Boyle (‘23) Kicks it Up a Notch


Cole Boyle with Master Adam Shedrick at the New England AAU National Qualifier. Photo credit: Jenessa Gervais

Cooper O'Connell, Writer

Cole Boyle (’23) is a Bellows Free Academy student along with being a black belt in taekwondo.

According to Boyle, he has been involved in martial arts for seven years and started training in Sheldon under Grandmaster Guy Laplant. Boyle later started training under one of Grand Master Guy Laplant’s students, Master Adam Shedrick, a multi-national champion who participates in competitions annually.

Boyle said he has been a black belt since June 16, 2021, and is a first Dan, meaning he has one stripe on his belt currently.  However, Boyle said he is hoping to become a second Dan and gain one more stripe by September.

When asked how he has been training for regional competitions, Boyle said that he has been “going to classes for patterns (simulated fights against an imaginary opponent with set moves)” along with practicing his board-breaking skills.

Boyle recently won gold in the 2022 New England AAU National Qualifier for board breaking along with forms. He returned from Hanover, Mass. with two gold medals.

Boyle said he has won many competitions, but his biggest accomplishment and his favorite to date, is winning the 2018 Governor’s Cup Patterns Grand Championship.

“Seeing how excited everyone was for me and the sense of achievement, it was just amazing,” Boyle said. He added, “I had the honor of having Grandmaster Laplant as my head judge, and he is not the kind of guy to just go easy on me because I was a former student, so when he handed me my trophy, he said ‘Good thing there was no competition.’”

When asked about Boyle, Master Adam Shedrick said: “Cole is a dedicated martial artist; he puts his all into his training, and it’s paying off, both in his training and everyday life. He is respectful and very talented.”

The one piece of advice Boyle would give to a martial arts beginner is “Keep trying, don’t give up, and just be loose and have fun.” Boyle followed up with “I’ve seen too many good martial artists quit because classes are ‘too tough’ or ‘not as fun as I thought.’ The martial arts are serious because you can hurt people, but never forget to have fun with it.”