Sensei Chris Walker, Yondan (4th dan), is the chief instructor for the Association of Shotokan Karate and ASK member club Banzai Karate. Sensei Chris has over 30 years of experience in training, competing and coaching. He was a member of the Karate Alberta Provincial Team from 1985 to 2004, representing the Province of Alberta in national karate championships for approximately 19 years. During the same period he represented Canada in international competitions and competed for his own club across North and Central America, Asia, Europe and Russia. Sensei Chris has been retired from active competition since 2004. He holds a certificate from the National Coaching Certification Program and is an assistant coach with Karate Alberta. In addition to time spent teaching classes at each dojo, Sensei Chris spends hundreds of hours each year supporting athletes from his dojo at Karate Alberta team training sessions, regional, provincial, national and international tournaments and training camps offered to Association of Shotokan Karate members only.
Sensei Kristie Schafer is a Sandan (3rd dan) and assistant instructor for the ASK. Sensei Kristie has been training in karate since 1998 and has competed at the provincial, national and international levels since 2000. She has competed at 14 Canadian National Championships and was the 2013 Canadian Heavyweight Kumite Champion. Kristie became a provincial coach in 2013 and is currently working to become a Certified Coach with the National Coaching Certification Program. Sensei Kristie opened her new dojo, Waza-ari Karate Club, in South Calgary in January 2016.
A 5th degree black belt with over 35 years of Shotokan Karate training, mainly in South Africa, Sensei Marc Ward has comprehensive teaching experience as well as a great understanding of physical conditioning (Certified Personal Trainer – Health & Fitness Professionals Association of South Africa). Sensei Marc’s teaching combines traditional aspects of martial arts and an understanding of self-defence with discipline and proper fitness development. He is the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) master learning facilitator for Alberta. Sensei Marc’s technical experience allowed him to become a national and Pan-American level official as well as the chief official for Karate Alberta. He was recently elected to the position of President of Karate Alberta for the period of 2015 to 2017 and re-elected to the Karate Canada board of directors.
A second-degree (2nd Dan) black belt since November 2015, Senpai Jake Pickering has always had a passion for learning and teaching karate. Numerous provincial competitions – including three appearances at the Karate Canada National Championships – serve to further his knowledge and his pursuit to give the best instruction possible. Senpai Jake is National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP)-certified to teach beginner karate, and loves every second of doing it.
Senpai Denys Bedard has had a lifelong interest in martial arts beginning with his first discipline of judo in the early 70’s and then later seeking out many notable karate teachers in the gosoku-ryu and traditional Shotokan styles. Senpai Denys began his training in the ASK member club Banzai Karate with Sensei Chris Walker in 2002 and earned his Shodan (1st dan) in 2008. He founded Pine Waves Dojo, an ASK member club in north Calgary in 2011, but reluctantly had to close the club when he relocated to British Columbia.