Martial Arts

MePurpleGannon I started taking karate classes in the early 80s. This picture shows me practicing kata as a purple belt at Gannon University in Erie, PA. My first karate instructor was a student at Gannon and was given permission to use this space at night. The space was large, but I was often the only student. Still, some of my fondest memories of training are there. Years later, I would attend graduate school at Gannon and stumble upon my old “dojo.” It seemed to me that the place hadn’t changed a bit.


MeYoungBB When the space at Gannon was not available, training took place in my instructor’s apartment. This picture shows me as a young black belt in the mid to late 80s. No matter where my instructor moved, one room was always converted into a dojo. I can’t imagine his neighbors were pleased with the noise.


JumpFrontKickIn the early 90s, I began helping a friend run his dojo. This was my first attempt at teaching, and it was quite a learning experience. Despite making many mistakes, one of the students from that dojo stayed with me and is one of my highest ranking black belts today.


OGJKDStoreFrontIn November of 1993, I opened my own school in Erie, PA: Otero Goshin Jutsu Karate Dojo. The dojo stayed open for eleven years, and I had the opportunity to promote a good number of students to black belt. Some of those students have gone on to open their own schools.


MeNatShiaiDuring the years I ran my dojo, I also participated in local tournaments. Here, Matt Borczon referees a match between me and Nathaniel Allen. Matt, Nat, and I also boxed for the Lower Eastside Fightin’ Eagles.


BBPromotions2010In December of 2010, Jackie Barco became my newest black belt. She tested at Darren Italiani’s dojo in Erie with Joe Johnson, Fred Beckman, Ryan Coons, and Darren, who also received promotions. Today, Jackie and I run a school together, SL Goshin Jutsu, in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

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