About Mukashi Karate

It all began in the fall of 1977. Paulette Landry, Shodan, returned to the Yarmouth area after completing her university studies and took a position as a French language instructor. It was not long before word came out that she was going to open up a karate school. There had been karate in Yarmouth before, but this was the first official Dojo. Classes were offered to students of the Amirault’s Hill Elementary School from grades six to eight.

Well that first night the tiny gym at Amirault’s Hill was bursting at the seams as upwards of 80 Bruce Lee hopefuls listened to Sensei Landry as she introduced us to the mystical world of martial arts and Chito-Ryu. We trained for 1 hour twice a week and the training was tough. Sensei Landry was in great shape and no one could keep up as she led us through the exercises; running, push ups, sit-ups, hundreds of repetitions of blocks punches and kicks. It was not very long before our numbers had shrunk to approximately 25 serious students.

Once a year Sensei would bring down instructors from the Atlantic Karate Club in Halifax to assist her with gradings. Sensei Michael Delaney and Sensei Michael Smith among others. In those days we did not practice kumite very much, mostly basics and Katas. Shortly after we were graded to Green belt Sensei Delaney informed us that we now had to learn “seisan dachi” and all “new” Chito-Ryu katas instead of zankutsu-dachi and the Heian katas we had been doing. This was a major change and we complained at first, but soon came to understand and appreciate the new techniques. This was approximately 1979 or 80.

In 1982 Sensei Landry stepped down as head instructor for personal reasons. There were 6 or 7 senior belts at the time but no black belts. The group decided that Milton Bourque, brown belt, would take over as chief instructor. The club forged ahead and in 1984 Milton attained Shodan. It was around that time that the Michael Kearney group in Saulnierville began training in Chito-Ryu.

In 1987 The Amirault’s Hill Karate Club moved to the Yarmouth Center and changed its name to Mukashi School of Karate. Mukashi is a Japanese word that means from olden times or traditional. It was also at this time that Randy Bourque developed the present club crest. That year we hosted Soke and Tashiro Sensei from Japan. Over 100 karatekas from near and far attended this clinic, including our friends from Scotland, Fraser and Christina Clarke. This period marked a high point in the club’s history as far as membership, because we had over 60 members on register. The years that followed saw our numbers fluctuate quite a bit due in part to our many location changes. In chronological order:

Amirault’s Hill School
Yarmouth Youth Centre
Yarmouth YMCA
Lake Milo Boat Club
Wedgeport Elementary School
Yarmouth Jr. High
Amirault’s Hill School
Yarmouth Jr. High
Nova Scotia Community College, Burridge campus, Yarmouth                                                                                              1166 Hardcsratch Road, Brooklyn, Yarmouth County

Throughout our history we have always been active members in karate circles. We have hosted a number of summer camps and competitions. Our members have competed Nationally as well as Internationally. One of the top Officials in Nova Scotia is from Mukashi.

Today at 1166 Hardscratch rd Brooklyn we have approximately 20 adult members and 20 Juniors. Upwards of 40 karatekas have achieved their black belt through Mukashi Karate. Some as young as 16, some well past retirement age. Pierre Muise and Randy Bourque were among the first ones to reach this level.

Currently  we have both an adult and a junior program. Today we continue to practice Chito-Ryu karate under Soke Tsuyoshi Chitose, the head of the International Chito-Ryu karate.