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What makes West Van Karate Academy a great place for your child to train?

We specialize in child development; We understand that each student is unique and develops in their own way and at their own pace. Our dojo is our family. We care about everyone and leave no one behind. Students, parents, and instructors all work together to create the best atmosphere and learning experience possible for the dojo.

Here are what just a few parents have said about their experiences with us:

“The West Vancouver Karate Academy has been an amazing opportunity for our son, Avery. Neither my husband nor I have prior background in karate, but when we were presented with the opportunity for our son to experience karate, and at the same time give back to the BC Cancer Foundation, we knew it was something worth trying.

We have continued with karate because of the experiences that Avery has been given. Avery is an active, energetic and engaged 5 year old. Through the West Vancouver Karate Academy, Avery has excelled at challenges and new opportunities. He has displayed a sense of pride in each accomplishment; whether it has been learning a new move, passing a test for the next belt, or moving up to a higher age-group class. Avery looks forward to his “karate days” and eagerly demonstrates his new skills.

At the forefront of Avery’s success in karate is Sensei Matt Bickel. Sensei Matt exemplifies mentorship. He encourages each student and instills in them a sense of healthy competition and supportive camaraderie. Through his teachings, Sensei Matt brings together a comprehensive pairing of physical fitness and pride in personal achievement. Classes are taught with positive guidance, genuine kindness,
and most importantly; excitement and fun. Classmates celebrate each other’s advances and therefore excel together.

As parents, we consider ourselves so fortunate to have found this experience for Avery and would recommend the West Vancouver Karate Academy and Sensei Matt Bickel to all students. While we are sad to be leaving the West Vancouver Karate Academy due to our move to Toronto, we look forward to continuing to foster the love for karate that Avery has developed. It has been a gift to watch Avery grow and be inspired by Sensei Matt – our son’s first true role model.”

– Kristi and Kris Steed


“I recently had the pleasure of working with Matt Bickel over the past few weeks. He was asked to come into our school to teach the students about Karate and self-discipline in connection with our year-long study of Asia. Within the three sessions Sensei Matt had with our classes, he was able to introduce the key concepts of Karate as well as create an understanding that martial arts is based on the principles of kindness and respect.


Sensei Matt’s tremendous abilities never ceased to amaze me. His passion for martial arts, as well as his way of working with the children was lovely to watch.  He always came to the class prepared and enthusiastic about his lessons. Matt was firm yet also portrayed a fun-loving attitude with the kids and made them laugh when it was appropriate. My students were always engaged in their learning and left the three sessions wanting to learn more about Karate.


I highly recommend Sensei Matt Bickel to come to any school to teach martial arts. I have no doubt that anyone who studies Karate with him, either for a few days in their school, or more long-term at his dojo, will not be disappointed.”



Sarah Everett

Grade 1/2/3 Montessori Teacher

Eagle Harbour Montessori School West Vancouver


“Our school recently participated in a karate fundraiser organized by Matt Bickel. What a great experience! Every class had 2 karate lessons that were fun and well organized. The students learned some karate basics and got a taste of what signing up for karate would be like.

My class loved the experience and several of my students signed up for the 1 month of lessons that were part of the fundraiser. I only heard positive feedback from the other staff members and from the parents.

As a classroom teacher, I love when my students have opportunities try new things, be physically active, and have fun. Thanks to Sensei Matt, they were able to do all three at the same time. As a parent, I really appreciate that I can sign my child up for a month of lessons before committing to a longer contract. What a great idea!

Overall, the karate lessons were a success. That was, in no small part, due to Sensei Matt’s attitude and presence. He was knowledgeable, well prepared, and had an excellent rapport with the students. He was able to have a sense of humour and joke around with the kids, while keeping them focused and attentive. I was especially impressed with the way Sensei Matt knew my students’ names in a short period of time.

I would not hesitate to recommend Sensei Matt’s karate fundraiser to any school. As mentioned, I was thoroughly impressed.”

– Paula Ross Teacher (Gr. 1/2) Lochdale Community School


“Sensei Matt is not only an accomplished karate athlete but also a fabulous teacher, trainer, and mentor.  My family has been with Sensei Matt for over 9 years (and if I tally the cumulative time we have trained at the dojo, we have trained for over 19 years!).  I have watched my children develop into talented karate athletes thanks to the dedication and training provided by Sensei Matt.  He is able to create a family like atmosphere at the club and everyone at the dojo supports and helps one another out.  I am fortunate that my family is part of the Burnaby Karate Academy family.”

Arlene Nakatsuka


“Matt has been my son’s sensei for 8 years. He has been excellent instructor who taught kids with best practices. Kids has learned best karate patterns and good manner as well. My son gained a lot of confidence through karate with Matt. He knows how to teach and talk to kids. It is lucky to have Matt as karate sensei.”

– Yohana


“Sensei Matt is a wonderful instructor.  He is kind and caring and at the same time firm with his students.  He has instilled a sense of respect and discipline in my son.  He is able to recognize my son’s weaknesses and offer corrections and guidance to help him improve his skill.”

– Hoi-Yean


“I have known Matt Bickel for 6 years now.  He is truly a remarkable teacher, who not only is dedicated to his work, but more importantly to the children.  He takes his time to get to know each of the parents and each child’s interests.  He loves what he does and is so great with the kids.  His dedication and commitment is clearly visible through how well his students perform not only in tournaments but academically as well. He has taught them that wins and losses do not dictate who we are as a person but instead how you get there speaks volumes.  He has brought out self confidence in my daughter, who now does not fear trying for other sports teams and is excited to participate and learn new activities. My son continues to develop leadership skills, build confidence and set goals for himself, all at such a young age.  We have been truly very lucky to have such a wonderful teacher, friend and mentor for our children.”

– Neetu Sharma


“Sensei Matt is the BEST sensei! A great mentor with the kindest heart who sees all the goods in the children.  We love karate!”

– Ronnie Jeng


“Sensei Matt has been our children’s karate instructor for the past eight years.  From the beginning, he has been dedicated to teaching karate.  Matt is a friendly, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic individual who is passionate about the sport.  Our children have gained a tremendous amount of confidence, they have learned to be respectful and their self-esteem has grown tremendously over the years.  They started out as beginners and are now successful tournament competitors.  We only have praise for Sensei Matt – in his ability to teach and his role in moulding our children into who they are today.”

– Lisa/Keith Quan


“Our sons Kyle and Luke have been in Sansei Matt’s class at Burnaby Karate Academy for going on six years. In those years we have seen the boys grow with focus, respect and physical endurance that Sansei Matt requires. It has been a great experience for both boys. You will be lucky to have such a great instructor that will challenge and teach your children karate!”

– Christine Begin


Hi Matt. We just wanted to send you an email to thank you for all the hard work and dedication that you have invested into the development and training of not only our son but all of the kids that you train. Your skill and knowledge of karate combined with your easy going nature makes it very easy for the kids to learn. Your training is helping Josh to be not only physically fit, but to also be more focused at the things he does in his daily life. Karate is also showing him that if you work hard you can achieve goals that you have set for yourself.”

– Bruce and Ilda Noble



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