Anthony Monette, a first-degree brown belt who was both a student and mentor at Kyokushin Los Angeles, has died following a motorcycle accident on July 28 in Las Vegas. Monette was 25.
The winner of numerous competitions and awards, Monette discovered Kyokushin karate at the age of 10 and dedicated himself to making the long commute to the Little Tokyo dojo several times a week with his father, from their home in Palmdale.
“He taught us what the power to pursue dreams can do for our lives,” said Taku Nakasaka, head instructor of Kyokushin Los Angeles. “His life was too short, but it was so bright and it was full of accomplishments and joy.”
One of the most talented fighters in the history of Kyokushin L.A., Monette’s championships include a record four straight U.S. Weight Class titles, an All American championship in 2011 and several first-place finishes in the Los Angeles Freshman tournament.
He was selected as a member of the U.S. team that traveled to compete in Serbia in 2011, and fought in a youth world tournament in Japan in 2009.
Aside from his own training and study, Monette spent hours at the dojo helping to train and mentor the younger students who were discovering karate. His gentle demeanor and dedication to service quickly earned him the admiration and respect of parents, fellow students and his instructors.
“When I close my eyes and think of Anthony, I remember him as trying 100 percent all the time,” Nakasaka added. “That was him. He became a champion and that wasn’t a coincidence. I am very proud of him. It was my honor to teach karate to him.”
Services are planned for Wednesday, Aug. 18.