Don Gee

Don Gee was one of the black belts who was practicing at the University of B.C. dojo when Norman Welch arrived in 1970. The next year, Don would have to decide whether to follow Norman in his decision to join SKA, or to continue practicing with Mr. Tsuruoka’s group as he had been doing since 1968. Don could see that Norman had learned something important about practice from Mr. Ono and Mr. Ohshima, so he decided to follow. As a result, Don has become a very important senior in Canada Shotokan.

Throughout the 1970s, Don led the University of B.C. dojo with Don Jurchuk, and they were famous for leading some really tough practices which often began with long runs and intense calisthenics. In those days the dojo was very big; sometimes as many as 200 beginners would start each year. Don Gee has always believed in leading by example, and largely due to his dedication, the University of B.C. dojo has produced many black belts over the years.

Don Gee credits his karate practice with saving his life in 1982, when he was in a plane crash on the water. He remembered Mr. Ohshima saying that timing is all relative, and somehow when the plane crashed, Don was able to slow the timing down, to control his breathing, and thus he was able to save himself and his fellow passenger as the plane sunk. Don is known for leading tough practices in the dojo.

Don joined several other members of Canada Shotokan and SKA for a trip to Japan in 1986 where he fought on the team, and he also traveled to Idaho for their 20th anniversary in 1987, and to Harmony in 1990, where he tested for yodan. Since that time, Don has been in charge of special trainings, and he also leads senior practice in Vancouver.

In August 2000, Don was promoted to godan at the Grand Opening of the Ohshima dojo in Santa Barbara.