When Terry Ladan was growing up in Barrhead he wanted to learn karate.
Unfortunately, at the time there were no karate club or instructors in the area so his want stayed exactly that, a want. At least, until he went away to pursue his post-secondary education in Lethbridge.
“I saw a karate-do school and I knew I just had to do it,” he told the Leader, shortly before leading a group of students through a class.
After graduating post-secondary school Ladan spent a number of years in Lethbridge before returning home to Barrhead.
And when he did return he didn’t start teaching karate in Barrhead, opting instead for the Cherhill and Meadowview areas.
Eventually that changed when the sensei of the Barrhead Judo Club Dave McKenzie visited one of his classes in Meadowview. It was McKenzie, who told him he could reach more students if he joined him in Barrhead.
However, Ladan didn’t come right away.
“Every couple of years he would come by and say you have to come and teach,” Ladan said, adding he accepted McKenzie’s offer about two years ago.
As for the style of karate the 4th dan black belt said it is shiriou karate.
“Originally karate was one style and it came from China, but when it got to Japan it started to branch out into more and more styles,” he said, adding his master studied three different styles of karate before coming up with his variation. “Karate is kind of like that, each master tries to bring something different and unique to the style.”
Ladan’s version of shiriou, like the majority of karate styles, includes a wide variety of standing striking techniques using both hands and feet.
Because of his background and training in law enforcement, Ladan works in the probation system, also includes weapons self-defense.
“Just so that my students are prepared if that situation were ever to occur,” he said.
However, Ladan said what he emphasizes most at his studio is skill and character development.
“We are very traditional here. We call it karate-do. Karate is the action and the do is the philosophy,” he said. “It is the joining of action and philosophy that is why we call it an art because we are always learning.”