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Go to the bottom of the page for the article: Is Your Child a Victim Of Bullying? Anti-Bullying Tips from a Whitby Karate Instructor
By Dr. Adrian Robichaud, Head Sensei, Durham Shorin Ryu Karate, Whitby, ON,

Frequently Asked Questions

Will My Child Become Violent Training In Karate?

No,  your child's self confidence and self-esteem will improve, reducing the likelihood of your child fighting or using violence as a way to assert himself/herself.  We teach children to use their words rather than their fists and to use violence as a last resort.

Why Should I Train With You?

We offer an effective martial art, have several high ranking instructors, our dojo is large, well lit and clean, fully matted and has mirrors.  We also offer separate children and adult classes and traditional weapons.  We have a flexible fee structure geared to your lifestyle and fees do not increase as you go up in rank.   We have ample free parking right in front of the club doors.  We have great product offers including monthly promotions, membership offers and videos on our website for club members and website members to help you improve faster.

Can I Try a Class Before Joining?
You can try two classes for free.  If you want to watch a class or more, we have large windows you can look through in our lobby area or you can even pull up a chair next to the training area for a close up view.

How Long Does It Take To Get My Black Belt?
For most adult students it takes between three and five years of regular training.  For children it takes between five and ten years.  The student must be 16 to obtain the rank of black belt, but may receive a black belt with white stripe (junior black belt) prior to 16 years of age.

Does having my black belt mean I am a master of karate?

No.  It means you have a thorough understanding and high skill level with the basics of karate and many of the kata (forms) in Shorin Ryu karate.

Are there joint locks in karate?
Yes, they are not obvious in the katas or basics, but they are there and we will teach you them.

Do I have to have prior training to train at your dojo?

No.  We teach people of all fitness levels and skill levels.  Our instructors know how to teach you and pace you at your level.  Sensei Dr. Adrian Robichaud's knowledge and experience as a chiropractor and martial arts instructor make him uniquely and highly qualified to train you.

Do you train students for tournament fighting and demonstrations?

No.  Training for tournaments is quite different from training in traditional karate and for self defense and we train for self defense and the art form of karate.  You are welcome to enter tournaments if you wish.

Are you a fight club or train people for mixed martial arts (MMA) full contact fights?
No,  If you want to do that kind of fighting I do recommend that you get a good base in one martial art before learning others and karate is a great way to do that.

Do You Spar?
Yes.  We spar at varying levels from non-contact to light and medium contact.   We do this for safety and comfort reasons.  Not everyone likes sparring, but working against an opponent in a random way helps to teach you things you cannot learn from pre-arranged sparring and kata alone.

Why do you do kata?
Kata are an excellent way to train internal body timing, speed, power, balance and co-ordination without the pressure of an opponent.  Katas help you learn how to control yourself.  As I tell the kids, you must first learn to control yourself before you can control another.

How do I pronounce different karate terms?

There are dozens of karate terms used in class.  Usually the sensei will use English as well as Japanese and show you the move you are expected to do, so do not worry about knowing all the terms in Japanese.  Here is a link to another Matsubyashi karate website that has the terms in Japanese with English characters to help you pronounce them:

My question is not answered here, how can I contact you to find out more?
You can phone Sensei Robichaud at his clinic number at 905-571-0821 or email him.



Is Your Child a Victim Of Bullying? Anti-Bullying Tips from a Whitby Karate Instructor

By Dr. Adrian Robichaud, Head Sensei, Durham Shorin Ryu Karate, Whitby, ON,

Every day it seems, we hear about bullying and the suicides as a result.  Violence is always possible and so these tips may save your child from suffering.

The statistics are alarming.  One in five children report being affected by bullying and between 14% and 19% report being victims of bullying.[i]  In a Canadian study published in 1997, involving 4,763 children from grades one through eight, 6% admitted bullying others, 15% reported being victimized and 2% reported being both bullies and victims[ii] Further research published in 2003 showed that 10% of boys and 7 % of girls bullied others and 17% of boys and 18% of girls were their targets.[iii]

Fortunately, there are ways you can help protect your child.  Because appearing insecure invites more bullying, the first thing to help your child is to teach him/her to assume a confident posture.[iv]  Confident posture is one in which his/her shoulders are rotated outwards by standing with the hands in a position with the thumbs facing forward, the chin parallel to the ground and the stomach muscles gently tightened.  Relaxed breathing also aids in projecting confidence as does looking far in the distance. 

Wearing a hat instead of a hood in the winter will help prevent loss of peripheral vision, which of course would reduce the likelihood of seeing the oncoming attacker.  Wear a high colored jacket done up to the top with the scarf hidden below the clothing rather than out in the open around the neck.  Having the scarf out in the open gives the attacker something he/she can use against your child to pull on or with which to choke.

Have your child choose familiar routes and whenever possible avoid cutting through poorly lit areas, back alleys or the yards of houses.  Also, have your child travel with other children or even better, an adult.  An extra set of eyes can deter a would be attacker from proceeding with an attack[v] as well as greatly increase the possibility of a yell for help being heard or at least one of the children getting away to get help.  One of the key elements in bullying is an imbalance of power[vi] and having friends around helps to reduce this imbalance.

Get your child a cellular phone he/she can use to call 9-1-1.  While this may not prevent an attack, or abduction, it may give the police a place to start either from a call or from the phones closest cellular tower.

Openly communicate with your child and provide a safe place for open communication.  Don’t rely upon the child’s teacher to catch it.  Teachers only catch 4% of incidents.[vii]  Often attackers/bullies escalate.  If you find out early on that, there is a potentially violent situation or bullying is already in progress you can intervene by contacting the child’s school and when needed, getting your child counseling.  In studying the Columbine massacre, the US Secret Service found that “the attacker ‘bullied, attacked, threatened or persecuted’ prior to the incident.”[viii]

Enrol your child in a martial arts program.  In my experience as an instructor and student, children in such a program exhibit greater self-confidence; self esteem, have greater focus and are less likely to engage in violent behavior.  Importantly according to Glew et al bullying occurs when, amongst other things, the “victim [is] unable to defend himself or herself.”[ix]

For more thorough information on bullying and how to prevent it you may wish to read:  A Look at Bullying in Canada by Heidi Angeles M.D., Heather Leonard M.D. Pediatric Residents, University of Alberta.  You may also go online to

Dr. Adrian Robichaud is the owner and head instructor of Durham Shorin Ryu Karate.  He has over 18 years of training experience and teaches students from five years of age.  He offers a free trial of two classes and you are always welcome to come and watch a class. For more information visit or email Dr. Robichaud at


[i] CMAJ, October 2001, 165 (9)

[ii] Pepler and Craig, 1997

[iii] Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, October 2003, Vol 48(9)

[iv] A Look at Bullying in Canada by Heidi Angeles M.D., Heather Leonard M.D. Pediatric Residents, University of Alberta 82

[v] Perry et al, Develop Psychol, 1988

[vi] A Look at Bullying in Canada by Heidi Angeles M.D., Heather Leonard M.D. Pediatric Residents, University of Alberta
[vii] Pepler and Craig, 1997

[viii] US Safe School Initiative, Washington DC

[ix] Glew et. al. Pediatrics in Review, 2000; 21:183-18

Durham Shorin Ryu Karate

15 Thickson Road North, Unit #10

Whitby, Ontario  L1N 8W7

tel: 289-240-2719