Copyright © Canadian Black Belt Hall of Fame, 2006
Né à Québec en 1956, Jean-Noël BLANCHETTE est docteur en théologie et est titulaire d’un 9e dan, Hanshi en karaté-do.
Il débute le karaté, en 1970, à Notre-Dame-du-Bon Conseil, sous l’enseignement de M. Yvon Desruisseaux, un adepte de Kenpo. Mais, c’est à Drummondville, en 1973 que son aventure du karaté débuta sérieusement, sous l’enseignement de M. Gilles Rhéaume, instructeur de Chito-ryu associé à l’organisation du maître Masami Tsuruoka.
De 1973 à 1979, il participa à nombreux séminaires et ses performances en compétition sportive lui permirent d’accéder à la ceinture noire en 1976.
En 1980, il rejoint les rangs de l’Association japonaise de Chito-ryu, dirigé au Canada par le maître Shane Y. Higashi, Hanshi. Il est nommé directeur technique au Québec par son fondateur, le Dr Tsuyoshi Chitosé, Hanshi.
De 1980 à 2008, il fut très actif. Athlète de haut niveau et instructeur, Hanshi Blanchette occupa différentes fonctions. Ses responsabilités l’amenèrent à recevoir l’enseignement des plus grands maîtres du Chito-ryu, mais aussi à diriger de nombreux séminaires ou à assister les maîtres japonais. Par exemple, lors d’un séjour au Japon en 1984, il enseigna au dojo du Dr Chitosé et reçu, en privé, quelques jours avant son décès, les derniers enseignements de ce grand maître du karaté moderne, une marque de considération très rare envers un Occidental.
Sa passion pour les arts martiaux japonais le conduira à l’Université de Sherbrooke où il déposera, en 2003, une thèse doctorale en théologie, dont le sujet traite de la dimension spirituelle des arts martiaux japonais. À la suite de cette thèse, il fonde le Shinbu-ryu karaté-do, en 2008.
La même année, il devient membre de la prestigieuse Dai Nippon Butoku-Kai de Kyoto, dirigé au Canada par le maître Ken Tallack, Hanshi. Il est nommé coordonnateur pour le Québec, par le président de la DNBK, le maître Hiroyuki Tesshin Hamada, Hanshi.
De 2008 à 2021, il fera activement la promotion de la DNBK au Québec et participera à nombreux séminaires internationaux . En 2016, devant plus de 600 participants provenant de vingt et un pays, rassemblés à Kyoto pour un symposium international, Hanshi Blanchette reçu, devant les dignitaires politiques, les maîtres et en présences de Sa Majesté impériale, la princesse Akiko de Mikasa, un plaque commémorative pour son mérite, ses services et son leadership au sein de la DNBK. Il quittera honorablement la DNBK en 2021.
La contribution de Hanshi Blanchette se remarque aussi au niveau de ses publications, comme auteur ou tout simplement en tant que collaborateur. Au début des années 80, par exemple, il réalisa plus d’un millier de dessins qui se retrouvent dans les différents manuels techniques du style Chito-ryu, tant au Japon que dans le reste du le monde.
Jean-Noël Blanchette est un véritable passionné comme le démontre ses diverses qualifications :
9e dan, fondateur du Shinbu-ryu karate-do
8e dan, Shihan, Hanshi de la Dai Nippon Butoku Kai de Kyoto
6e dan, Shihan, Renshi de l’Association de Chito-ryu du Japon
6e dan, Shihan, Renshi en Ryu Kyu kobudo,
4e dan, Shihan-dai en iaïdo
2e dan en karaté Shotokan de la Japan Karate Association
1er dan de Kyudo, de la Fédération Japonaise de Kyudo
Fondateur d’une méthode d’auto-défense pour femmes
Ron Day: (posthumously)/(posthume)
Si Tai Gung Ron Day
Ron Day built a legacy of martial arts excellence from humble beginnings in London, Ontario to the largest dojo in Waterloo Region to renowned kickboxing promoter in Canada. His dedication to his students and his discipline made him a sought-after instructor and mentor. Today, fifteen years after his untimely death, he is still regarded as one of Canada’s leading martials arts figures.
Growing up in southwestern Ontario, Ron was the only son in his family of five – his father a police officer and his mother a stay-at-home mom. He began his martial arts career at the age of 10 after being bullied at school. His father worried about his young, skinny son having the confidence and skills to defend himself.
Ron first attended classes at a Judo club that had a part-time Karate school affiliated with the Canadian Karate/Kung Fu Association. He travelled to Toronto frequently to train with Masters David and Tony Chong. He also trained with the Yip Brothers Kung Fu Academy in London and with Canadian Fire Dragons, headed by Grand Master Daniel Pai.
