RRFN Seikido Taekwondo wraps up successful year

By Allan Bradbury
Staff Writer

The Rainy River First Nations (RRFN) Seikido Taekwondo Club held its first ever local tournament at the RRFN Powwow Grounds on May 27.

This year was a year of growth for the club as they expanded to have classes in four locations with two classes each.

Master Haley Broadbent says she thinks the popularity has been driven by the fact that she holds her classes in the communities.

“We’re right in Indigenous communities,” Broadbent said. “We’re right in Big Grassy (First Nation), we’re right in Couchiching, we’re right in Manitou. We try to reduce the barriers to participation as much as we can as well. There’s no cost for uniforms, we have club uniforms and membership dues are really low because they just cover the costs.”

Teaching the ability to defend yourself is another thing that Broadbent feels would make the martial arts classes attractive.

For the tournament last month, Broadbent began planning months ago with a proposal to RRFN Chief and Council to use the powwow grounds. The club also invited several black belts from London, ON to participate in addition to the local students.

“We spent the day competing in patterns, sparring, and board breaking,” Broadbent said. “We did it outside in the sunshine, it was a gorgeous day. We took our time because it was really hot.”

Other masters were on hand to judge the competition and Broadbent says that was a different experience.

“It was interesting to have my peers judging my students,” she said. “Most of the students competing were from the four Seikido classes up here and we had a handful of students from outside of our club completely, which was kind of cool. It was a very humbling but interesting experience having my peers, my friends, my colleagues from southern Ontario come up and judge my students.”

Broadbent said she was pleased with her students’ showing at the event.

“They represented very well overall,” Broadbent said. “I heard that they have awesome blocking…their self-defense was on point, I heard lots of good things about their self-defense, especially in the women’s category.”

Broadbent says the students were pleased to meet black belts aside from their regular teachers.

“The black belts that came up from London were amazing with all the participants,” Broadbent said. “They answered any questions, they helped with any techniques that students were struggling with or wanted to know about.”

Rainy River First Nations Seikido Taekwondo Club will be accepting registrations for this fall sometime in August. For more information about registration, visit their Facebook page.

Members of the The Rainy River First Nations (RRFN) Seikido Taekwondo Club took part in the club’s first local tournament, with took place at the RRFN Powwow grounds. – Cory Westover photo