Richard Courtemanche (left) and his Tae Kwon Do teacher, Grand Master Justin Powell (right) were all smiles after Richard’s successful showing at the 2017 International Martial Arts Canadian Opena Championship.
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by Brad Aubin
Local martial arts student Richard Courtemanche brought home some impressive hardware earlier this month. Courtemanche, a long-time Sturgeon Falls resident, competed in the 2017 International Martial Arts Canadian Open Championship in Sault Ste Marie on October 14th, taking first place in both Kata (forms) and sparring.
The 28-year old is a yellow belt in Tae Kwon Do, training under local instructor Justin Powell for the past couple of years. With Powell recently reopening a training facility in Sturgeon Falls, it’s more convenient and motivating than ever for Courtemanche.
“Honestly, you’re not going to find this kind of training anywhere you go. You’re not just standing there and throwing punches. You’re getting a history of everything that you’re doing... how it benefits the body; 360 degrees of information. The training is very traditional which is great, and it’s very well rounded. In other schools, you learn to run before you walk. With Justin, he taught me first to walk, then to run, then to jump. He provided me with a solid foundation.”
The tournament was Courtemanche’s second, after winning a gold medal earlier this year in Sudbury in the Kata (forms) category.