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Banff Dojo

The Banff Kyokushin Karate Club started in August of 2001. The club practices all aspects of Kyokushin Karate with emphasis on realistic, full contact sparring. A trait that separates Kyokushin Karate from many others.

Black Belt Members:

  • Daymon Miller (Head Instructor)
  • Julie Miller (Instructor, administrator)
  • Jeff Hines (founder)

1st Kyu Members

  • Tyler Pecsi
  • Stephane Goulet

Dojo Timeline:

  • 1998 – Banff Karate opens in the Banff Springs Hotel Fitness Centre (Called Banff Shinseikai Karate).  Sempai Taka Saitoh is head instructor, Jeff Hines is one of the first students, having also trained in the same style at a dojo in Whistler
  • 1999 – (Fall) Daymon Miller joins Banff Karate.
  • Membership in Banff Karate is approximately 8.
  • 2000 – (Spring), Sempai Taka returns to Japan for personal reasons, Sempai Jeff (Green belt) assumes head instructor role and teaches all classes.
  • 2001 – (January)  Sempai Jeff adds a children’s class to the schedule.  Karate becomes very popular and many young students join.  A second location, The Banff YWCA conference room is added and used for children’s classes.
  • 2001 – (Spring) Banff Karate becomes dissatisfied with parent organization of Shinsekai and opts to leave.
  •  Total membership in Banff Karate is 30+
  • 2001 (early summer) – Jeff Hines and Daymon Miller approach Kyokushin Karate via sensei Brad at the Calgary Dojo, seeking to join Kyokushin.  Sensei Brad directs us to Sempai Steve Gobby who runs the Cochrane and Water Valley Dojo’s.
  • 2001 (August) – Shihan Don Corrigal, Sempai Steve Gobby, Sempai Brad Gillespi and a few students from Calgary trek to Banff to welcome the Banff Dojo into Kyokushin.  The inaugural Banff Kyokushin Karate (BKK) practice is held in the Banff Springs Hotel dojo in the fitness centre.
  • Sempai Steve Gobby becomes the head instructor for the Banff Kyokushin Karate Dojo, teaching all classes
  • 2001 (December) BKK moves all practices to the YWCA
  • 2002 – BKK moves all practices to the Elementary School
  • Membership is 50+ students
  • 2004 Jeff Hines earns rank of Shodan, and becomes the first black belt from BKK
  • 2004 (winter) – BKK opens a second dojo in Canmore in order to expand Kyokushin.  Tyler Pecsi (6 yrs old) and mother Julie Pecsi become members.  The dojo is short lived and closes after a few months.  Julie and Tyler continue to train at the Banff dojo.
  • 2005 First Foothills Tournament held in Banff and co-hosted with Calgary and Bearspaw dojos, with the intent of rotating the tournament location yearly.  The Foothills tournament would evolve into the Calgary Cup.
  • 2006 – Julie Pecsi takes on role of club administrator
  • 2007 (September) – BKK opens its own Dojo and studio space after countless volunteer hours demolishing and renovating a basement section of the Clocktower Mall.  Access is from the Alley.  Adult practice is held at the dojo.  Children’s classes are held at the Banff Elementary School
  • 2007 – Due to popularity and demand, a junior class (5-7 yrs old) is added to the training schedule
  • 2009 (Summer) – Daymon Miller earns Shodan, becomes 2nd member of dojo to earn this rank.  Assumes role of Head Instructor.
  • 2010 (Fall) All classes moved to the dojo
  • 2011(November) – First member of BKK, Jake Peacock, attends a world level tournament.  The World Friendship Tournament in Tokyo.
  • 2013 (August) – Summer Training Camp, Enderby BC:

– Julie Miller achieves the rank of Shodan, becomes a full instructor (1st degree black belt) becoming the 3rd black belt from Banff
– Tyler Pecsi and Taiga Fujino achieve the rank of 2nd Kyu becoming the 4th and 5th Banff members to achieve that rank
– Daymon Miller achieves the rank of Ni Dan (second degree black belt) and the 1st from the Banff dojo to achieve that rank

  • 2014 (January) The Banff Dojo hosts the 2nd tournament in its history, The Banff Kyokushin Karate Championships.  80 competitors, and numerous instructors come from Alberta and BC to participate
  • 2014 (August) Lindsey Heenan Sneesby, Nanako Emori earn the rank of 2nd Kyu, becoming the 6th and 7th members to do so
  • 2015 (November) Tyler Pecsi (Ikkyu) will attend the World Youth Open Tournament representing Banff at the second world level tournament in the clubs history
  • 2017 (August) Daymon Miller achieves the rank of Sandan and becomes sensei
  • 2018 (August) Stephane Goulet earns rank of 1stKyu, becoming the 5th in the Banff dojo
  • 2019
    • (August) Tyler Pecsi achieves the rank of 1stKyu, becoming the 5th member of dojo to earn that rank
    • (November) Sensei Daymon and Sempai Francois compete in the World Friendship Tournament in Tokyo at the Elite and Master Class levels respectively
    • (December) Banff hosts The 7th Annual Banff Kyokushin Karate Championships