Central New York
Karate and Kobudo Schools

The Recognized Leader in Traditional
Okinawan Martial Arts since 1963
East Syracuse: (315) 437-9417
Chittenango: (315) 687-5673
Camillus: (315) 437-1274
Email: Sensei Labbate


Parent Testimonial

At the beginning of June, my son Gregory and a friend had their bicycles stolen at knife-point in broad daylight at Barry Park. Gregory had had this bike for only a month, and, because it gave him a degree of independence, he took great pride in it. He reveled in riding to the pizzeria, or in coming by my apartment for a visit, without having to rely on someone else to drive him. His face glowed when he rode the bike.

As you can imagine, this theft hit Gregory pretty hard emotionally. But this incident also afforded him an opportunity for growth, and a moment in which he was able to demonstrate that he could make some very smart decisions. You see, Gregory chose not to fight the boy who opened a knife on him (the kid also flashed a gun, stuck into the waistband of his pants). Gregory chose a method of self-defense – non-violent submission – over a more “glorious” physical confrontation. He lost his bike, yes, but neither he nor his friend was physically injured.

I can only imagine, knowing my son, how difficult it must have been NOT to want to disarm his opponent, NOT to try and defend himself physically. The presence of weapons altered the nature of this potential confrontation, and Gregory rapidly made the wise choice. I am inordinately proud of him!

It is also my firm belief that Gregory’s training at CNY Karate had a lot to do with the level-headedness with which he handled this event. He understood implicitly that the most important value in this situation was to get out of it without injury. Bicycles can be replaced; lives cannot. Though I’m sure Gregory relives this incident in his mind frequently and may wish that he had taken some physical action, he also knows that he did the right thing. His mental strength carried the day, and that is certainly something that Sensei and all the teachers at CNY emphasize. I thank you all for the job that you are doing!

Peter Wozniak

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