Welcome to the Okotoks Karate Dojo.
The Instructor is Sensei Steve Vinden. Sensei Steve started his journey in Martial Arts in 1977 at a Shotokan Dojo in Vancouver, BC. He trained there for 2 years (77-79) before his parents were posted to Chilliwack, BC. With no Karate Dojo within walking distance he studied Judo for just over 2 years (79-82) before moving again, this time to England. It was here that he feels his real journey began as this is where Sensei Steve met his Sensei, Bill Bishop. Sensei Bill taught Wado-Ryu and was a true warrior in many ways. Sensei Steve was awarded his Shodan (1st dan/degree) black belt in 1987 and continued to train until 1992 when Sensei Bill passed away.
Sensei Steve began studying Goju-Ryu Karate in 2004 at the Meibukan Goju Karate Winnipeg Dojo under Sensei Kim Marshall. Sensei Steve was an active member of the dojo and was often found on the floor in a teaching position, beginning in 2008. In 2010, Sensei Steve decided to grade to Shodan. He was granted permission to open his own dojo in 2011 when he moved to Okotoks, AB.
Sensei Steve has also trained in Lau Gar Kung Fu, Okinawa Kobudo (weapons), unarmed combat (with the Canadian Armed Forces), Kyusho JuJitsu (pressure point striking) and Aikido.
Sensei Steve truly believes in "Shoshin" or "Beginners Mind." It is with this belief that he has continued to visit and train at dojos of various styles of martial arts and has often worn his white belt to show his openness to learn from other teachers. "In a beginner's mind there are many options, in the experts mind there are few."
Sensei Steve has been lucky to train with and be taught by some truly gifted Martial Artists such as Master Yagi Meitatsu Sensei, 10th Dan Hanshi, President and Chief Instructor of the International Meibukan Goju-ryu Karate Association; Kyoshi Yagi, Akihto 7th Dan, Renshi, Yagi, Akihiro, 6th Dan; Kyoshi William (Bill) Hind, 8th Dan, President and Chief Instructor of the Canada Goju Karate Association. Also Sensei Tatsuo Suzuki, 8th Dan, Founder of the Wado-Ryu International Karate-Do Federation; Sensei Masafumi Shiomitsu, 9th Dan, Chief Instructor Wado-Ryu Karate Do Academy; Sensei Fumio Sugasawa, 7th Dan, Founder Wado-Ryu Karate Do Federation.
Steve Vinden is an RMT (Registered Massage Therapist) and has been practicing since 1999 after graduating from a three year Massage Therapy program at Sir Sanford Fleming College in Peterborough, ON. As part of his training and ongoing studies, he has developed an outstanding knowledge of the physical and mental makeup of the human body.