Wisdom Wednesday

Another great article featuring Hanshi Ken Tallack, his induction into the Canadian Black Belt Hall of Fame, and our upcoming Salvation Army Fundraiser! – https://www.kingstonregion.com/news-story/7913103-kingston-martial-artist-inducted-into-black-belt-hall-of-fame/

Kingston martial artist inducted into black belt hall of fame

NEWS Nov 11, 2017 by Mandy Marciniak  Kingston Heritage

Ken Tallack was inducted into the Canadian Black Belt Hall of Fame on Nov. 4 at a ceremony in Gatineau. Mandy Marciniak/Metroalnd


Ken Tallack is well known in the Kingston community as a premiere martial artist and earlier this month he added to that reputation with an induction into the Canadian Black Belt Hall of Fame.

“There are 80 people in the hall of fame including this year’s inductees,” he explained. “It is not a very large group, but it is a dedicated group.”

For Tallack, the ceremony, held in Gatineau on Nov. 4, felt more like a reunion than a formal ceremony, and he was happy to connect with so many friends and colleagues.

“We have crossed paths over the years so many times and one of the things we all have in common is our desire to continue to do work for the next generation,” he said.

Talllack has been practicing martial arts since he was a child in London, Ontario and what originated as a hobby has become a lifestyle and vocation for the now Hanshi. It is that lifestyle that he works to teach in his own studio in Kingston and he feels he is unique in that style of teaching.

“In North America people look at martial arts as a sport, but what I teach personally is more the cultural activity of Japanese martial art and Chinese martial art as well,” he said.  “It is all underscored with self-defence and that is what it is at the core, but more generally in the classes I teach the history, philosophy and psychology of self-defence and martial art. These are the things that interest me the most.”

Over the years Tallack has taken students to Kyoto to learn more about the culture of martial arts. Along the way, he has continued his own education and continues to see its benefits.

“I am now a ninth degree black belt and I have also received a lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Karate and Kung Fu Association,” he explained. “For me that was a huge accomplishment because the members are people I grew up with and still practice with.”

Tallack is also proud of how much the martial arts community has grown in Canada over his career and according to him, the 80 people inducted into the hall of fame have helped millions of Canadians learn over the years.

“Personally I am responsible for at least 100,000 people,” he said. “Even in rural communities there are martial arts schools and that is great to see. I have seen it go from a small, misunderstood hobby to an internationally recognized activity.”

It is that growth and love for the activity that keep Tallack going and he sees this recent induction as motivation to do more of the same, but he also hopes it inspires others.

“Awards like this are really meant to inspire the other people around you,” he said.  “It is nice to receive it but what matters is whether or not it inspires the others around us.”

Tallack also works to inspire his students to do more for their community; that includes helping at the Boys and Girls Club, and fundraising for organizations like the food bank and Salvation Army.

“We have raised over $100,000 for the Salvation Army over the years,” he said.  ” I have been privileged to raise generations of Canadian youth with the concept of working for something greater than themselves through that. That is a big part of what we do here and a big part of my personal philosophy.”

This commitment to fundraising will continue with the annual 500 technique challenge and fundriaser on Nov. 25 at Cataraqui Woods Elementary School. Students have been collecting sponsors for the event and Tallack hopes it will be another successful year.

Overall, Tallack  just hopes he can keep doing what he does in the community and inspiring young people to learn martial arts; for him that is the best part of it all.

“For me it is the people that inspire me to keep going,” he said. “I love the reactions I get form the students in the classes every day and the joy I get from teaching them. I just want to continue what I am doing and continue to inspire people through that.”

For more information about Tallack Martial Arts and their upcoming fundraiser on Nov. 25 visit https://kingstonkarate.com/

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