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Karate USA sending 6 to national tourney

By MIKE LEVIN

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Karate USA is sending six people, including Sensei John Shires, to a national tournament in Sacramento, California.  Shires, his seven year old daughter Emily, and one of the school's teachers, Anthony Frank will be competing in the NBL/SKIL Super Grands World Karate Championships.  Brothers Ian ans Sean Compton, as well as Najeeb Gilmore, will be competing in the SKIL Amateur International.  The events will be held December 26-31.

John, a fourth degree black belt, has been involved in karate for twenty years and opened the dojo in 2005.

"The basic moral of martial arts are always in there, respect, discipline, control.  Our slogan says it all, the dojo where hard work, sweat and dedication are the norms, that's how my students are brought up.  They have to know it's hard work, sweat and dedication is how you achieve the rank of black belt and you become a winner in life, not just martial arts."

"Sensei believes that skill is manifest through physical strength," adds Frank.  "So all the kicks, the basics, the punches, but if you can't push your body to perfect them, they're really useless, same thing in a self-defense situation."

Emily is one of her father's top students and has been practicing martial arts since age two.  She'll soon be testing for her first degree junior black belt.

"The more I saw the talent in her, the more I pushed her and with her pushing and me pushing her, the better she seemed to get<" John says.  "She's phenomenal, she comes to the dojo six days a week with me."

In preparation for the tournament, John says his students are giving 150% in their preparation.

"It's hard.  You have to really push and train your students, otherwise they won't fare well and I don't want to set anyone up for failure, so I push them here so they can succeed."

The dojo charges $50 a month for kids and single mothers and $65 for everyone else.

"Karate USA's family oriented, we try to keep the cost for the consumer down as much as we can, because we know karate can be expensive," says Frank.  "It's not a necessity, it is somewhat of a luxury, but we want people to know that in this day and age, everybody needs and deserves to defend themselves in some way even if it's not for the martial arts, come to work out, it's fun."

The studio is located at 171 Genesee St in downtown Utica, on the third floor of the Utica Catholic Bookstore building.  For more information, you can call them at: (315) 982-2800.

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