Sensei Sarah-Jade Folk - "The Morrigan"
Apprentice Instructor - JKDAA
Instructor - HAVOC JKD
2nd Dan Karate (Shotokan)
Brown Belt - HAVOC Ju Jitsu
Bronze Medallist (Continuous Sparring HW) - WKC World Championships 2011
Sensei Sarah-Jade created Esteem to provide accessible training for all without sacrificing quality or standards. She is one of the highest ranked Female JKD instructors in Canada, and is a International competitor in Karate, having fought and taken championship medals at numerous Provincial, National and World tournaments. She brings a plethora of knowledge and experience to her teaching and is renowned for making new practitioners good and existing practitioners great!
The first time Sarah-Jade ever stepped foot in a dojo was in September, 2005. She was looking for an activity for her then 5 year old son, and the school was in the same building as the dance studio where he daughter was doing ballet. Within a month her 7 year old daughter gave up her dance, and started Karate also. She would go with her 5 month old on her lap and sit in a chair watching them perform their punches, kicks and katas.
However, this started a secret little desire to also be on the mat, but all the same excuses that are heard from other parents on a daily basis stopped her. At over 200 pounds after giving birth to her youngest daughter, she told herself "when I lost weight I would start, I needed to be more fit, I needed more flexibility, my daughter was too young, I was too busy with 3 kids" and for an entire year she made these excuses, until one day she woke up.
She got up, put on a pair of sweat pants, got in the van with toys and snacks for her now 19 month old and took her first class in November, 2006?.It changed her life!!
She loved it. she trained, and loved it. She trained some more. She started to eat right, drank water and lost 45 pounds. And she graded for her 1st Dan black belt in June, 2008, and her 2nd Dan in October 2010 - just 3 years after her start date!
In April of 2010 she attended my second Provincial Championship where she took several gold medals, and a place on Team Alberta. She went to her first National Championship in Ottawa, where she gained silver and a place on Team Canada. That year she attended World Championships in Ireland, and again the following year in 2011, in Portugal, where she won a bronze medal in Womens Heavy Weight Kickboxing.
In addition to training for tournaments, she was teaching, and had started to look at other challenges in martial arts - it was here that she noticed Sifu Jay, who was teaching JKD and Jujitsu at the same dojo. After World Championships was over it was time for retirement and refocus and she started to train with Jay Cooper almost exclusively in 2012.
2013 marked a big year. Having gone as far as she was going to go in her first school, and wanting to forge a different direction, she opened her own school "Esteem Martial Arts" on November 27, 2013. Sifu Jay gave her the nickname "The Morrigan" after the Celtic War Goddess because of her dedication and ferocity when training
In August 2014 Sifu Jay invited her to attended Sifu Singhs JKDAA Expo in California. This changed everything!
Sifu Jay Cooper and Sarah-Jade joined their schools together in September 2015, becoming "Esteem Martial Arts & HAVOC JKD" quickly outgrowing their small dojo and moving to the Current premises in June, 2016.
Of her time in Martial arts, Sarah-Jade says this -
"As I look back so much has happened. I?m thankful I overcame my insecurities, and took that first step on the mat. I've learned it's ok to take care of myself physically, and stress relieve as a priority. I take care of myself, I can take care of my kids even better. I've learned how to defend myself, so I can defend my children. I do martial arts out of LOVE."