There was a time when Sadie Holm Landry wanted nothing to do with karate.

Recruited by her mother to take lessons with the rest of the family, Landry initially resisted. Who wanted to partake in an activity that involved hitting and being hit.

Ultimately, though. Landry found her way.

“I started competing — that’s what pulled me — the competition,” she said in an earlier interview. “By the time I was 15, I was helping him teach all of the classes. I would go every single day — I would go to the kids’ classes and stay for the adult classes.”

Now, Landry is a black belt and one of the owners of Pelletier’s Karate Academy in Lewiston. When she’s not teaching there, she’s making the rounds at area schools, sharing her passions with the next generation. Here’s what Landry had to say about her journey.

How did you personally become involved in the martial arts? My mom made me. I grew to love the training, the people, the competition and teaching others.

What’s the youngest person you’ve taught? The oldest? My children started training while in their walkers — dodging kicks and taking students out at the knees. I have trained kids starting at 2 and a half. The oldest would be two men who trained in their 60s. Both received their black belts at 65.

Aside from self defense, how is karate training beneficial? The benefits of karate training are endless. Physically, it keeps you strong, agile and flexible. Mentally, you are constantly challenged to remember forms, think quickly and to be present and alert. What sets us apart from other sports is that karate trains a person to be stronger, not just physically and mentally, but as a person. We teach our students humility, self-control, integrity, courtesy, discipline and perseverance. These, along with the leadership skills acquired in teaching them, are paramount.

You promote karate as a family activity. Why? A family that kicks together sticks together. When I was a kid my entire family of seven did karate together. I always had someone to go to class with, struggle with, fight with and test with. Doing karate as a family provides each student with an active support system to achieve their goals both in karate and beyond in life. Karate provides a family bonding time, exercise and an extended family called the dojo.

What’s the hardest part of karate training? It’s different for every person. For me physically, it is fighting someone better than me. It is tough to get hit and kicked by someone faster and stronger than you. On the flip side, as you learn and get better, your self-confidence gets a real boost.

Mentally, it is discipline — getting up off the couch and to the dojo or even to practice at home. Our society makes it really easy to be lazy. But the long-term rewards of karate training outweigh the instant gratification of the TV, computer, tablet, etc.

Tell the truth: How many times have you seen “The Karate Kid?” Between the old and the new versions, I would guess more than 12.

Sadie Holm Landry (Courtesy of Pelletier’s Karate Academy)

Sadie Holm Landry (Courtesy of Pelletier’s Karate Academy)

filed under: