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Arigato Gozaimashita

Our Sempais


Our Sempais are Shihan John's assistant teachers.  A karateka (karate practitioner) of shodan or nidan rank is addressed as "Sempai" (or the alternate spelling "Senpai").  Students of lower than black belt rank may also be addressed as Sempai as a sign of respect, in particular if they are assisting or teaching classes.  Many of the Sempais listed below no longer frequent the dojo on a regular basis, but you may still see them drop in to train from time to time.  They will always be welcome and will forever be a huge part of the history and spirit of West Island Karate / Karate De L'Ile.  Osu!

Sensei Stephen Forrester - Sandan (3rd Dan)


Sensei Steve was one of West Island Karate's first students.  Now in his 50's, Sensei has trained in the martial arts for over 30 years.  He currently supplements his karate training by studying kung fu as well.  In addition, he served the community by working as a regular volunteer on a Search and Rescue Team.  Sensei Steve is known as a stickler for tradition.  He is extremely dedicated to the dojo and has been of great help throughout the years.

Sensei Steve passed his Sandan (3rd Dan) grading on June 9, 2007.  Preparing himself for the last few months with extra training to improve his physical conditioning, Sensei fought more than double the necessary number of fights required for his age group.

Sempai Alain Carrière - Nidan (2nd Dan)


Sempai Alain began his training in the mid-80's, receiving his brown belt while in college.  After both his children started training at West Island Karate, he decided that it was time to continue.  He has been with the dojo since 2004 and instructs the teen class in addition to training in the adult class.  Sempai Alain has tremendous spirit and is known for his great kicking ability.  Sempai Alain earned his Nidan in May of 2010.

Sempai Alain is also certified by Ambulance Saint-Jean to render Emergency Level First Aid and CPR.

Sempai Manon Lafrance - Nidan (2nd Dan)


Sempai Manon has been training at the dojo since 2002.  She has come up through the ranks with great enthusiasm and is not known as someone to have an off-night.  After running her own daycare for two years, she decided to become more active with regards to the teaching aspect of karate by first assisting Sensei John with the children's classes.  Sempai eventually took over the Munchkin program as its main instructor in 2007.   In conjunction with West Island Karate, she is also running a successful karate program with a combined enrollment of over 50 students at two local area elementary schools.  As of 2008, Sempai Manon has expanded her role at the dojo, assisting in both the beginner and intermediate children's classes and bringing her tremendous energy and enthusiasm to her teaching.

Sempai Manon was graded to Shodan by Shihan Roman in December of 2009.  She was then graded to Nidan by Sensei John Kalaidopoulos in June of 2013.

Sempai Manon is also certified by Ambulance Saint-Jean to render Emergency Level First Aid and CPR.

Sempai Victor Cicchino - Nidan (2nd Dan)


Sempai Victor started training in the year 2000 and is an extremely strong karateka who is often seen still on the dojo floor working after class has ended.  Assisting with the children and primarily with the teenagers, he is well liked by the students even though he puts them through very hard training.  The windows are always fogged up by the time his classes are over.  Sempai Victor earned his Nidan in May of 2010.

Sempai Kimm Carrière - Nidan (2nd Dan)


Sempai Kimm has become a fixture at local full-contact/knockdown competitions in the last few years.  She recently competed in her first international tournament, the 2014 Diamond Cup in Belgium, accompanied by her trainer/coach, Sensei John, and a small contingent of Sempais and students from the dojo.  Click here to read about our incredible trip.

Sempai Annie Prud'homme - Nidan (2nd Dan)


Sempai Patsy Lavoie - Nidan (2nd Dan)


Sempai Patsy started training in Kyokushin Karate as a teenager.  After 5 years of intense training and participation in many tournaments, Sempai Patsy took a break to concentrate on school.  In 2001, after a five year hiatus from karate, she resumed her training at the Deux Montagnes Dojo with Sensei Bruno Deschenes.  It was there that she helped train a student to fight at the European Championships in Belgium.  In 2004, Sempai Patsy was graded to Shodan (1st degree black belt) by Shihan Roman Szyrajew.  Later that year, she went to Japan and attended the World Championships in Isesaki City.  Sempai Patsy joined West Island Karate in 2005 and was graded to Nidan by Shihan Roman in March of 2008.

Sempai Nancy Watmore - Nidan (2nd Dan)


Sempai Nancy joined West Island Karate after earning her Shodan with Shihan Roman and quickly became a fixture in the adult and teen classes, training regularly up to 7 times a week.  She brings much energy to her classes and is often seen encouraging those around her to work harder by pushing herself every class.  Sempai Nancy earned her Nidan in March of 2008.

Sempai Nancy is also certified by Ambulance Saint-Jean to render Emergency Level First Aid and CPR.

Sempai Lia Calderone - Nidan (2nd Dan)


Now in her late teens, it is evident when you see Sempai Lia’s technique, that she has put in more training time than any other student her age.  Sempai Lia works hard and is at the dojo training and assisting at least 5 classes each week.  She also has the distinction of being the first female student at West Island Karate to be awarded a black belt.  Her fluid technique has helped her win many first place trophies at competitions.  Sempai Lia earned her Nidan in May of 2010.

