Who We Are



Established in 1997 by Kyoshi James Fries, Heritage Martial Arts & Fitness Centre has become a unilateral training facility. Housing traditional martial arts, fitness, self defense, personal training, yoga, and nutrition counselling.

The goal of our karate classes is to teach the traditional martial art of Goju-Ryu using modern concepts in a practical manner so that it can be applied today. Our programs are designed for children and adults, from beginners to advanced. Karate training improves physical strength and stamina, increases self-confidence and self-esteem, and teaches self-control, self-awareness, and respect for others. It also reduces stress and helps promote a healthy lifestyle.


Covid-19 Policies


Effective July 8, 2020

With the guidance and approval of the Region of Waterloo Public Health office, Karate Canada we are thrilled to be re-opening the dojo.  In doing so, the first priority is the safety of everyone entering the studio; students and parents alike.

Heritage Martial Arts is doing everything required and more to provide you the safest return-to-training experience possible, however, no protocols can provide 100% protection.  All members returning to training do so at their own risk.

Your family’s adherence to these guidelines is key in helping keep everyone safe.  Please review these guidelines and protocols with your children to ensure they understand.  We will also walk through the procedures when they arrive for class.


Here are the measures currently being put in place. These are subject to change.


Staff members will self-assess for symptoms before coming to work each day.

Studio will be thoroughly cleaned from top to bottom at the start of each day.

Everyone entering the facility will be required to fill out a quick health questionnaire each time they – no exceptions

Hand sanitizer will be made available throughout the studio.

PPE Gloves are NOT permitted.

All high-touch surfaces will be sanitized between every class.

Individual use heavy bags will be sanitized after every use.

Training floor will be sanitized thoroughly.  Since students will remain in their own training square there are no issues with bare feet since no one is putting their feet in their mouth.  🙂


Do not visit the dojo if you or someone in your home are not feeling well, regardless of symptoms.

If you have travelled outside of Canada, you are required by health authorities to self-quarantine for a minimum of 14 days.

We are aware that it is allergy season, please cough or sneeze into your shoulder/arm if necessary.

Masks are permitted but not mandatory. Karate Canada does not advise the use of masks during physical training.  Students wishing to wear a mask while training may do so provided they understand the challenges.  Some of those challenges include but are not limited to: increased touching of the face to adjust masks, younger children playing with the mask, difficultly breathing and communication difficulties.


All classes are drop-off and pick-up only.  Lobby seating is temporarily closed and chairs have been removed or blocked off.

Parents will not be permitted to stay in the building at this time except for special circumstances which must be pre-arranged.

Please make an appointment for retail purchases or administrative visits.

There is no early drop-off or late pickup.

Change rooms are temporarily closed.  All members must arrive in uniform ready for class.

Washrooms are for emergency use only.  Please try to go at home before you arrive.  No one will be refused access to the washroom.

Coat hooks are temporarily off limits.  Students will bring items into class with them.

Students should arrive prepared for class with the following:

–  A bag large enough to hold required items PLUS their shoes, socks, jacket or sweater.

–  Pre-filled water bottle.  Students must bring disposable bottles home. (water is currently not for sale)

–  A personal bottle of hand sanitizer for in-class use.

–  Recommended – Kleenex.

–  Recommended – Sparring gloves.  These may be used for heavy bag drills.

–  Recommended – A towel or yoga mat for floor based exercises.


Students will enter through the front door during their designated arrival time.  Students will not be allowed to enter early.

Students should line up outside for classes and wait to be permitted to enter the facility.

All students must pre-screen at home prior to every entry and may be screened on arrival – this may include a temperature check.

PARENTS – please remain on-site until your child has been admitted to the building.

All persons entering the building will sanitize their hands.

All persons will maintain 2m social distancing at all times.

Remove socks, shoes, coats/sweaters and place in your gear bag.

Proceed to washroom for handwashing.  Wash for 20 seconds with soap and warm water.

Students will enter the dojo and select a personal training square – starting from the back of the room – and remain there for the duration of class.  Students will place their gear bag in their square.  You are welcome to chat with fellow classmates while centred in your training square.


