Charles Bedard (and his top students)
Sensei Charles Bedard, seen in this picture with his top students, is a man who refuses to let any obstacles in the way of his passion and dedication for martial arts. Having codified his own martial arts style, he worked hard to propagate the benefits of martial arts training. When most people would have given up, Sensei Bedard has gone through the hardship of illness and kept training even after a leg amputation.
What is Jukaido-kan
Jukaidokan is a mixture of (mainly) judo, karate, and aiki-jutsu. It is a style that formed a system of self defense for situations that happen in every day life. There are techniques from Kung fu, hapkido, tai chi, etc. which makes a no nonsense style that I personally tested in street wise situations.
I had my style approved by O Sensei Shogo Kuniba Soke of Seishinkai goshin budo ju-jutsu union. I also have been graded by Soke Rodney Sacharnoski, professor Tom Burdine, Sensei René Lalonde, professor Wrobbles, and Sensei Masayuki Hisataka of Shorinjiryu and Koshiki karate, and Trang kwang Bhaand and many more that I don't remember at the moment... oh and also a bit in dim mak pressure points and etc.
Did you incorporate ground techniques like brazilian Ju-jitsu?
As for ground techniques seen in Brazilian ju-jitsu, our approach is not to go to the ground in a street situation ...but we do have techniques to move on the ground that can give a lot of trouble to an opponent. In any case, we have rarely seen one throwing himself on the ground to settle a physical event.
Why did you feel the need to create your own style?
When I began Martial Arts, most of the styles of karate and judo seemed to teach hard techniques, where blocks and throws were very hard for me to execute at 108 pounds and 5 feet 2 inches.
Being of frail nature I took up judo 1957 and after a few years I did jiu-jitsu for ten years, before I started looking all over Canada and the USA for the best techniques for a smaller person, and I always modernized my style with the current life in the streets.
Slowly through the years, I started to modify and codify my new techniques that I admit, I borrowed from all kinds of styles and tested them in the street situations. I then codified a style that can be practiced by all people, including children and even handicapped people. The first thing that my students learn is RESPECT of yourself and of others.
Having taught for more than 50 years, what difference do you perceive in the world of martial arts in general
After 52 years in, martial arts and having lost my leg (amputated at the age of 49, in 1989) and having graded over 80 black belts at different levels, I think that martial arts are a way of life and I think that some people seem to have forgotten the values that they strived for at the beginning of their first encounter with the art. For the general public all they are looking for is a hero to fight for them, because they don't have the courage to train, and take the consequences.
Knowing that you created JukaiDo to suit your smaller stature is Jukaidokan suitable for people with bigger stature?
All my ju-jutsu techniques are applicable without any strength at all, simply techniques .
Do you have an example of how you "modernized your style with the current life in the streets"?
I have adapted my style through the times of the modern world. Today the most used weapon in the street is the knife and a little further down is the gun so we have do or die techniques for those. We also include techniques against sticks and baseball bats, actually we have developed techniques for any attack in or out of night clubs. Also the preventions prior to the attack.
If I may ask: What happened to your leg?
The loss of my leg is the result of a malformation of the arteries and of diabetes, it all started at the age of 35 years old, and after 22 interventions in the course of 16 years, which would leave me with a least 50 to 80 metal clamps in my legs for three weeks at a time, at least till the fatal day (dec 29 1989).
Did you keep training after your amputation?
It was very difficult to keep on training after that, but I could not leave my students without a leader in martial arts, so I put on a prosthetic leg and kept on to grade 32 more black belts in Jukaidokan.
I have also forgotten to mention all the health problems that I have. I have had 22 arterial graftings in my two legs in a period of 15 years and also 3 grafting at the aorta. Also, I have 2 hernias I am diabetic, my kidneys are working at 16 percent and dialysis is right around the corner ,and I have an incurable lung decease, a little Alzheimer and a little parkinson with that... ha ha just like an old truck.....but still running.ha ha ha.
How did this "handicap" affect the way you trained and taught?
I do pretty good for an amputation above the knee. With this handicap you should be very wary of how you operate in the street, so forget all the kicks except the front kick, so therefore I work mostly hand techniques and displacements and have adapted my style to low kicks, anyway I have always proned low kicks on the street.
If ever you wish to see our videos on youtube, simply tap JUKAIDOKAN. This may give you a better understanding of our style.
When you mention kicks, do you refer to kicks while in a wheel chair?
When it comes to kicks in a wheel chair, I personally can use my leg to give at least three kinds of kicks.(ie. mae geri, yoko geri ,and mawashi geri) I also use these kicks while using my prosthetic, one way or another we always use low kicks in our defense in the streets.
Have you created any move sets specifically for people in wheelchairs?
Of course you should see all the techniques that we can use in a wheelchair such as in the aikido ikkyu, nikkyu, sankyu, yonkyu, gokyu, kote gaeshi, and shio nage, many chokes and strikes using ippon ken, also in many situations and quick take downs.
Have you ever had students present themselves to the door of your dojo with a physical disability?
Oh yes I have taught handicapped in wheel chairs, and still do ,but now they come to private classes.i also teach persons with slight mental deficiencies, and children with learning difficulties in school, as an alternative to being on tranquilizers. And I am very proud of our success.
What advice would you have for people with disabilities that would like to start practicing a martial art?
My advice to a disabled person who wants to do martial arts:
Find the proper instructor whom is dedicated to help all the people, no matter what disability they may have ,and to discuss with the instructor ,what are the capability s of the student ,and to develop techniques accordingly.
Edit: Shihan Charles Bedard passed away on July 18 of 2012.
For more information on Sensei Charles Bedard and Jukaidokan, please visit: