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Martial Arts America Students Host Black Belt Event

On March 18, Martial Arts America in Hicksville hosted their Annual Black Belt Extravaganza at the McGuire Theater at SUNY Old Westbury. A total of 21 black belts were honored in a Traditional Fire and Water Black Belt Ceremony. The parents and spouses of the new black belts were part of the ceremony as well.

The extravaganza was a showcase for all the black belts to demonstrate their proficiency in various aspects of their training, along with over 150 other students of the school graduating to their next belt level from ages 4 to 64. There were over 500 spectators on hand to see the event.

Special awards were given to senior instructor Michael Donohue, due to his dedication to the community, student service and outstanding leadership. He was named “Citizen of the Year 2011.”

Also on hand to present special certificates of merit to all the new black belts for their hard work and dedication to achieving their goal were longtime supporters of the school Nassau County Legislator Rose Marie Walker and Town of Oyster Bay Councilwoman Rebecca Alesia.    

Prior to the extravaganza, the candidates ranging in ages from 10 to 50-something underwent an eight-week intensive training cycle, where they were required to track and log acts of kindness, righting wrongs and mending relationships, list personal victories, empathy training and physical training (including 3,200 reps of pushups, sit-ups, jumping jacks and running, to name a few) and ending with a written exam and final test with Grandmaster Shin and the black belt review board of the United Chung Do Kwan Tae Kwon Do Association located in Floral Park.

“I’m so proud of the progress my students have made,” said Senior Instructor Michael Donohue of the Hicksville school and northeast director of Black Belt Schools International. “Regardless of what the future has in store for them, I know the martial arts have made a positive impact on their lives.”

Congrats to the following students who promoted to the different levels of Black Belt that night:

To 1st Dan Black Belt: Aidan Banahan, Charlotte Canavor, Jonathan Cheslowitz, Viren Fernandes, Mark and Matthew Franolich, Katie Hart, Patrick Harten, Amy and Matthew Kacprzycki, Peter Kwon, Donald Pesonen, Yatharth Sharma, Evan and Maria Torti, Emory Ventura and Frankie Wawrzynski;

To 2nd Dan Black Belt: Andrew Hynson, Ryan Wimbiscus and Wendy Yackavage;

To 3rd Dan Black Belt: Chris Valenza.

To find out more about upcoming summer karate and sports day camp or evening classes, call 932-5275 or visit www.maaschools.com.