle for teaching me back stances for a straight hour and a half so I could barely stand after.

Sensei Reg Lake for the multitude of self defense exercises and lengthy explanations of each.

Sensei Mitch Maxine for pushing everyone past their limits every time he taught.

Sensei Bob Maxine for his diligence in practicing martial arts until it does indeed look like art and his endless witty comments.

There have been several Black Belts earned over the past 10 years. Several of those still work out with us today, but some have had to move on or away from the area. These people have earned my admiration for their talent and diligent study of the martial arts:

Sensei Seana Foster
Sensei Devon MacCallum
Sensei Max MacCallum
Sensei Conner Graybiel

And of course, Sensei Mark Bell. He is a mixture of all his black belts rolled into one. His classes were always well focused on technique. I will always remember one of his sayings, “Practice makes Permanent”, meaning practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. 

Most days that we are open I can be found at the club. We always welcome new students and I am sure that they will enjoy meeting and working out with the black belts and the kyu rank that work out at the club.

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