Sempai Richard Garvis - Nidan (2nd Dan)


Sempai Richard came to West Island Karate in the fall of 2004 having previously earned his Shodan over 20 years ago with an east-end Kyokushin dojo.  Sempai Richard currently teaches the early-bird adult class on Saturdays at 7:00 a.m. (yup...you read that right :-)), keeping those students in top form with his own style of rigid warm ups (and a coffee or two).  Please check our Schedule to confirm times.

Sempai Tony DiGennaro - Shodan (1st Dan)


Sempai Tony was one of the first students to start training at West Island Karate.  He has been an integral part of the dojo's success.  A Director of Marketing and a family man with a very busy schedule, Sempai Tony still finds time to consistently train inside and outside the dojo.  Though he is in his mid 50's, he is still a very difficult partner to spar with.  He is an example for all that dedication and hard work are keys to attaining your goals.

Sempai Vincent Prud'homme - Shodan (1st Dan)


Sempai Mike Woo - Shodan (1st Dan)


Sempai Steve Roumeliotis - Shodan (1st Dan)


Sempai Witold Cialowicz - Shodan (1st Dan)


Sempai Marla Salonin - Shodan (1st Dan)


Sempai Alexandre Richard - Shodan (1st Dan)


Sempai Philippe Richard - Shodan (1st Dan)


Sempai Isaiah Martel-Wilson - Shodan (1st Dan)


Sempai Stella Markakis - Shodan (1st Dan)


Sempai Rebecca Prince-Pugh - Shodan (1st Dan)


Sempai Denis Martin - Shodan (1st Dan)


Sempai David Boily - Shodan (1st Dan)


Sempai Susie Gow - Shodan (1st Dan)


Sempai Emily Woo - Shodan (1st Dan)


Sempai Peter Lyver - Shodan (1st Dan)


Sempai Peter Tomovic - Shodan (1st Dan)


Sempai Yves Guenet - Shodan (1st Dan)


Sempai Yves joined West Island Karate in the year 2000.  Soon after, his son and daughter joined the children's program.  He has been very dedicated not only with his training, but with dojo activities and events.  He is always there to help at dojo functions and tournaments.  Sempai Yves started assisting in adult and children's classes and is known for his hard workouts.

Sempai Jimmy Galanopoulos - Shodan (1st Dan)


Sempai Michael Fitch - Shodan (1st Dan)


Sempai Michael was one of the first children to be instructed by Sensei John.  Coming from the former dojo as a green belt at the age of nine, Sempai Michael has been with the dojo from the beginning.  Now in his late teens, he trains with the adults and assists with the teen class.

Sempai Alex Katigbak - Shodan (1st Dan)


Sempai Alex has been assisting the children's class since mid-2007 and is becoming extremely capable of handling a class on her own.  Her attention to detail makes her a very effective teacher.  She is able to keep the class focused while at the same time maintaining a fun atmosphere.  She recently competed at the 3rd I.K.O. Matsushima World Open in Japan.  Click here to read about our trip to Japan to watch her compete.

Sempai Alex was graded to Shodan by Kancho Matsushima at the honbu in Japan in November of 2008.

Sempai Louise Brunet - Shodan (1st Dan)


Sempai Louise started training at the dojo in 2001.  After spending several years as a spectator watching her children train and compete, she took the plunge and started training in the morning class.  Later on, she  added the evening courses to her schedule as well.  Upon attaining her green belt, Sempai began assisting in the morning class, running the warm-ups and helping out the white belts.  She has participated in many training seminars and clinics with Kancho Matsushima, Shihan Roman Szyrajew, Shihan Réal De Repentigny and Shihan Marc Van Welleghem to name a few, and continues training in the evenings as she works towards the Shodan level.  Sempai has always been there to support the dojo in other capacities, volunteering for dojo functions such as the annual Halloween and Christmas parties as well as assisting at our tournament, the Canadian Junior Kyokushin Championships.  She is an accomplished athlete, swims competitively and is a former triathlete.

Sempai Louise was graded to Shodan by Shihan Roman in December of 2009.

She is also certified by Ambulance Saint-Jean to render Emergency Level First Aid and CPR.

Sempai Alan Fournier - Shodan (1st Dan)


Sempai Kevin Fournier - Shodan (1st Dan)


Sempai Alex Mocella - Shodan (1st Dan)


Sempai Muriel Chamoux - Shodan (1st Dan)


Sempai James Austin - Shodan (1st Dan)


Sempai Vince Di Adamo - 1st Kyu


Sempai Anne-Marie Lemieux - 1st Kyu


Sempai J Lopez - 1st Kyu


Sempai Yvonne Falaise - 1st Kyu


Sempai Lisa-Marie Williams - 1st Kyu


Sempai Vu Nguyen - 1st Kyu