Photo of George Lepine by Mitzi Brown
stands tall and although a powerhouse, he
is soft spoken and his
body language open.Lepine is the Native Canadian Centre Vice President, Ontario Aboriginal Sports Circle Treasurer, and former Tribal Police Officer.He is also Electrical Engineer who holds a Masters Degree.He is employed at the Pearson International Airport as a Federal Law Enforcement Officer, to his students at the Native Canadian Centre he is Master Lepine, their instructor.
Here, you may not expect a Tae Kwon Do class and with a Cree Metis at the helm.He
leads me into an office where the sounds of the class practicing kicks and screams are faint.Lepine
tells me why he
chose Tae Kwon Do."I started training about 30 years ago under Grand Master Oye, he
was one of the first Grand Masters of Judo to come from Korea."He
adds, "I later heard about Tae Kwon Do and an instructor Grand Master KS Cho who was the first to come from Korea.I switched to Tae Kwon Do, partly because it had more kicks."George
explains the benefits of Tae Kwon Do."You need artistic, social, physical,and intellectual sides to be touched in your life.Tae Kwon Do taps into all of these areas."
Tae Kwon Do is a Korean martial art meaning "Way of the Hands and Feet".It uses blocks, punches, and kicks.It has both physical and mental benefits.
made the Canadian National Tae Kwon Do team in 1985.He
was still on the team in 1988 and competed in the Olympics in Korea.It was the first time Tae Kwon Do was a competitive sport in the Olympics, so it was an historic event.Although he
didn't bring home a gold medal, George
has continued practicing the sport.He
believes that sport empowers and that he
wouldn't have achieved success if it weren't for the black belt he
holds.Although many people disagree, his
opinion is that physical fitness is vital to health and wellness.
offers advice for people who would like to take up a new sport."The hardest part of joining any kind of fitness program is walking through the door.People have a tendency to say why they can't do something instead of they should do something." He
recommends taking it slowly, don't overdo it when you first begin.A small change like becoming more physically active starts a chain reaction.You begin making healthier choices in your life.
explains, "You say I don't feel like having those fries anymore, I feel like having a salad.I feel like a glass of water not a glass of wine."
Choosing a healthy lifestyle includes eating healthy and increasing your physical activity.Taking up Tae Kwon Do under Master Lepine would be a step in the right direction.As I get up to leave I tell him that want to join his
class at the Native Canadian Centre
grins and says, "There is no maybe."