Interview by Nancy Beckerman
1. How did you find out about our dojo?
I knew about Takahashi Dojo because my son Jon was a student here back in 2005 to 2006.
2. Did you ever study martial arts before coming to the Takahashi dojo?
I did study a bunch of different styles of martial arts. I hold a black belt in Tang Soo Do. Tang Soo Do is from Korea; it’s different from Tae Kwon Do as Tang Soo Do focuses more on self defense and doesn’t have the fancy high kick that Tae Kwon Do has. I started talking Tang Soo Do when I was about 10 years old.
3. What got you interested in martial arts?
Well, when I was a kid my mom and dad got divorced, I moved up from the Bronx when I was 6 years old and had no friends. I was picked on and bullied something awful; I had no confidence in anything I did. My mom had a friend who was into karate and suggested that I take a class, I did and fell in love with karate, the rest is history.
4. What do you like best about our dojo and studying karate?
I absolutely love that fact that we are a family; as I said, I’ve been in martial arts since I was 10 and this is the first dojo that I feel is like family. Everyone here generally cares about each other and it definitely shows, but that starts from the top with Sensei — you cannot ask for a better man then him. What he brings to the dojo is beyond comparison to anything else that I’ve experienced in my years of martial arts. His friendliness and his leadership are top notch.
5. Do you find that what you learn at the dojo is useful to you in the rest of your life?
Martial arts has given me self-discipline; it has taught me commitment and has given me the confidence that I needed to be the person I am today.
6. Would you recommend the study of karate to others, and what would you suggest to someone who wanted to try karate?
Yes, I talk about our dojo to everyone, I love our dojo and its way of life. I would tell new students to not give up and stick with it, don’t get frustrated, it’s not easy. If it was easy everyone would do it. And I would add: enjoy the ride!