MARTIAL ARTS: Presti
celebrates 40 years in sport with teaching trip to Mexico
After 40 years in the martial arts industry, John Presti
continues to love what he
After taking over the former Kim Studio
in Niagara Falls, Presti
has opened two more karate teaching facilities in Lewiston and Corning.He
also has plans to open two more schools within the upcoming year, including one in Buffalo.
One of his
earliest memories is from 1967, the year he
was awarded the gold belt, which is the first belt to be earned.Presti
was the only 12-year-old on a karate demonstration team.His
love of karate grew to a point where he
not only wanted to keep practicing it, he
wanted to teach it.
"Just like anything else in life, if you want to become something you have to take the next step," Presti
When the chance arose to take over Presti Karate, he
took it on without hesitation.Running his
own business has brought on many challenges for Presti
, one being delegation."I had to learn to let other people help me, I can't be the sole instructor and the sole leader for three schools," he said.
day starting at the studio at around 4 a.m., Presti
keeps himself quite busy.
Continuing education is a key concept at Presti Karate.All the instructors must take classes in order to work at the studio and that includes Presti
himself.There are seminars and different classes that he
takes part in throughout the year, including the ones he
For someone who is constantly looking to improve, accepting a challenge is not unusual.Presti
is looking to further his
ranking but for now he
is on tour giving seminars all over the United States and starting to step outside the country, into Mexico.
"To try to show my skill to people that don't speak English is going to be a big challenge for my teaching," he
As far as family is concerned, Presti's
plays a part in his
wife helps him out when he
travels, particularly in Las Vegas, where an international training seminar is held.His
two daughters, Jillian, 25, and Carly, 7, are both students at the studio.His
oldest daughter Lindsey, 27, and Jillian may help run the schools in the near future.
"They never said it but I feel that they're proud of what I do and they're content that I'm in a job that I love doing," Presti
said about his
Two years ago, Presti
family something special to be proud of.He
was awarded the Wieland Norris Award.This award is given by Grand Master Chuck Norris, who named the award after his
brother who passed away in Vietnam.
...James Neiss/staff photographerYoungstown, NY - John Presti, owner and head instructor of Presti Karate Centers, practices at his Pine Avenue center.
None/ (Click for larger image)