When Chris Lair found out he was to be inducted into the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame, he thought it was a joke.
“I was surprised – the people who nominated me didn’t tell me,” he said. “I looked at the call display and saw it was the proper name and number of the president of the Sports Hall of Fame.
Lair is being inducted Saturday in the category of meritorious service.
He began studying karate as a teenager 1983, and has since achieved the rank of fifth degree black belt. He is a licensed instructor, judge and examiner with numerous black belt students. He started up dojos in La Ronge, Saskatoon and Onion Lake, and has grown the Prince Albert Budokai Karate Club to include over 50 students, some of which who have won national titles.
Lair has won several national and international medals himself, but he never entered the discipline with the goal of earning medals. For Lair, it’s about the principles behind karate.
“My goal was to follow the philosophy of karate and become a better person. I’ve always been a big proponent of self defence, as opposed to the sporting aspect of it,” he said.
“If you look into the philosophy behind the Asian martial arts, it’s a lot of learning to be humble and respect others and not letting your ego get away from yourself.”
When Lair did compete, he was successful. He was on Team Canada and competed in Pan American tournaments. His competitions have sent him across Canada and the United States. He has also trained in Japan and Hawaii.
Lair also didn’t continue with karate with the intention of becoming an instructor. It was just a part of his natural progression.
For more on this story, please see the April 27 print or e-edition of the Daily Herald.