From the Desk of Peter Desmarais
To our IKS family
For those of you that may not know, Hanshi Victor Nastasia, has been retired for many years, both from active Martial Arts instruction and day to day management of the Independent Karate School, yet he has retained ownership of the building at 138 Lake Street (the hombu, or ‘mother school’). After much thought, he has decided to sell the building. Upon his retirement, Mr. Nastasia entrusted me as the headmaster of the IKS and in light of his decision to sell the building, as well as several other factors, I have made a difficult decision of my own to retire from the IKS (effective August 17, 2019) ending my 45 year journey in the martial arts that began with my father when I was eight years old.
Throughout my journey, I have been awed and honored with all the support that my students have given to this organization, and words truly fail me when I try to adequately describe the impact you have had on it, and the impact it has had on all of us. The IKS has evolved into more than a karate school; it has become a true pillar of the community that has enriched countless lives outside of the dojo. This legacy of the IKS, and all that it stands for, is one that shall live on for generations. I am humbled that my father and Mr. Nastasia entrusted me with leadership of the school as well as the ability to help shape that legacy, just as the school has shaped my own life.
I have been in close contact with the IKS Shihans (masters) about these developments, and I know that they remain highly committed to carry on this legacy and continue instructing our members in the traditions of our art. Under the leadership of Shihan Chris Marsh, they are evaluating several ideas for how this can be done, since the business of the IKS Inc., in light of the developments mentioned above, will cease operations at the end of the summer (effective August 31, 2019). All weekly classes will continue as scheduled through this effective end date, and final plans for continuation of our classes and traditions will be communicated in the near term by Mr Marsh.
I want to impart one final thing to you all, which the Shihans are also intimately aware of. The lessons and spirit of the IKS do not end with the closing of the business… they live on in every one of you: through all of the good works you have accomplished and all that you continue to accomplish for yourselves, your families, and your community. We have been lighting a candle against the darkness for 40 years, and with your continued embodiment of the IKS principles, you will help prevent that candle from ever being extinguished.
With much admiration and appreciation,
Sensei Peter Desmarais – Headmaster, Independent Karate School