Instructor Ken Sumner of Sylvan Lake Arashi-Do received a unique honour last week.
After winning his division the weekend of September 24 at Submission Series in Edmonton, Sumner was approached by a documentary film crew for an upcoming television show “Beyond the Cage.”
“It follows Martial Arts competitors, as well as coaches, around on a day-to-day basis,” Sumner said. “It is being funded by the government of Alberta and it is expected to be picked up by Shaw TV.”
He added that they “followed me around – as well as my wife and my two kids and they showed what I do teaching the kids – as well as the adults.”
Sumner hopes that the exposure for this program will not only showcase Arashi-Do, in Sylvan Lake – but what the Town has to offer as well.
“I’m hoping it shows that Sylvan Lake is a nice community all year long,” he said.
The program is focusing on 52 different gyms across Alberta, which gives Sumner the opportunity to gain some perspective on how his gym performs comparatively.
“I asked the guy ‘in your experience going to the other schools for the other 52 episodes – what is unique about Sylvan Lake?’,” Sumner said. He said ‘there’s two things I see: one being I can tell you really enjoy teaching the kids and the other thing was there is a lot less ego in Sylvan. It is very positive”
That positivity is something that Arashi-Do preaches to its students
“For Arashi-Do – that is very common,” he said. “Something we really believe in is that you have to enjoy teaching the kids.”
“Creating a positive enjoyable atmosphere for people to stay and learn.”
Sumner is hoping that the experience at his gym will gain some exposure from the documentary series.
“I hope it gets out there that we will be out there,” Sumner said. “I’m going to keep teaching the way I always have and it seems to be working well. I hope everyone can see the positive energy that martial arts could bring to them.”
Sumner was happy that the film makers were able to recognize something he was working towards.
“It’s great to see someone who has no connection to the gym and say ‘I see what you are trying to do’,” he said, adding that he was excited about the experience and that his gym is always accepting new people.