Machikan means "townhouse" . We named it that to differentiate this dojo from the Phoenix Dojo out of town.
When Rob started Kita Kaze in 1991, he worked out of an aerobics studio in the same building as Machikan. The studio, at that time, was attached to the Squash and Raquetball club. When we moved the club back into the schools, we still needed a place for afternoon training for the senior members. For many, many years, we trained in dance studio spaces run by Andrea Simpson Fowler of Leaping Feats. Andrea moved into the building that held the old Squash and Raquetball club and created the Heart of Riverdale in the upstairs space formerly occupied by a restaurant. We went along with her and continued to use dance studio space but we always hankered after our own, dedicated space where we could keep gi and equipment and have a shinza set up. A dojo.
In 2014, Andrea took over management of the old squash courts and offered us one to set up as a dojo. The space was to be multipurpose and available to other user groups who were looking for a quiet working space.
The Machikan Dojo was done on a very limited budget, but Gordon Doerksen, Carolyn Steele-Lane and sensei put a lot of sweat into refinishing the walls and floors. Rob's wife Helene and carpenter friend Maureen Moore helped put in the door and Helene worked on the floor as well. Carolyn made window coverings, sensei made benches and, voila, we have a dojo.