After earning his black belt in 1968, Ron opened his first club in Exeter, Ontario and quickly opened branches across Southwestern Ontario. Many students from those early days followed and trained with him throughout his life.
In 1975, seeking opportunities in a larger city, Ron moved his club and his growing family to Kitchener, Ontario where he established the Scarlet Dragon Society. Over the next forty years, Ron would continue to develop his craft and build a dedicated following of students, instructors and friends.
Among his many accomplishments, Ron was the first martial arts instructor to teach in high schools across Waterloo Region as part of physical education classes; he set a Canadian breaking record; trained youth, teen and adult sport Karate/Kung Fu champions in all levels of competition, traveling throughout North America; hosted open martial arts seminars with world-renowned instructors; and ran 31 annual open martial arts tournaments – Karate/Kung Fu Maynia – attracting competitors from across Canada and the United States.
Ron continually sought ways to expand opportunities for martial arts in Canada. In 1983, Ron began promoting kickboxing in Ontario. He trained, managed and promoted many fighters including several provincial, national and world champions. He became a top ranked kickboxing judge by the Ontario Athletic Commission and the PKA Professional Karate Association. Kickboxers training under Ron were featured on Wide World of Sports, ESPN and TSN.
Si Tai Gung Ron Day developed a family of martial artists that now boasts over 25 black belt instructors, three generations of martial artists and a global network of colleagues, supporters and friends. After a short illness, Ron died in 2008. His boisterous laugh, his big heart and his commitment to the martial arts remains today in all who knew and loved him. He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Peggy, his children Tobi, Zack, Heather and Patti, his nine grandchildren and five great grandchildren. His legacy continues through his thousands of martial arts students and the club that continues to bear his name – Ron Day’s Kitchener Kicks.
Started at Lee Sukhi Tae Kwon-Do Institute in 1973 in Hamilton Ontario
Dabbled in Tae Kwon-Do tournaments attended 5-6 a year
Hit the open circuit in 1978 when I opened my own school
Increased my tournament attendance to 42 tournaments a year
Rated by Don Warrener’s magazine as #2 rated fighter in the country 1980
Took over number 1 spot in 1981
Canadian Karate Internationals 1st place 1981, 1982, 1983
Grand Champion Canadian Karate Internationals 1983, last year it was held
Finalist at the US Open Karate Tournament 1983
Karate Illustrated rated #1 fighter in Canada from 1981 until they stopped keeping track in late eighties
North American Karate and Kung Fu Grand Champion
Represented Canada on Tae Kwon-Do and Karate teams from 1980 until 1997
Fought in Madison Square Gardens on ESPN
Won numerous titles throughout Canada, USA, Caribbean and Europe
Dominated and won every major title in Canada
First World Title at WAKO world championships in Germany 1987
Burlington Post Athlete of the Year 1987
Canadian Legion of Honour 1987
Second World Title WAKO in Italy 1990, also a Silver Medal in continuous
Bronze medals at WAKO worlds in London England 1991 in point and continuous
3 rd World title in Sky Dome in 1992
5 medals at the Pan American Karate Games 1997 in Bermuda , Gold fighting individual weight division,Goldopen weight fighting, Gold team fighting, Silver forms, Bronze weapons
Coach of Team Canada for Tae Kwon-Do world championships, WAKO world championships, WKO world championships in Florida
Operated the largest Martial Arts School in Burlington from 1978 until 1998
Grand Master Cees Keukens has been a dedicated Martial Arts practitioner and trainer for over 52 years. Born in the Netherlands, he took interest in Taekwondo from an early age. In 1970, he began his training under Dutch Grand Master Louis Pardoel and Master Adrian Lottxxx; and soon after, in addition, under Master Nouvod Hurk and Harris Bottsr; both National Champions and exceptional Martial Artists and respectable role models. His mentor Grand Master Jan Willem Stoker had long recognized his potential. And in 1973, he succeeded in capturing the Dutch National Champion and Gxxx Open Champion titles.
After being picked to join the first European team to compete in the 1974 first ITF World Championship in Canada where he subsequently picked up 4 Silver medals, he was invited to further his training and collaborate with Korean Grand Master Park Jong Soo in Canada. And in May 1974, he made the move to Toronto and embarked on his remarkable journey of competing and coaching in a series of notable competitions and world championships in Canada, the U.S. and Europe with creditable achievements while founding and managing his own TKD Martial Arts club.
After his Dutch National Championship and ITF world Championship success, then Master Cees continued to excel as a member of the undefeated Canadian team in seven meets throughout Europe in 1976. In 1978, he obtained the honor of being the Canadian National Exhibition Grand Champion. Later that year, he accomplished a dual feat at the World Championships in Oklahoma, U.S.A., winning 2 Gold, 2 Silver and 1 Bronze to gain the All Round World Champion title.
