Councillor and business owner living his dream
|By Lisa Gervais - Editor | October 20, 2016|
Ron Nesbitt says he’s “over the moon” about the karate and fitness centre he’s building in Minden.
The Minden Hills councillor has rented in the past but this will be the first studio that he has ever owned.
He’s been travelling to Lindsay to teach twice a week for about seven years now so he is also looking forward to sharing his karate expertise with those closer to home.
“It’s my dream,” he says, showing off the lot on Bobcaygeon Road that already has its sign erected.
Nesbitt is a master and sensei with experience in the Okinawan Shorin-Ryn, Matsuba yashi-Ryu and Karate Do lineages.
“I’d been looking for three years for a property,” he said in a recent interview. He said he stumbled upon the current site but was a little deterred by all of the trees. “But, it was high and dry,” he adds with a chuckle.
He said to his wife, “I think I’m going to buy it and let’s see what happens.”
Residents may have seen the 69-year-old working the land to take some of the mostly poplars out. He is reseeding them in hopes of replanting when he gets to the landscape stage.
“I’m doing it all myself,” says the grandfather of 10 and great-grandfather of four. “It’s my passion. In general, I like kids and I would like to have a special program for kids and women. I am hoping to have it open by June 1.”
And it isn’t just karate dojo, as Nesbitt plans to have strength and cardio, weight training, core fitness, presses and treadmills. He anticipates one-quarter of the business will be for karate and three-quarters for fitness. He plans to live on the top floor.
He is passionate about fitness and health, and well-being in general, following a lower stomach cancer diagnosis five years ago. He was told he had three years to live. He is now in remission. He attributes his recovery to martial arts and homeopathic medicine.
While some might say he is crazy to start a business when he is turning 70 in April, Nesbitt says, “It’s something I want to do. If I get 15 to 20 years, that’s cool.”
He said one of the major benefits of karate is self-motivation. “What you can do with your body shows you what you can achieve with your life. It is a no brainer.”
He recalled how his karate journey began with his brother dragging him to classes when he was in his 20s and he hated it. “It was terrible. I was getting beaten up and hurt. But after almost two months we got a new instructor and he taught me a different way to being brutalized.” He added he had paid for a year so wasn’t about to quit.
He said that teaching is reflected in his own teaching style.
“I always encourage. I never tear anybody down.”
LISA GERVAIS is the editor for The Highlander.