Friends, family mourn Parksville martial arts instructor who died of rabies

Watch21-year-old remembered as having an incredible way with his students

A floral tribute is growing outside Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville.

The flowers are in memory of 21-year-old Nick Major who died Saturday after contracting rabies from a bat encounter in May.

Major was a martial arts instructor and his loss has left his community reeling.

“Sweetest guy you’ll ever meet,” said Brett Fee, co-owner of Cascadia Martial Arts.

“He was great with kids, respectful to adults. He had a conscience. He had integrity.”

In May, Major was struck by a bat when it flew into him. He wasn’t concerned about the brief encounter, but weeks later, he contracted rabies.

“Who would’ve thought that was a bat bite?” said Fee.

“We had thought he just slept on his arm funny so he needed a day off so we said ‘Nick, stay home until you’re better.’ Never saw him again.”

Major started learning martial arts at Cascadia as a child. He learned taekwondo, eventually earning a third-degree black belt. He started teaching at the studio six years ago taking on full-time hours once he graduated from high school.

He was planning on completing his fourth-degree black belt this summer.

“A young life taken too early,” said Fee.

“Regardless of how it happened, it’s a tragedy for all of us. The fact that it’s such a rare thing makes you wonder how and why it would happen to us and why it would happen to him and his family?”

Fee now takes some solace in reading the many social media posts remembering Major.

He says Major’s death has left a huge void in the martial arts community.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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