Our backers know us for our historical documentaries. But we also are a karate family. John and Brigitte have been training with Douvris Martial Arts in Ottawa since 1999 for John and 2001 for Brigitte. When kids came along Brigitte kept training (modifying a few things to accommodate the belly during pregnancies and of course starting back slowly a few days after giving birth), and each of our three girls started doing it at the age of four.
Our eldest, who will be turning 10 on the day we land in Dublin, is now a brown-black belt. About two years ago she started asking about joining the competitive team. This is something we resisted because we weren't sure she had the physical and mental stamina to make that commitment and stick to it without being pushed and nagged. It turned out she had the stamina to push and nag us and last fall, as she turned nine, we decided to say yes. And then Brigitte, who was turning 45, decided that instead of sitting in the dojo for 12 hours a week watching our daughter train she would join the competitive team as well and see just how far she could go.
To say the learning curve was steep would be a gross understatement. Our coach, Master John Douvris, trains us exceedingly hard. (Our hashtag #TrainedByASpartan barely begins to describe it.) But the man knows what he's doing; his dojo turns out world champions decade after decade. And indeed both Brigitte and our eldest daughter started competing in January 2016 and by May both had qualified to represent Canada at the WKC World Championships in Dublin, Ireland (Oct. 30 to Nov. 4).
Brigitte wants to write a book about the past year's experience leading up to and including competing in Dublin, along with a blog chronicling her journey and make a short, first-person video about the journey, physical and mental. She wants to share the lessons she learned on the road to the Worlds because she believes those lessons apply in everyone's lives, in overcoming fears and reaching your potential even if your journey never takes you anywhere near a dojo.
Brigitte is an experienced writer, a published author of several books, a former national columnist, a former national-affairs analyst on network television who now spends most of her time homeschooling our daughters, producing historical documentaries, and sparring with teenagers. Our eldest daughter is now a budding videographer, having worked on our projects under Brigitte's guidance, and an aspiring writer who intends to share some of her experiences in the book as well, and to film Brigitte in Ireland.
A note on the budget: Basically what we need to complete this project is a second GoPro camera and a few accessories (batteries, harnesses, etc.) for both cameras (between $700-850) and about the same amount again to do the book design and initial print run. However, we have other expenses (flights to Dublin, car rental, hotel, food, tournament fees, team uniforms, etc.) and we are also hoping to offset some of those with proceeds from this crowdfunding campaign so we can do it again next year.