Mark Jaques

Position at Grand River Karate

3rd degree black belt in Shido-kan Beikoku Association 

Board of Directors Advisor
Assist in club organizition, coordination of GRK Kyu grading certificates with the hombu dojo in Lansing Michigan.


In 1982, I began training in Wado Ryu karate in Simcoe ON. My hanshi was Sensei Masaru Shintani from Hamilton ON - a wonderful teacher and person. I earned shodan in 1987 and nidan in 1989. I left Simcoe in 1990 and began training in Goju Ryu in 1991 in Hamilton in Don Warrener's organization, but after 9 months, I decided that organization was not for me. I briefly re-connected with Wado Ryu again in Hamilton in 1993, but then moved to Guelph where there was no Wado Ryu club, and began a long hiatus. It was not until 2007 when I reconnected with my martial arts background, and discovered Grand River karate in Waterloo, just a short distance from my home. I was immediately drawn to the instructors, the gentle style, and the organization as a whole. I recently earned nidan rank, and look forward to many more years of training, as well as life long friendships with my fellow karateka.


I work for IBM in Waterloo as a Proposal Manager. The account I provide solutions for is Manulife Financial. I earned my PMP® in 2013 (Project Management Professional).

Why I started

At the age of 19, I started karate because I wanted to learn a sport that was individualized, as I was never good at "team sports" in school. The concept of athleticism, building confidence, self improvement, and learning self defense was attractive to me as a rather shy person. I quickly took to the sport and began forming the building blocks that has lead me to the better person I am today.

Why I like Shido-kan

This style is relaxed and focuses on natural movements. The basics and kata are similar to Wado Ryu, yet different enough to constantly challenge me. My instructors are very patient.

What I enjoy about teaching

Although I've always felt I'm a better student than teacher, the enjoyment in teaching comes from helping myself with a greater understanding, while I assist others in learning. So it's a two way street - teaching and learning go hand in hand.

Other Interests

I'm also an avid motorcyclist since age 14 (former instructor) and enjoy mountain biking at the local Hydro Cut (some of Ontario's best trails). During the work week, I regularly attend Good Life during my lunch hour, and enjoy the various gym activities - cardio, weight resistance, and group exercise like spin class. I like to keep fit, but at times, it is a struggle. But then, no one ever said anything worth having comes easy.