Since 1974, Grand Master Cees has been managing and coaching Canadian TKD teams and gifted individuals to victory in the international arena. They include World Champions Didy Lapre, Michael Cormack, Stephen Ramkalawan, Darren McGuirre and Duane Plata.
In 1984, nine of his students went on to achieve a collective 4 Gold, 1 Silver in the Open Dutch Championships and 2 Gold, 2 Silver and 1 Bronze in the South Netherlands Championships. The team went unbeaten in five meets. In 1988, he coached the Canadian Team to an overall fourth place finish behind England, Netherlands and Germany. In March of 1989, he continued his winning, managing and coaching streak with victory over the Dutch Taekwondo Association while accomplishing similar victory over the AMAA in Birmingham England in October 1990
Honors and Recognitions
1978, 1980, 1983 and 1984 - Recipient of the Ontario Achievement Award
July 1988 - Promoted to 5th degree Black Belt by then 7th degree Black Belt Master Jan Willem Stoker of Rotterdam, Holland
1993 – Inducted into the World Martial Arts Hall of fame
Né à Casablanca, Maroc in 1943, il a découvert les arts martiaux en 1955 par le karaté Shotokai avec Maitre Mitsusuke Harada (fondateur du Shotokai) et c\est en 1959 qu’il quitte son pays natale pour aller étudié a l’université de Strasbourg en France les mathématiques, la physique et le génie nucléaire.
C’est alors qu’il débutera la pratique du judo méthode Kawashi et jui-jitsu sous la direction technique de Sensei Panza.
Après ses études et voulant en connaître d’avantage sur les Budos, la médiation ainsi que le travail d’énergie interne, il quitta la France pour tout d’abord l’Inde pour y étudier le yoga, l’art de la respiration et de la méditation.
Par la suite étant toujours curieux ayant la soif d’apprendre il se rendit au Japon ou il y restera pendant plus de 2 années où il étudiera le Shito-Ryu avec maitre Chojiro Tani(fondateur du Shukokai) pour ainsi faire la rencontre de Maitre Yoshinao Nanbu (fondateur du Karaté Sankukai).
Il étudiera et fit un fidèle élève avec Maitre Nanbu pendant plus de 15 années; de plus Maitre Mazaltarim toujours au Japon, il étudiera le Iaido (Ken-Jitsu) du Katorishintoryu avec Maitre Noda Seizan.
De 1970 a 1977 il fut le bras droit de Maitre Nanbu et il voyagera à travers le monde a fin de donner des stage avec Maitre Nanbu.
Au Canada il ouvrira plusieurs dojo au Québec en plus de créer sa propre fédération,’’ La
Fédération Sankukai du Québec’’ regroupant plus d’une trentaines de dojo.
Étant très structurer et excellent pédagogue Maitre Mazaltarim créant un programme
d’enseignement pour les ceinture noires qui désirent enseigner l’Art du Karaté Sankukai, c’est ainsi que lors des championnats du monde du Nanbu-Sankukai en 1976 à Monte Carlo qu’il devient conseiller technique et pédagogique de l’Association de Karaté Sankukai (l’AIKS) de Maitre Nanbu.
C’est suite a toutes ces années d’expériences et de pratique que Maitre Mazaltarim fonda sa propre méthode, le Seikido ‘’La voie de l’énergie circulaire’’; il écrira un ouvrage sur sa méthode ainsi que de multiple vidéos et émission s de télévision qui sera pratiquer à travers le monde et de plus adopter dans les cours d’éducation physique ainsi que d’éducation spécialisé.
L’art du SEIKIDO sera par la suite enseigner en Amérique du Nord , dans plusieurs pays d’Europe ainsi qu’en Israël, Maroc et pays d’Afrique.
Soke Pierre Myre started his career on October 10th, 1966 with Sensei André Langelier in Ottawa. 1969 is the year in which he opened his first Dojo (Myre karaté Dojo) in the Outaouais region and in this same year, he received the prestigious 'athlete of the year' award. It goes without saying that you can't talk about Outaouais karate pioneers without mentioning Soke Myre's name.
Soke Myre created his own style in 1972 (Chito-Kan) and opened his second dojo. In 1978, his first student opened his own Chito-Kan school and the dojos have multiplied ever since.
In 1969, Soke Myre received at his dojo Senseï Yamamoto as well as his right hand man Senseï Takushi. Yamamoto and Takushi also made a visit to Soke's personal house for a dinner which included Senseï André Langelier and Senseï Fernand Cléroux.
The Chito-Kan style, founded by Mr. Myre, combines three houses: Shotokan / Chito-Ryu and Jeet-Kune-Do into one where traditionalism and rapid open hand techniques are practiced.
During his career, Soke Myre opened around forty schools, in Gaspé, Gatineau, Hull, Aylmer, Val D'Or, Rouyn Noranda (Abitibi), Maniwaki, Gracefield, Notre-Dame du Laus, Acapulco, reina Siméento, Pétaclan, Ixtapa, Lazaro de Cardenas, Monterym Las Vegas and more.
