I am honored to write a short tribute here about a great friend that we recently lost, Richard Branden.  However I find it very difficult to write something short with our long friendship and his vast amount of accolades!  

Originally from Massachusetts, Rich and I trained under the same Wushu / Kung Fu Instructor, Yao Li.  We would travel to distant tournaments together, such as in NY and other states; most of the time we’d end up going head to head in competition against each other.   He was one of my toughest competitors, but it never affected our close friendship.  Rich was always full of life and energy!!  When most of us would be ready for a break, exhausted, Rich would seem like he was just getting started!

Richard was one of the original members of Team Paul Mitchell and was inducted into several Hall of Fames, including Black Belt magazine.  He won WAKO World Championships in Weapons and Forms in the USA, England & Poland.  Rich took his outstanding Martial Arts skills to the big screen in the WMAC Masters TV series, Mortal Kombat and the Power Rangers, just to mention a few.  He won many Grand championships throughout the US.  He later moved to CA and has a very successful school, Richard Branden’s Studio Kicks.

Richard was such a great person, always fun to be around, very charismatic and a great friend.  He was an extremely talented Martial Artist and a devoted husband; in addition, he was a great father to all of his children.  We have lost a true warrior, but his legacy will live on through his family and his students.  I am trying to keep remembering of all the laughs and fun times we had together, instead of the fact that he is gone.  Rest in peace my friend and teammate.

- Christine Bannon-Rodrigues

A memorial and fund have been setup in Richard Branden’s Name for more information
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