Karate master Marc Asselin had already defeated very tough opponents, but the Quebecer, struck down by a stroke in 2016, lost his last fight against COVID-19 at the age of 79.
The total number of COVID-19-related deaths now stands at 6,586 in Quebec, but week after week, familiar faces are added to the list.
Thursday evening, Hanshi Marc Asselin, black belt 9e dan, died at 15e floor of the Hotel Le Concorde, where he was transported on November 6 after a positive screening.
For more than 40 years, he has trained about a thousand black belts and for 25 years led the Yoseikan Karate-Do Federation.
“I didn’t think his departure would affect so many people. I was near him to accompany him. It was my karate master. He came to pick me up from my house to go do demonstrations and participate in competitions, ”recounts karate teacher Steve Dorion.
A great sports career
Originally from Val-Bélair, Marc Asselin was born into a family of 16 children. He has long made snowshoes and canoes in the territory of Wendake.
Throughout camps, galas and other karate events, the gathering point has long been the central dojo on rue Saint-Joseph in Quebec City.
In 2009, after a successful sports career, he left to live in Cambodia, but as in a film script, he had to be repatriated in 2016 after a devastating stroke.
The poor man was then stuck in Cambodia after a long hospitalization in a health establishment which withheld his passport for an unpaid bill.
Badly, Marc Asselin’s long ordeal ended after 100 days. Steve Dorion had then joined him in a shelter for orphans, 100 km from Phnom Penh. Relatives had managed to raise the necessary amount of money.
A collective effort
“He’s fine now. He is delivered, even though we have to mourn. I thanked again four years later the group of eight we were at the time. It was a success in terms of spontaneous engagement, ”adds author Paul Ohl, a friend of the deceased.
Jean-Pierre Charbonneau, former president of the National Assembly, John Therien, influential figure in the world of martial arts, and Jean-Yves Thériault, a kickboxer renowned, notably participated in this humanitarian effort.
A member of the Canadian Black Belt Hall of Fame, Marc Asselin had retained significant after-effects from his two strokes. The septuagenarian lived at the Assisi accommodation center, in the Limoilou sector.