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Black Belt Success

Charles Water Karate focuses on teaching its students how to not only show confidence in the studio but in the real world as well. The owner is Grandmaster Charles Water who runs the studio with his wife Cheryl Water. Their studio is located in Williston Park on Hillside Avenue.


The studio’s style of martial arts is called the Black Belt Success System. “We want to teach our students how to think like a black belt outside of the studio,” said Mr. Water.


Back in the ‘70s, Mr. Water used to run a women’s high fashion clothing store. He started taking martial arts classes and fell in love with it. He decided to follow his passion and open up a karate studio in 1986.


“We started our business right after the Karate Kid movie came out,” said Mr. Water. “We outgrew the space in a hurry.”


In 1991, Mr. Water moved his studio down the road and he has been there ever since.


“The place is much bigger than it looks,” said Ms. Water. Although the studio is on a main road, it has two floors, men’s and women’s locker rooms, and even a library with books, chairs, desks, and a television.


“If students come in early, they can stay here and do their homework, read, or watch TV,” said Ms. Water.


There have been over 10,000 people who have been students at Charles Water Karate, according to Ms. Water. The classes are 50 minutes long and students typically attend classes two days a week.


Charles Water Karate welcomes people of all ages. They teach children, teenagers, and adults. Additionally, the studio offers a program called Karatatot for four to six year olds.


“A lot of our focus is on stranger safety,” said Gina Quintano, a Farmingdale resident who has been a Karatatot Instructor for 24 years.


In Karatatot classes, Quintano works on the children’s coordination, listening skills, discipline, and fitness. “We have some young kids who can do pushups better than a lot of adults,” she said. “We want to set up a good fitness mindset for their future.”


Also helping out and interning with the Karatatot classes on his own time is Manny Dematos from Roslyn Heights. Dematos is currently a sophomore at Chaminade High School. He has been interning with the classes at Charles Water Karate since April 2013, and has been a student here for 11 years.


“Going to this studio has been the best decision of my entire life,” said Dematos. “I’ve learned that discipline and respect get you so far in life and using these two aspects outside of the studio, you can go far with whatever goals you have.”


Dematos said that his grades and focus in school have improved, and he even said that his social life outside of school has been better since becoming a black belt. “I have a lot more confidence talking to people now,” he said.


“My theory is if everyone in the world took martial arts, there would be less fighting, less hatred and less anger and less chaos,” said Mr. Waters. “My feeling is that the more involvement in martial arts, the better a person is going to be able to deal with the chaos of life.”