UVic Student keeps karate alive and well in Langford community

UVic Student keeps karate alive and well in Langford community

The Westshore karate scene took a big hit when Olsen’s Martial Arts closed their doors for good.

But one Langford resident took it upon himself to keep the sport alive and well in the community.

Nick Carter-Desbiens was introduced to karate at just five years old.

“I got started in it because I was a really shy kid growing up, and I had a bit of a stutter, and my mom read somewhere that in order to help with my shyness, karate would help benefit me. I was put in it and I had so much fun, and 17 years later here I am.”

Nick trained at Olsen’s Gym in the Westshore, but after nearly 20 years of operation, the gym shut it’s doors.

“The first thing I thought originally was, maybe I’ll find a new place to train, but it was really difficult because that would’ve been an end of an era. I went with all of Nathan, who is the owner, I went through all of his family, his dad, his mom, his two sisters, and so they felt like family for the past 17 years. and so, right away I had to figure out something new to do.”

And so Nick opened his own dojo – Vancouver Island Shotokan Karate.

“Basically, it was approached to me by Nathan, who suggested me to keep going with it. I paid attention to the business side of things back when he was doing it, and so I just tried to pick up everything that I could, while I could.”

And his students are very appreciative.

“Really grateful, because I just love this dojo and since I’ve been coming here for so long if I went to a different dojo it wouldn’t really be the same. because the way we do it here at Olsen’s, it’s different than any other dojo.”

“I can make new friends when people come here and I learn new things and new moves and everything like that.”

Nick says it’s his passion to keep karate alive and well in the community.

“Essentially, a lot of places focus more on the fighting aspect, which I’m not trying to put forward, that’s not what I’ve learned over the years. so I want to pass forward to the kids, the discipline and respect I learned.”

And Nick learns a thing or two from his students as well.

“Yeah, definitely, it definitely keeps me down to earth with these guys.”

Tyler BennettTyler Bennett

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