Students will train in their own 2m x 2m training square.  Squares are separated by 2m forwards and 1m on each side.

Current maximum class size is 8 students in dojo 1 and 3 students in dojo 2.

Dojo 1 is equipped with 1 heavy bag per training square.

At this time we will NOT be practicing the following activities until it is safe to do so. –  Group kumite (sparring with partners) –  Self-Defense with partners –  Hand or kicking target drills with partners

Sparring drills will be limited to heavy bags.  Bags will be sanitized after each use.

There will be no sharing of any equipment. Please ensure you have everything needed for training.

If a student needs to leave their square for any reason, they will ask the instructor.  They will be directed along a socially distanced route of travel.

Instructors will remain 2 metres from students.  Should a student require first aid treatment the 2 metre barrier will be broken with mask and gloves used by first-aider.

If a student becomes ill during class they will be isolated and early pick-up will be arranged for the entire group and a complete cleaning will be done.


At the end of class students will exit by the rear door.  Those closest to the door will leave first.  One at a time.  Staff will assist with exit procedures.

Students must be picked up during the designated departure time from front   of the building. We cannot allow entry for the next class until the current class has exited and all cleaning has been completed.  Please be respectful of fellow members and arrive promptly for pick-up.

Heritage Martial Arts will continue to monitor this situation closely and will do what is in the best interest of keeping everyone safe.  We urge that everyone that is part of the Heritage family please do your part in protecting yourself, your family and community.  Together we will rise above this.

We thank you for your understanding and flexibility during this time.  As always, please reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns.

What We Offer

Heritage Martial Arts offer a variety of programming for all ages and abilities. While our focus is on traditional Goju-Ryu Karate, we also offer self defense programs through our Full Spectrum Defense program, as well as sport specific strength and conditioning classes through Corefit Conditioning, wide-ranging fitness, and wellness classes as well as many other programs.

  • Traditional Goju-Ryu karate system for children and adults; which was founded by Chojun Miyagi in Okinawa, Japan.
  • Qi Gong For Health, Fitness, Wellness and Healing
  • Full Spectrum Defense Personal Protection & Safety Training
  • Corefit Conditioning
  • Nutrition Consulting
  • Wing Chun

Visit our Programs (click here) page for more information about our specific programs.

Belt ranking will determine class times. Please refer to our training schedule for specific class times.

Every student is encouraged to train at least twice a week to achieve optimum benefits from their time in the dojo.

For more information on our programs, facilities and memberships or for your FREE TRIAL CLASS contact:

James Fries email: info@heritagemartialarts.com

Follow us on Facebook and twitter@heritagemartial for all our up-to-date seminars, gradings and events

Heritage Martial Arts & Fitness Centre Inc. Contact: James Fries 3310 King Street East Kitchener, Ontario 519.894.6931



Kyoshi James Fries Founder of Heritage Martial Arts, Corefit Conditioning and Full Spectrum Defense

Kyoshi James Fries

Founder of Heritage Martial Arts, Corefit Conditioning and Full Spectrum Defense

Kyoshi Fries has been training in the martial arts for over twenty-nine years. He began training and studying Goju Ryu karate at the age of sixteen in Waterloo, Ontario under Sensei Gregg Skyork. Kyoshi Fries is currently ranked as a 7th degree black belt in Goju Ryu karate under Hanshi Carlos Montalvo 10° of the Ronin Goju-Ryu Kai and continues to study and train in the Goju Ryu style karate extensively.The Goju system focuses on proper muscle function and movement which can be applied to self defense. James believes mental focus and overall ability will improve greatly with the proper training, conditioning and fitness. The body only becomes strong when the mind, body and spirit work together.Through the years, Kyoshi Fries has had the privilege to train with some of the world’s most recognized instructors such as Sifu Larry Hartsell, Sensei Morio Higaonna, Guru Dan Inosanto, Sifu Paul Irish, Sifu Makoto Kabayama, Sensei Rusty McMains, Master Tom Patire, MMA fighter Heath Herring, World champion boxer Ftiz “The Whip” Vanderpool and Sensei Don Warrener. Kyoshi Fries has a Level 1 Advanced Instructional Training Certification in Jeet Kune Do under the late Sifu Larry Hartsell. He continues to train with Sifu Paul Irish who is the only certified full instructor in Canada under Sifu Larry Hartsell. Jeet Kune Do focuses on functional training for grappling, stand up fighting, Filipino stick fighting and knife training. Kyoshi Fries trains in White Crane Under Hanshi Gary Legacy and has achieved a 7th degree black belt in White Crane.

