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Barrie Karate offers classes for all ages and abilities with training that can benefit everyone

Karate summer camp is the ideal way for kids to train their mind and body while having fun!
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With the pandemic finally in our rear view mirrors, and with summer fast-approaching, in-person summer activities have officially returned.

And while there are many team-based activities you could consider, if you want your kids to participate in something that will help them build confidence, learn discipline and focus, karate is the ideal activity, said Dan McDougall, founder and Sensei at Barrie Karate.

“Team type sports are great, but karate is more beneficial to the individual,” he said. “There’s also the camaraderie and community that develops with some people making lifelong friends in martial arts, but as far as a team or competitive environment, it’s quite the opposite, you have your own struggles, but you have your own victories as well.”

This July, Barrie Karate is hosting their summer camp, the first in-person camp since 2019, offering kids ages five through 12 a chance to not only learn the basics of karate, but also to make new friends and memories in a fun and engaging atmosphere.

“After a couple years of forced screen time, it’s important to get kids off the couch, away from their screens, and into an activity that encourages physical conditioning and positive mental stimulation,” McDougall said.

Barrie Karate is a longstanding member of the community offering karate lessons for everyone

Karate is a unique sport that can be beneficial to anyone regardless of age or ability level. McDougall said that they have classes for kids as young as four and currently, have a student that’s 67, so it’s a truly accessible activity that can be equally challenging and fulfilling for anyone.

“Ability doesn’t matter and age is not a factor, and this is the reason it’s very individualized training,” he said. “So what we like to do is challenge the student just above their ability level and we meet them wherever they’re at.”

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Lil’ Dragons is offered for ages four to seven, where kids are exposed to positive social interaction and how to follow direction. Junior Karate is for kids ages eight through 12, where respect, discipline and control are stressed and demonstrated within each class, and Teen/Adults is for anyone 13 and older, where training becomes more focussed and serious, learning and perfecting the physical skills of karate.

Teaching a traditional style of karate from Okinawa, where Karate originated, called Goju-ryu, McDougall said while they aim to teach their students skills like coordination, physical fitness and balance, their main focus is to help cultivate good behaviour and teach core values such as discipline, respect and focus, which also benefits them in their daily lives.

Barrie Karate provides a welcoming atmosphere where the entire family can train

McDougall said often times, when they take on a student they take on their entire family as well. This is because they offer a family plan where when two enroll, the rest of the family is free, and parents are training along with their children.

“Barrie Karate is like an extended family, and as new students qualify to train with us, we often get multiple members of the family start training too.” said McDougall.

Opened in 1997, McDougall has been operating Barrie Karate for the past 25 years, and last year, they welcomed Raki Sensei, a member of the Japan Karate Federation, from Japan to become their newest instructor.

“Karate is his life, he’s very passionate and family-oriented so his value structure is all about family,” he said. “The students love him and he’s brought new energy to the dojo and his extreme passion continues to be inspiring,” adding that Raki’s value and passion align perfectly with the values they already adhere to at Barrie Karate.

Barrie Karate is an established and respected dojo that has been a mainstay in the Barrie community for the past 25 years. Their longevity can be attributed to their professionalism, with their instructors having decades of experience of offering traditional martial arts training in a safe, clean and friendly environment.


That said, McDougall cautions that not all martial arts studios are created equal and the industry isn’t regulated, meaning anyone can offer karate lessons. He wants to caution people to do their research when choosing a dojo, to ensure that you or your children feel comfortable with the facility and instructors, and experience the best that karate training has to offer.

“There are many people who teach martial arts as a hobby and that work a full-time job during the day, but we’re different. We are a full-time dojo, this is not just our career, this is our passion,” he said.

To learn more about Barrie Karate’s summer camp program, call them at 705-812-8022 or e mail [email protected] them today! You can also visit their Facebook page to learn more.