K.O. Martial Arts and the Arborist
By Linda Shantz
Published Jan. 8, 2019
Kelly Outram is a really interesting young man. He grew up in Haliburton, the son of Cathy and Joe Outram. I met Kelly when he was a student at Stuart Baker Elementary School, my husband was a teacher at the time. He was a personable young man at a young age! Like many of our young people, he left Haliburton after high school to learn and travel.
I recently had the pleasure of reconnecting with him over the topics of a huge tree that we need to have taken down in our yard and tai chi. Kelly is an arborist, and a tai chi instructor. He has recently returned to Haliburton County to live and he and his brother started Outram Tree Solutions (outramtree.net).
Kelly loves that work and is really enjoying the process of building a new business. He and his brother, Jacob, had a great year. I just love this when young people return and bring their new skills and passions to our county. We all win.
Kelly also has a dream to open a martial arts studio in Haliburton County some day in the future. In his travels, one of the places he visited was China and he had the opportunity to learn from some tai chi masters. That and other studies have lead to him to really believe in and the feel the power of movement.
He loves tai chi because of its ability to teach people how to relax, improve their mood and have good balance. While having a cup of tea recently he told me how much his tai chi practice enables him to do his job well as an arborist. Kelly talked about how doing tai chi relieves tension that he builds up during the day as well as relaxing muscles and joints.
He then went on to explain that the indirect benefits of the practice are more subtle, developing proprioception. “In tai chi it’s called ‘listening,’ to empty your mind of everything but the sensations of your muscles and joints holding your weight off the ground. The more relaxed your body, the easier it is to listen. Within my work, this skill is used to adjust the body to other weights.
“Pieces of wood, branches, chainsaws and other tools all feel different to move with, as does pulling myself up a tree! Since I have been practising, it’s been fun and rewarding to feel out how to apply body mechanics to tree work. It’s made a huge difference in the enjoyment of my day job.”
Kelly is currently offering tai chi classes by donation at Blue Sky Yoga Studio on Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. He also loves to do the practice outside and even in the winter months he meets people in Head Lake Park at 7 p.m. on Monday evenings. He says that people don’t stay cold for long! Kelly loves to work with beginners and people of all ages and abilities. Kelly’s martial arts business is called K.O. Martial Arts and you can reach him at 705-457-7884 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information about Kelly can also be found at haliburtonyoga.com. Welcome back, Kelly and Jacob!