In the 70s, he was part of the Canadian Karate Association with Senseï Langelier et was also a member of the Quebec Karate Federation with his good friend Guy Valiquette. Then, in the 90s, he introduced the American Association of Martial Arts into Canada (A.F.M.A) for which he was the Canadian chapter president. It is in 2001 that Soke Myre founded the Canadian Martial Arts Federation (F.C.A.M).
Soke Myre had an illustrious competition career, winning multiple Grand Champ tournaments and his name was circulated not only across Canada, but internationally as well. Soke retired from competitions in 1981 with over 20 Grand Champ titles and over 250 trophies, medals and awards. It is worth noting that Soke Myre has confronted several well-known athletes, namely: Billy Blanks, Chuck Norris and others. In addition, in 65-66, Soke had the opportunity to train with the legendary Bruce Lee.
In addition to the multitude of championships , he also trained several great competitors and has worked with many other karate practitioners over many years to help them reach their full potential. Here are a few names Soke Myre can proudly consider to have helped develop: Gilles Lavigne, Claude Danis, Claude Larouche, Guy Charron, Josée Blanchard, Luc Maisonneuve, Michel Royer, Gilles Deslongchamps, Daniel Beaudry, Daniel Gingras, Stéphane Lachapelle, Pascale Coggins, Annie Lyrette, Robert (Bob) Lavigne, Philippe Tremblay and many others.
Soke Myre received his titles (Kyoshi, Shihan, Soke) from the American Federation of Martial Arts (A.F.M.A.). Note that Pierre Myre Soke was the first Canadian to obtain these 3 titles in Canada
Mr. Myre was inducted into the Yoseikan Hall Of Fame in Québec in the early 2000's at the same time as Hanshi John Thérien and Hanshi Marc Asselin. He was also inducted into the American Black Dragon.
Here is a quick look at his accomplishments:
Soke Myre received his 7th dan on November 10th, 1989 and was endorsed by the Canadian Prime Minister (Brian Mulroney) under the recommendation of Depute Moore of the federal government of Canada. He received his Shihan title on Dec 15th 1990 and in 1995 he was named instructor of the year. It is in 2003 that Mr. Myre received his 9th dan and the title of Soke.
On October 30th 2018, Pierre Myre Soke was awarded his Judan (10th dan) by the World Budokan Martial Arts Federation.
Pierre Myre Soke was also inducted into the Sokeship Council of Florida (USA) in October 2018
In 1970, Bill Pickells began his martial arts training in Brampton, Ontario, under the tutelage of Grand Master Wally Slocki. Bill received his first black belt in 1974 and went on to teach for Wally Slocki's Canadian School of Health and Self Defense.
In 1975, Bill began training with Hanshi Cezar Borkowski of Northern Karate, where he received his 2nd black belt. Wally Slocki and Cezar Borkowski were instrumental in Bill continuing his Martial Arts journey and to this day he considers them both his mentors.
Bill hosted a weekly TV series Karate in Action on Rogers Cable TV for five years, wrote articles for magazines and had a weekly newspaper syndicate on self defense. He also had several action movie credits to his name, with both Film One Productions and Five River Films.
As a competitor Bill was rated number one with Karate Illustrated Magazine and was instrumental in Canada receiving it's own ratings zone, known as Region 3. He won such titles as the US Open, Canadian Open, and the USKA Bushido award "competitor of the year", he won the North American Karate/Kung Fu Championships and held the title of Ontario Provincials grand champion, five years running; just to name a few.
As a tournament promoter, Bill hosted such events as The Canadian Diamond Nationals, The Canadian Diamond Challenge and The Battle at Brampton. He was the Canadian Director of the USKA under Master Robert A. Trias (Phoenix, Arizon), receiving his 5th degree/Shihan ranking, was the Canadian Director of the Profesional Karate Commission (PKC), under Grand Master Glenn Keeney (Indiana), receiving his 6th degree ranking, and was the President of the Professional Martial Arts Alliance (Ontario, Canada).
The Profesional Martials Arts Alliance was formed in 1999 by Bill Pickells, President, Rick Joslin, Vice President, Tony Rampulla, Head Co-ordinator/Web Host and Bill's wife Susie Pickells, Ratings Director. The local circuit ran until 2010, consisting of eight local tournaments, and an annual Awards Banquet at the end of each competitive season.
Bill has since retired and divides his time as a caregiver, a pet whisperer and fashions himself as a modern day Mr. Miyagi, living a zen life as he nurtures his gardens and lawns. He feels honored to be remembered and to conclude his martial arts legacy with the prestigious award of being inducted into the Canadian Black Belt Hall of Fame.