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Hanshi Fern Cléroux (Judan - 10th dan)


Who is Sensei Fernand Réal Cléroux? A well known man that we know as Fern Cléroux, nicknamed " The Bear" (for his tenacity to defend his students or team in any competitions or country) or "the though man of the Outaouais". He was born August 16, 1938 and raised in the Ottawa area. Here is his story.

In 1957, at the age of 19, he began his studies of Karate with Ary Anastasiadis and Mike Godard, where he was introduced to O-Sensei Masami Tsuruoka, who became a lifelong teacher and friend.

Known as the " French Connection", André Langelier, George Sylvain and Fern Cléroux, opened their clubs in the Ottawa/Hull region. They developed a joint reputation as "a force to be dealt with".

(George Sylvain, André Langelier and Fern Cléroux)

In 1967, O-Sensei Masami Tsuruoka recommended Fern for is Shodan (1st degree) to Dr. Chitose, head of the Chito-Ryu style of Karate. He went on to receive his Nidan (2nd) and Sandan (3rd) from Dr. Chitose.


During this time, Cléroux's name grew as a fighter, teacher, referee and most notably, head coach of Team Canada. He produced some of Canada's greatest champions, and his famous Cléroux power team competed all over the world, winning many championships. Canada has earned six international team cups in Holland (2), Germany, Italy, France and the U.S.A., along with many individual gold, silver and bronze medals in North American competitions.

He received is Yodan (4th) from Sensei Richard Kim and with a recommendation from Sensei Benny Allen, his Godan (5th) and Rokudan (6th) from the Quebec Karate Federation.

In 1987, the Quebec government honoured him. The Lt. Governor General of Quebec, the Honourable Gilles Lamontagne, presented Fern with his Sichidan (7th) in the art of Chito-Ryu Karate.

In 1995, he was honoured again by the people of Quebec for his lifelong dedication to the art of Karate in Quebec and Canada, when the Premier of Quebec, the Right Honourable Jacques Parizeau presented him with his Hachidan (8th).

In 2008, Fern Cléroux was honourably inducted in the Canadian Black Belt Hall Of Fame, where he received is 9th degree by none other then O-Sensei Tsuruoka (The father of Canadian Karate), his great friend and teacher for many more years to come.

In January 2015, Fern Cléroux was honoured by receiving his 10th degree (Judan) from the Canadian Government and acknowledge by the Japanese Ambassy's in Canada.


Fern has also made his presence felt on the Karate political scene and has other notable accomplishments following his name:

  • President of the Canadian Karate Association who was co-founder in 1971 with André Langelier and George Sylvain;
  • Vice President of the National Karate Association for one year (he then moved on to benefit his students and teams);
  • Founder of the Quebec Karate Federation and Vice President from 1973-1984;
  • Founder of the Provincial Chito-Ryu Karate Association from 1976-1996;
  • Founder of the Chito-Shin-Kai style and Association in 1996 and president of the organisation since it's inception.
  • CKA Kancho 2015-2017

Fern Cléroux is recognized as one of the first Canadians to hold the International referee status, which he received in Scotland from Max Viche of the European Karate Union, under President Jacques Dalcourt, so that the Canadian teams and Canadian Fighters could have representation at international competitions.

In short, Sensei Fern Cléroux is part of the Canadian Karate Heritage. With many more years to come, he will always remain the heart sand soul of Karate in the Ottawa/Gatineau region.

Personal note from Sensei Fern Cléroux:

"I have been in Karate my whole life and could not have achieved all this without the help from so many people, but I would like to personally thank my Senior Black Belts, Sensei Tom Fleming who has been with me for more than 45years and Sensei François Beaulieu for more than 40 years."

Thank You.


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