He has a fairly ambitions long-term goal, too: “2020. To see an athlete I helped develop get to the Olympics in Tokyo,” reveals the West Point P.E.I. native who has been instructing karate in New Maryland, NB since 2004.
From the time he joined Armand Martin’s West Island Karate Club in 1989, Rix has been steadily building his karate resume. He got his first and second-degree black belts under Sensei Martin, his third degree in Charlottetown and his fourth degree since joining the New Maryland program.
Besides training athletes at the dojo in New Maryland, Rix is the head coach for Team New Brunswick and is the regional coach for Karate Canada’s national team members from Atlantic Canada.
Rix’s dedication to the discipline and sport of karate earned him Karate Canada’s Coach of the year award, presented during the recent National championships in Quebec City.
“It was all kind of a blur,” the 43 year-old son of Alma and the late Buzz Rix said of hearing his name called as the award’s recipient. “Quite a shock.”
It’s a well-deserved honour, says his first sensei, Armand Martin.
“He worked hard to be where he is today,” said Martin. “He’s a gentleman in karate, as a friend and as a person.”
It was quite a national championship for Rix and Team New Brunswick. The province sent 25 athletes, its largest contingent ever, and returned home with eight medals including two golds, a silver and five bronze.
Athletes from his New Maryland dojo collected five of the medals. New Maryland athlete Kate Campbell who is on the national team, picked up gold medals in the -55 kg and open weight divisions and was named Athlete of the Year.
It’s the success achieved by athletes like Campbell that drives Rix. He works full time with SkillSoft, is enrolled in the National Coaching Certification Program and instructs at the New Maryland dojo in addition to his work with Team New Brunswick and as an Atlantic Region coach.
“I also have to train myself. I have to stay fit if I’m going to help all of these younger athletes,” he said.
“Their success drives me to do better. I owe them that much. I have goals, too.”
Rix and his wife Tiphanie live in New Maryland and they have a six year-old son, Logan who is in karate and shares his father’s passion for the martial art and the sport.