Photo of Sensei and student bowing

Hope Yama Dojo

Hope, British Columbia, Canada

"All things begin with one."- Tatsuo Shimabuku

Losier's Isshin Ryu Karate School patch

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•  Our Name

•  Brief Dojo History

•  Sho Dan Grading and Potluck Dinner

•  Training Seminars

•  Annual Isshin Ryu Karate Shiai

•  Footnotes

Our Name

The name of our dojo, "Hope Yama Dojo", has three components:

•  Hope  -  which stands for the community of Hope,

•  Yama  -  which means 'mountain', and

•  Dojo  -  which means 'training hall'.

Together, the name of our dojo means "Hope Mountain Training Hall".

Photo of Mount Hope

The above photograph shows Hope Mountain, one of our community's picturesque mountains. Hope Mountain is in the Skagit Range of the Cascade Mountains, and its elevation is 1850 metres (6026 feet).

The photo was taken by former Hope Yama Dojo student Jackie Gartner, Sho Dan, who graciously allowed it to be used on our website.

The Kanji (pictograms, or the Japanese characters superimposed over the photo) translate as "Hope Yama Dojo". Our sincere thanks and appreciation to Sensei A.J. Advincula, who specially did the Kanji for this photo.

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Brief Dojo History

Isshin Ryu Karate was introduced to Hope, British Columbia by Sensei Don Shapland in the early 1980s.

In late 1991, Sensei Norm Losier took over the Hope dojo, which had been closed for two years. The first formal or registered class was held in January 1992. There were 23 students that month.

On January 20, 1997, Hope Yama Dojo celebrated its fifth anniversary under the direction of Sensei Norm. A few weeks later, in March 1997, Sensei Hidemi Tamayose, 8th Dan, Ryukyu Kobudo, was in Canada for a four-day training seminar at the Gojo Meibu Kai hosted by Frank Clayton. Sensei Tamayose has been teaching Kobudo seminars in Canada and the U.S. since 1995. He travels with his senior student and interpreter Sensei Don Shapland. Sensei Tamayose’s "purpose is to promote correct Ryukyu Kobudo throughout the world". (Ryukyu Kobudo is an original weapons system from Okinawa.)1

The following year, Hope Yama Dojo hosted a one-day seminar with Sensei A.J. Advincula on October 31, 1998. Sensei and students worked on Seisan and Seiunchin kata, with special attention to body mechanics, stances, drills and bunkai.

An Isshinkai Tomonokai Seminar led by Sensei A.J. Advincula was held July 20-22, 2001. Sensei Norm and students from our Dojo attended.

In mid-2002, Sensei Norm became the owner of the Dojo building. With the help of his students, Sensei began renovating and upgrading the Dojo, an on-going task that brings much satisfaction.

Presently, 65 students train at Hope Yama Dojo, 15 adults and 50 children.

Sensei Norm dedicates not only his time, but his heart to each of his students. He strives to produce dedicated and hard working students, who are examples of true Isshin Ryu martial artists. Sensei Norm often quotes Sensei Funakoshi: "The ultimate aim of karate lies not in victory or defeat, but in the development of one's character."2

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Sho Dan Grading and Potluck Dinner

Once a year in January, a Sho Dan (black belt) grading takes place. Following the grading, Hope Yama Dojo hosts a potluck dinner at which all Dojo students, their families and guests are invited. The dinner is a time of great fun and celebration.

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Training Seminars

Hope Yama Dojo students are encouraged to attend training seminars as they become available, whether at our Dojo or at other dojo in Canada and the U.S.A. We offer seminars for kyu and dan adults, for dan adults, and for kyu children.

It has been our Dojo's honour to host special guests at our on-site seminars, including the following Sensei: A.J. Advincula, Victor Arcega, (the late) Sherman Harrill, Tamayose Hidemi, John Kerker, Don Shapland, George Shin, and Kensho Tokomura.

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Annual Isshin Ryu Karate Shiai

Since 1997, Hope Yama Dojo hosts its annual Isshin Ryu Karate Shiai in the late autumn. The annual Shiai provides an opportunity to meet new people from other dojo, as well as provide a venue where students display their skills, have fun, and perform for family and friends.

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1. "Kaicho Tamayose Hidemi, 9. Dan, Hanshi". Retrieved 3 July 2007 from Ryukyu Kobudo Tesshinkan - "The Original Ryukyu Weapons System" on the World Wide Web:

2. Personal communication, N. Losier, 23 March 2003, paraphrasing Gichin Funakoshi, founder of Shotokan.

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