Larose Karate is a welcoming environment for everyone, in the spirit of mutual respect and understanding. If you're willing to pay attention, train hard, and show respect, that's what we care about. If you want to learn:

  • martial arts,
  • self-defence techniques,
  • an engaging way to train your body,
  • or any combination thereof

you're welcome to do so with us.

Sensei Joël Larose, owner and head instructor at Larose Karate, is an out and proud gay man. As such, he fosters an atmosphere of respect and dignity amongst his students.

Sensei Joël Larose and his life partner, Anthony Moore, at the rainbow crosswalk in Kitchener.

Why It Matters – The LGBTQ2+ Experience

Over the past few decades, we've seen huge progress for the LGBTQ2+ community in terms of acceptance and rights in society. However, there is still evidence of fear, hatred, and violence towards LGBTQ2+ people.

Across Canada

For example, Statistics Canada released its findings in 2018 from a survey on "Violent victimization of lesbians, gays and bisexuals in Canada". The researchers found that 14.2% of people who identify as gay or lesbian and 26.7% of those who identify as bisexual reported having experienced violent victimization, compared to 6.9% of heterosexual people reporting the same. In another article published by Statistics Canada, they stated:

"Crimes motivated by hatred of a sexual orientation continued to be among the most violent hate crimes. In 2016, 71% of these types of police-reported hate crimes were violent, compared with 45% of crimes motivated by hatred of a race or ethnicity and 27% of hate crimes targeting a religion."

In Waterloo Region

Within our own area, the Region of Waterloo, the recent OutLook Study revealed staggering results in how members of the local LGBTQ2+ community are mistreated. The infographic below shows how the respondents of the study have been victims of various kinds of abuses.

In Sports

The world of sports, in particular, is still slow at shedding homophobic slurs and attitudes in the locker rooms and on the field. On the flip side, members of the LGBTQ2+ community have avoided sports and martial arts training because it's "too straight" or because they fear the repercussions of being out in a traditionally macho environment.

Also in 2018, an international study, Out on the Fields, was conducted on homophobia in sports. The following infographic shows their results for Canada.

What Are We Doing About It?

We, at Larose Karate, want to change all that. And it starts within our selves. For our dojo, that means being more visible as an inclusive martial arts school. We want to give members of the LGBTQ2+ community the tools they need to defend themselves. We also want to give them a place where they can be themselves and speak openly about themselves and their lives. In general, we want to give them a place where they feel safe.

Language matters to us. Thankfully, none of our students have expressed any derogatory slurs at our dojo. However, we will not tolerate any if it ever comes up. For students who identify as trans or non-binary, we honour their choice of pronouns, because it matters.

Larose Karate is a growing family of martial artists composed of diverse people. Our members have many differences, including ages, ethnic backgrounds, genders, sexual orientations, religions, native languages. And we acknowledge and welcome those differences.

Will you join our diverse family?