Bob Daigle pulled off another karate coup over the weekend by enticing to Cayman the mother and son world champion duo of Christine Bannon-Rodrigues and Dante Rodrigues.
The champs held two seminars for the students at Cayman Karate Academy at the Best Life Training Centre and response from kids and parents alike was extremely positive.
Daigle is the founder and master instructor at Academy and being a former world karate champion himself with a wealth of contacts, he delved into that resource to bring Bannon-Rodrigues back here for the first time in 15 years.
She is also a celebrated stunt double, combining movie work with running a school in Rhode Islands with her husband Don.
Dante, 17, was an infant when last here but he will certainly remember Grand Cayman much better this time after the warm reception he got from the students and general public in the free classes that Daigle organized.
Some of Daigle’s students are Seventh-day Adventists and could not attend Saturday’s seminars, so he held a special seminar with the champs on Friday.
“We didn’t want to leave anyone behind,” Daigle said. “The Adventists missed out on our Night of Champions event in May because it was on a Saturday, so I put this one on especially for them. Everyone walked out smiling.”
He added that one of the Adventist parents, Shena Toyloy, was particularly appreciative and added that all the parents were extremely happy that their kids were exposed to two great models.
Daigle said that Jaslyn Bridges remarked that her daughters Jordan and Jessica thought the seminars were a positive experience for her kids and she was impressed that Rodrigues has high academic school grades despite endless traveling through karate and missing many classes.
Rodrigues is proud of the fact that he is one of the top students at his school in Rhode Island.
“Jaslyn stayed for both seminars and thought it was a fantastic experience,” Daigle said. “She actually got to know Christine and Dante a little bit better because she drove them back to their accommodation. Jaslyn is looking forward to more seminars like this.”
More praise came from McConnell Barnes whose daughter Telisha is particularly good at the tricky nunchucks. “McConnell was really pleased that the students were able to learn more moves on the nunchucks,” Daigle said. He added, “Special thanks to the Kensington Management Group, Car City, Lisa Ebanks and the Hunn family for their cash donations, Robert Smith at Dollar & Thrifty Car Rental and Lisa Ebanks of Villas of the Galleon for their support of this event. Without their help, events like this would not be possible.”
Daigle is not surprised that Rodrigues wants to return for at least a month next summer to pass on some more skills to the Academy students.
“He is dying to come back,” Daigle said. “Imagine the impact it will have if he is here for four to six weeks.”