Sensei Charles Gagnon obtained Shodan black belt on December 4th 2005. His interest for Martial Arts began in grade school where he trained in Judo. Although this lasted only for a short while, he knew one day he would again return to this passion. Charles moved to White Plains NY from Montreal, Canada in 1997 and started looking into various martial art schools. Nothing captivated his interest, until he found out about Krav Maga (Israeli Hand to Hand Combat) at the Toshindo Karate school. He joined the Krav Maga program in January of 2001. He trained with Sensei Simon Wilcox for over six months and became very proficient in this particular art of self-defense. In June 2001, he also joined the adult Karate program at Toshindo with Shihan Donald LaMattina. The Krav Maga program ended shortly after. However, Charles and his wife Sonia remained at this dojo to train in Karate. Since then, he has fought and performed katas in tournaments, participated in Toshindo tournaments and various parades in White Plains.
After his first daughter Chloe was born in October 2002, there was some doubt that he would return. Fortunately he did, with Sonia (also a 2nd kyu Brown Belt) and Chloe in tow!
After 2 years of training, he discovered there was some interest for an adult Cardio Kickboxing program. He trained and was certified by the American Fitness Professionals and Associates (AFPA) in Cardio Kickboxing. He offered a Cardio Kickboxing class twice a week for over a year but the class is currently suspended.
When he is not training, Sensei Charles can be found: spending time with his family; or in the IT department of OTA LLC, a small hedge fund in Purchase, maintaining their UNIX and networking environment; or managing one of his "hobby" websites. Tournament Results and Important Dates 2001 World Oyama Karate Invitational 2nd 18+ Kata, 2nd 18+ Kumite (semi-knockdown) 2002 Tommy May's 24th Battle of Westchester 2nd 18+ Weapons 01/2004 1st Kyu Brown Examination 04/2004 World Oyama Karate Invitational 1st 18+ Weapons, 2nd 18+ Kata, 2nd 18+ Kumite (semi-knockdown) 2005 World Kanreikai Tournament 2005 1st 18+ Kata, 4th 18+ Kumite (semi-knockdown) 12/04/2005 Shodan Examination 01/13/2008 Nidan Examination 07/26/2008 Awarded the Sensei title
Some clips of Sensei Charles training or competing
Tameshiwari demo for Columbus Day Parade in White Plains. Sensei Charles breaks a baseball bat with his shin:
Tameshiwari demonstration for the Relay For Life in White Plains. Sensei Charles breaks a baseball bat with his shin:
Kata competition at the World Kanreikai Tournament in the spring of 2005:
Third Kumite (men's heavyweight brown belt) at the World Oyama Tournament in Connecticut on 2004/05/22: