Carl Rodrigue got hooked on karate when he was just 7 years old.

He's now 16, and a fixture on the provincial team and a national champion.

"I just like it. You can't do this if you're not motivated, if you didn't like it," said Carl.

In fact he says he can't imagine live without karate, travelling from St. Bruno to Terrebonne up to five days a week for a workout that lasts at least 90 minutes.

"There's some really good people to help us to go in international competition, that's why we came here," said Carl.

His speed and his explosiveness are his best weapons.

He's mature, according to his partner Guillaume Tremblay he's easy to work with and knows exactly what he wants.

"He's serious, and he's very interested in training and I can push him, and he can push me, even if I'm older then him," said Tremblay.

"If you are in the ring with him then be ready because you know he's going to push you and push you all the time."

Coach Katarina Vadovicova has been working with Carl for years, and says he started to grow into his potential three years ago.

"We saw a lot of potential but still he had a lot of time," said Vadovicova.

"It became serious when he was maybe 14, 13."

Carl hopes his hard work will now lead him to international competition, starting with the Pan Am games later this year.


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Carl's name was mispelled in the original version of this story. We regret the error.