Heritage Martial Arts and Fitness Centre is one of the first centres in Canada to offer Tom Patire’s Training for Life® Personal Protection and Safety Courses. Kyoshi Fries has a deep commitment and dedication to the martial arts and has an open mind toward all different styles of the martial arts and martial arts concepts. He strives to learn new ideas, techniques and training methods to expand his own knowledge and to help his students grow and improve.

Training Resume:
  • 7th Dan Goju Ryu karate
  • CDT Instructor
  • Ronin Police Defensive Tactics instructor
  • Last Resort Tactics Instructor
  • ITC Body guard 
  • ISSA Certified fitness trainer, Corrective Exercise Specialist
  • TRX Suspension Training Course 
  • 3M National Coaching Certification Level 1 Boxing coach
  • Advanced Level Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do Grappling Association 
  • Emergency First Response – first aid 
  • Kettlebell course 
  • Mental Health First Aid

Sensei Kiri Olekas

Sensei Kiri Olekas

Sensei Olekas started training at Heritage Martial Arts in 2002 in Goju Ryu Karate under Kyoshi James Fries. She achieved the rank of Shodan (1st Degree Black Belt) in 2010 and currently holds the rank of Sandan (3rd Degree Black Belt), achieved in 2016. She also trains in White Crane under Hanshi Gary Legacy and achieved the rank of Shodan in 2016. Kiri enjoys teaching karate, especially the technical aspects of basics and kata, and finds teaching a great way to improve her own technique and knowledge of martial arts.

Sensei Mitchell Nice

Sensei Mitchell Nice

Mr. Mitchell Nice began his karate journey when he was 11 years old to stop bullying at school and he’s never looked back since first entering the dojo! Achieving the rank of Sandan in 2018 under Kyoshi James Fries, Mr. Nice is always training and loves being at the dojo.

Through the years, Mr. Nice has had the rare opportunity to train with many of the world’s greatest instructors, such as Hanshi Carlos Montalvo, Master Tom Patire, Sensei Don Warrener, Shihan George Picard and Grand Master Sueyoshi Akeshi. Mr. Nice has been studying CDT with Kyoshi James Fries for five years has trained at the ITC camp under Tom Patire where he was accredited as an ITC Certified Bodyguard.

Mr. Nice’s teaching style is focused on fairness, fitness and fun, and takes extra care in making sure the students under his instruction enjoy their karate experience. Mr. Nice is is known for making his students feel comfortable in the dojo. Mr. Nice has dedicated much of his life to Heritage Martial Arts and Goju Ryu Karate Do, and has a deep appreciation for the martial arts and the people who study them. He is always trying to improve on his own karate so that his teaching can improve as well. Mr. Nice’s goal as an instructor is to make sure that karate impacts his student’s lives as much as it has impacted his.

Deb Neufeglise Qi Gong

Debbi Neufeglise

Debbi Neufeglise is the senior instructor of our Qi Gong program. Debbi is a Black Belt in Goju Ryu Karate and has been training in martial arts for over 10 years. She is a newly certified Qi Gong instructor under Sifu George Picard.

Sempai Brian Sandoval

 Sempai Brian Sandoval

Brian is an ISSA certified fitness instructor and personal trainer.  Through dedicated training and hardwork, Brian has achieved his 2nd degree black belt in Goju Ryu karate. He continues to train and teach at Heritage Martial Arts and Fitness Centre, as well as CoreFit. He enjoys teaching cardio kickboxing and Corefit Conditioning classes in addition to private personal training sessions.

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