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Shihan Michel Bégin has started karate in September 1967 at the age of 16, after he was hit by an Asian young boy who had stroked him with a nukite at the throat in the school stairway right at the beginning of the school year.
He could not move for a good half hour and this event had made him think of studying martial arts. He went with a friend at the nearest martial art center to assist a judo class, but the Judo classes were on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and he had went to visit the centre on a Wednesday evening so there it was the karate class given instead of judo, the karate classes were on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays he was impressed by the teachers skills.
Shihan Michel registered in September 1967 with Samurai Karate Montreal North, a very small dojo on top of a shopping mall on the corner of Lacordaire and Henri-Bourassa streets in Montreal North. He then started training with Sensei Richard Barbeau and Sensei Tony Volpato both were former students of Master Roger Lesourd.
Shihan Michel's family had a long story of moving very often so he was in and out of karate schools and got married very young and stopped taking karate classes to become a full time father and husband at the age of 21.
He kept training by himself for many years and after a divorce he went on a seven year trip around the world.
He used to step in karate dojos in every country towns he travelled trough no matter what style they were practicing and with his Montreal North membership card would ask permission to the sensei to train with them. Since it was on a fly by night approach only few would refuse. He sometimes could not even read what the school style was.
He got married a second time to a French girl and settled in France for a while. He decided to teach basics of karate to a group of young men in the city of Laval in Mayenne France.
In the mid 80,s Shihan Michel came back to Canada and started searching for a karate school where he would be able to stay in and learn a unique karate style.
He found a Kyokushin karate school that had just opened called Centre Pierre Latour, on St-Michel Street in Montreal-North.
Shihan Pierre Latour a former student of Shihan André Coulombe and Shihan André Gilbert was a very good teacher and mastered the Kyokushin karate and was a well recognized Canadian branch chief.
Shihan Michel did not say anything about his long years of training in karate but the experience of Shihan Latour helped him find out on the very first class that he had been practicing karate for a long time already. But Shihan Michel took his new karategi and white belt and went on training every day with Shihan Latour and Sensei Yves Capuano.
He obtained a Kyokushin black belt shodan in September 1991, Nidan in 1993. He attended several special clinics with Shihan John Farrell, Shihan Yamashita 8th dan Okinawan Kobudo master .
In June 1996 Shihan Michel was badly injured in an accident and was operated for a broken neck. The head surgeon of the Montreal general Hospital had to make a bone fusion on the spinal cord at the level of vertebras C4,5 and 6. Upon his recovery he was told by Dr. Richardson that his karate had saved his life. He was out of karate for 8 months. Shihan Michel had been practicing 16 hours a week for 15 years and was graded sandan in 1997. He also received a Sandan grade in Okinawan Kobudo from Shihan André Coulombe 7th dan in 1997. But as never practiced Kobudo ever since concentrating on Kyokushin karate only.
The dojo of Shihan Pierre Latour went on fire and burned down in 1997 and it was the end of Centre Pierre Latour. Shihan Pierre Latour Godan decided that it would not be rebuilt and stopped teaching Karate. He met with Kancho Toru Tezuka in May 2000 and decided to join Kyokushin-Tezuka Group . Shihan Michel has been graded Yondan by Kancho Tezuka in 2003 after Kancho Tezuka witnessed a black belt test in Shihan Michel's dojo. Kancho Tezuka told him in front of his students that he now was to be called Shihan and that it would be so even if he only had Yondan certification. Kancho Tezuka also made Shihan Michel canadian Branch Chief of IKO Tezuka Group for which he received an official certificate in April 2000.
He is teaching in his own dojo in Brossard, Quebec since 1998.He is now Kancho Tezuka's personal secretary and secretary for International affairs with IKO Kyokushin Kai Kan Tezuka Group.