I must say that as the city councillor for District 2 in Côte Saint-Luc, which encompasses the Quartier Cavendish, I am very encouraged by some new developments in recent months. The first shot in the arm was when the Sidel family owned Café de L’Avenue. Soon Emmanuel Darmond will relaunch his food court Deli Boyz . Junior Booty is relocating from the Côte St. Luc Shopping Centre in the early New Year.
Lots of Action at Quartier Cavendish
In the past few days I have been delighted to visit the brand new Idolem Hot Yoga Studio and Stacy Ungar’s CSL Martial Arts Studio or dojo, a training center for martial arts. They are both located along the hallway between the back entrance to the CLSC René Cassin and the main entry way towards Pharmaprix. Of course there is also an Econfitness locale there as well.
This is the 12th Idolem location in Quebec. Franchise owner Melody Benhamou also owns a locale on St. Denis Street, with another to come in St. Laurent. Hot yoga refers to yoga exercises performed under hot and humid conditions. Their new studio was nice and toasty to visit on a recent frigid Montreal day.
CSL Martial Arts
Stacy Ungar launched the dojo at the West-End Gym in the Côte St Luc Shopping Centre back in 1993. In 2016, the gym moved to 6885 Mackle and became the West-End Cavendish Athletic Club. For Stacy this was too much of a small, hidden location, so they relocated to the Quartier Cavendish. “It’s all very exciting and scary,” says Stacy
CSL Martial Arts teaches the arts of Shotokan Karate, Fitness Kickboxing, Tai Chi, and Qigong. Karate and kickboxing classes are taught by Sensei (teacher in Japanese) Ungar, a certified fifth dan JKA (Japan Karate Association) instructor. Tai Chi and Qigong classes are taught by Master Ted Constant. Children, adults and seniors are welcome to come and train via a free trial.
The new dojo studio was conceived, supervised and built by Navedco Construction Inc. This is a CSL-based company that specializes in commercial and retail construction. “We were very happy to assist Stacy in his venture to branch off on his own outside of West-End Gym,” said Vice-President Brandee Adler, who runs the operation with her husband Jocelyn Dagenais. “Stacy is a great guy and our daughter Aidyn adores him – she’ll likely be doing karate her whole life thanks to his awesome way of teaching & of getting the kids to always try to better themselves!
“Even though this was a small project for us, it was nice to finally get the opportunity to work in our own neighborhood. It was so encouraging to see so many happy faces when they saw the new dojo! Everyone thinks the space is so cool, and they all especially love the Shotokan tiger logo on the wall, which is now a sort of ‘backdrop’ for Stacy while he teaches. The mall administration loves it as well, especially the window that allows passers-by to peek in and watch the classes."
There are in fact three constituents of mine from District 2, 11 year olds performing at a very high level via the dojo: Aidyn Dagenais-Adler, Jayden Blitzer and David Ihaza. The three friends were all seven years old when they decided to give martial arts a shot. They tried one of Stacy’s classes and were hooked!
I sat down with Aidyn last week. The Grade 6 Royal Vale School student loves learning the martial arts. “I would like to make it to the Olympics one day,” she said.
Of Aidyn, Jayden and David, Stacy says the key to their success is having started young. “I am very proud of all of my students,” he says.
Inner Dojo Competition
On Sunday, December 17 there was an Inner Dojo Competition. Aidyn took gold in all three categories for her age and level. She won the gold in kata while David and Jayden took the silver and bronze respectively. Aidyn also won gold in girls kumite (only two girls competing in free sparring) and David captured the gold in boys free sparring. The team of Aidyn, David and Jayden won the gold in the team kata, brown/black category.
Stacy’s dojo had the largest delegation of all of the Team Canada competitors at last summer’s World Gichin Funikochi Cup at the University of Limerick in Ireland. Aidyn finished in the top 16 in the world. Had she not had her second elimination match against the young Japanese competitor who took the gold, she would have moved into the top eight as her performance was reportedly outstanding.
Aidyn will be 12 years old in December, and has already made her mark in the city, winning medals at every competition she goes to, and took gold at nationals last May. She is right now at the first brown belt level (called ‘3rd kyu’). She and her two friends passed their 2nd kyu exam recently. That puts them one level away from their first dan black belt exam, which it is hoped they can achieve by age 13.
Aidyn plans to continue at Royal Vale High School next year in the drama concentration. “She is full of energy and personality, is compassionate, and has the most empathic heart you will ever find in such a young girl,” says Brandee. “She also saved my own life. While nursing as a baby around 9 or 10 months of age, she bit me. This led to my discovery of a small breast tumor which was diagnosed malignant, and a very aggressive cancer to top it off.”
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