For the Richards, karate is a family affair.
Carole Richard, 2nd Dan, started training in 1992. Her daughter, Jolène, 1st Dan, started in March 2014 and her son, Marc-André started in March 2017.
Carole tested for her Shodan with Shuseki Shihan Woon-a-tai on April 3rd 2004. On March 24th 2017, she was promoted to Nidan with Shihan DaCosta.
"I had the honor of having my children testing on the same day; Jolène for her shodan and Marc-André for his 6th Kyu."
Carole's first instructors were Sensei Normand Arsenault, Sensei Gilles Daigle, Sensei Tony Fahey and Sensei Noël Daigle. The family's current instructors are: Sensei Tony Fahey, Sensei Isabelle Bordage, Sensei Craig O'Neill, Sensei Michel Gaudet and Sensei Barry Ripley.
Carole participated in her first tournament in 1993. At the time, she was a 7th Kyu. She earned her first medals for Kata and Kumite.
"I was so excited to display these medals that my little sister - who had been a spectator at the tournament - decided to start training the following month. Friendly sibling rivalry ensued...LOL! We both earned a few medals over the next couple of years."
Her children also started collecting medals soon after they started training. Prior to their first competition, Carole made sure that they should just focus on trying their best and that they should not focus on winning a medal, but rather to treat their experience as a practice for their next grading.
"It takes a lot of courage and determination to compete in front of a crowd and that it helps increase your confidence in your abilities."
Carole started training when she was 15 years old.
"At the time, I was a little shy and my hope was that karate would help be build up my confidence and help increase my physical fitness. Not only has karate helped me achieve these goals, it has also helped me build lifelong friendships."
Carole is a Graphic Designer and designs the clinic posters that are shared on this website and posted at events.
She practice yoga twice a week, she also likes to take walks and enjoys riding her bicycle with the family.
Recently she started doing volunteer work with the family dog (Maggie) through the Therapy Tailblazers group. In this capacity, Carole has visited various educational facilities (schools, colleges, universities) as well as seniors complexes. She finds it very rewarding to be giving back to her community.
"I have to express my gratitude to Sensei Isabelle Bordage as we reconnected in 2001 when we became colleagues. She told me at that time that she was teaching Karate classes near our work place twice a week. She encouraged me to start training with her. I already had my 2nd Kyu and so I became her colleague by day and her pupil by night. I then went on to earning my 1st Kyu. In 2003, I was given the opportunity to compete at the National Shotokan Karate Competition in Vancouver BC. Even though I did not win any medals, I was grateful for the experience. I was also able to celebrate the victories of the members of the Maritime team. The experiences I gained from competing at a national level prepared me for my Shodan testing 6 months later."
"When I started having children, I stopped training to focus on being a mom and bringing my children to and from various activities. I always knew in the back of my mind that I would go back to training when the timing was right. A few years ago, my daughter Jolène - who was 8 years old at the time - found a few of the medals I had accumulated at various karate competitions. I could almost see the wheels turning in her head, contemplating how she could also earn some shiny medals. A few months later, she asked if she and I could start training together. I accepted the new challenge. Jolène attended her first competition in 2015 and came back with 2 "shiny medals"! This is when her little brother started admiring her medals... and wouldn't you know, his interest in karate started shortly thereafter. Marc-André attended most of Jolène's gradings and he also tagged along to a few of our weekly training sessions. In March 2017, he saw a demonstration of the Unsu kata and that 360° jump made a lasting impression. He started training with us the following week. It has always been a dream of mine to be able to participate in an activity with both of my children and I feel very fortunate to have helped Jolène and Marc-André develop their passion for the sport."