Dale Sherwood, 1st Dan – Sackville, NB, Canada

Dale Sherwood, 1st Dan, started training in January 2016, in Sackville, New Brunswick, under Sensei Norm Robitza.

Dale started training because of a fascination he had with the art since a young age.

“Life slips by quickly and so do our dreams if we don’t take action. I decided it was finally time to take action and make karate a priority and commit to learning the art.”

Karate being a complex art that takes a lifetime to master is perfect for his character. He enjoys a challenge and karate has challenged him daily to seek perfection in his character. Dale follows the Dojo Kun to the best of his ability. He has learned that the art is about mental focus, protecting others and refraining from violence.

“I have felt like I should intervene when someone is being victimized by an aggressor or bully. Karate will help me to be able to end the violence if a situation ever occurs.”

Karate also helps with his cardio training. Dale is a former boxer and enjoys physical activities and weight training.

Dale started training with Sensei Norm and Sensei Jolene Robitza at the Mount Allison Shotokan Karate Club in Sackville, NB. Not long after, added to his training by enrolling in classes at the Amherst Shotokan Karate Academy under the instruction of Shihan David and Shihan Janice Pyke.

“I am so honored to train under such amazing instructors. When I decided I was going to look for a karate club in my area, I never expected to have the top notch instruction I receive. I just knew that when I seen the website for the Mount Allison club I wanted to learn from Sensei Norm. He reminded me of a samurai.”

(Side note: For those of you that don’t know, Sensei Norm Robitza wears his hair in a top-knot when he trains.)

Dale has been a dedicated student since he started training. He would take his lunch break to go to the dojo if he was working a evening shift. He dedicates himself to trying to train 6 classes a week. He was focused on achieving his black belt before he turned 48. He trained hard, attended every clinic and rank test. Over the last 3 years he has done kyu exams with Shihan Josef Woon-A-Tai, Shihan David Pyke, Shihan Maureen Woon-A-Tai, Shihan Dexter Shim, Shihan Keith DaCosta and Shihan Frank Woon-A-Tai. His hard work paid off on November 30 when he was promted to Shodan by Shuseki Shihan Woon-A-Tai. He was 45 at the time.

“My new goal is to do anything I can! I want to learn how to be a judge, focus on my Nidan and maybe enroll in the instructor’s program some day.”

Dale has competed in two regional tournaments. The first was in the Spring of 2016 where he captured a gold medal and a bronze medal. The second tournament was in the Spring of 2018 where he earned a silver medal and just missed out on a bronze medal in a kumite match against his instructor Sensei Robitza.

“Shortly after becoming a brown belt, in the summer of 2017, I was attending a Brown and Black Belt class in Amherst. Classes empty out in the summer and only the most dedicated students continue to train. Sensei Norm told me that these are the classes where I would learn a lot because of the small attendance. When the class was about to begin, I was the only student along with Shihan David Pyke and Sensei Norm Robitza. Shihan David asked what I wanted to do and I smiled and said let’s spar. Shihan David looked to Sensei Norm and I remember them smirking at each other. Shihan David said ok. We did a few katas to warm up and then it was on. I sparred for 1 minute with each of them rotating out. It was so much fun but I realize now they were just toying with me. I will never forget one of the last matches with Shihan David. He made a slight movement and I must have flinched or blinked or something. Because when I opened my eyes there was a back kick in my chest. I didn’t see it coming. I will never forget that.”

Dale has attended the Prince Edward Island Karate Camp for a few years and enjoys the training and social aspect of the camp. Shihan Janice Pyke and Sensei Norm Robitza have been telling him how much he would love the IKD World Camp and he hopes to attend in the near future.

When not working or training in Karate, he can be found riding his Harley or taking the 4 wheeler out on a trail. He loves to exercise, hunting, fishing and going camping. Anything that allows him to spend time with his family. He also loves to read and has read several karate books that have been recommended to him.

Dale works as a Grocery Manager for Loblaws as the Sackville Your Independent Grocer.

“Karate has enabled me to meet a lot of great people who share the same interests and goals as I do.”

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