Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online


October 22, 2007

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 does.

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 said.

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.

With his 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 teaches himself.

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 said.

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