Daigle expands to new venue

The Cayman Karate Academy has grown so rapidly in the short time it has existed that the school is moving to a new state-of-the-art facility next week.  

From Tuesday classes will be held at the Best Life Fitness Center at #27 Industrial Way in George Town. It gives Master Instructor Bob Daigle three times the workout area they previously had.  

“We encourage parents to support their children by watching them in class,” Daigle said.  

“We are so pleased that Best Life has a huge seating area for our parents to sit and watch the progress their child is making.  

“Some of the parents come on the mat and help me with holding focus pads, relay races and martial arts obstacle courses.”  

Demand for martial arts classes has never been higher, said Daigle.  

He started teaching karate to the general public at the Body Sculptor Fitness Centre last September and the response was incredible. 

Through word of mouth the program has continued to grow monthly.  

“We are proud to say that of all the students who have enrolled since last September all but three are still training with us.”  

He appreciates that it is easier to keep a student than to find a new one and the main reason his students stay with the school is that classes are challenging, varied and exciting.  

Martial arts instructors need to use disguised repetition in their classes in order to keep children from getting bored, is Daigle’s philosophy.  

He goes into each class knowing that this might be the day that a child decides to give up their dream of becoming a black belt.  

“My job is to keep students motivated long enough for them to acquire the life skills of discipline, focus, respect, confidence and a positive attitude.  

“Acquiring these life skills is why parents send their children to martial arts classes in the first place.”  

The larger facility will allow Cayman Karate Academy to introduce new martial arts exercises.  

Recently the school purchased an Air-Track mat. Only the top martial arts school in the USA and Europe have one.  

Having the Air-Track will make it easier and safer to teach the most challenging kicks and acrobatic moves performed by the world’s top martial arts athletes.  

It is a 6.5 ft. x 46 ft. portable gymnastics and tricking floor.  

“I was a competitive gymnast in high school and know the value of having the proper safety equipment,” Daigle said.  

He plans on hosting Air-Track training sessions at the school and special sessions at the beach or a park.  

Daigle’s goal it to make Cayman Karate Academy a world-class martial arts school equal to the best in the USA.  

Martial arts also helps students excel academically. This claim is made by martial arts school all over the world.  

The late Doctor Joyce Brothers was a celebrated American psychologist, television personality and columnist, who wrote a daily newspaper advice column for over 50 years until her death last year.  

She said, “A positive self-image is the best possible preparation for success in life.” Martial arts is a perfect complement to doing well in school because a student learns that confidence and positivity helps them as they work through the ranks and earn their new belts.  

They are constantly receiving encouragement from their instructors and that develops a mindset that they are capable of accomplishing anything they want.  

Cayman Karate Academy also has a monthly theme to help students gain valuable life skills. The themes include gaining focus, discipline, integrity, modesty, honesty and gratitude.  

“We conduct mat chats pertaining to the theme and hand out worksheets to be completed at home that require the parents to sign and return,” said Daigle.  

“In September we will be awarding wrist bands with the theme title printed on them.  

“Children will proudly wear these cool bands showing that they successfully completed the course.”  

Daigle attended an awards ceremony at Prospect Primary in June and was expecting his karate students to receive their fair share of academic awards.  

To his surprise the vast majority of the principle’s honor role awards were awarded to students who were also members of the Cayman Karate Academy Afterschool Martial Arts Club.  

“We can’t take all the credit,” Daigle said. “It’s a three-way team when a child’s parents, school teachers and their martial arts instructor all work together the result is the child will become a successful adult.”  

He added that he appreciates the support of the business community, the Cayman Islands Government and all the parents who have faith in the karate school. 

“We are committed to doing our part in developing the future leaders in Cayman.  

“We have some high profile martial arts stars coming to Cayman this fall. Our goal is to put the fun back into martial arts.”  

Filmmaker Frank E Flowers is a past Daigle student. He said, “Mr. Daigle and the Cayman Karate Academy were an integral part of my youth. The dojo pillars of discipline, fitness, personal growth and self-motivation were skills that I carry with me to this day.  

“Training there, even at a young age, is a great gift and I am excited that he is bringing that experience to Cayman’s next generation.”  

For more information, email: CaymanKarateAcademy.com 


Master instructor Bob Daigle with Luc Sinton, left, and Tyler Bodden. – PHOTOS: RON SHILLINGFORD

Support local journalism. Subscribe to the all-access pass for the Cayman Compass.

Subscribe now