YMCA hosts International Martial Arts Expo

JOHNSTOWN – Pazzaglia’s Kenpo Karate recently hosted the 2016 International Martial Arts Expo at the Fulton County YMCA.

“This is the third year hosting this event in Fulton County,” Pazzaglia’s Kenpo Karate owner and chief instructor Joe Pazzaglia said in a news release. “We have numerous goals and objectives for the International Martial Arts Expo. On the surface it is our goal to bring some of the most recognized martial arts talent, Enthusiast and Instructors found in the industry in to our region and train under one roof in an environment that is exhilarating, fun and friendly, and free from ego. We used to host the Expo at the Saratoga City Center, however we decided we wanted to do more locally to help our Community and local business. We have great venues here locally.”

“Our goal was to raise more awareness locally to the martial arts and hopefully draw more attention and interest. For years, I have traveled all over domestically and internationally to teach and attend seminars. It has opened my eyes to the world of martial arts and provided me with extraordinary opportunities and knowledge I otherwise may not have received locally,” Pazzaglia said in the release. “I have been blessed to meet and train with amazing talent, celebrities and more! I was fortunate enough to be able to do these things and extremely grateful, but I soon realized that many of my students would simply not have the means to do what I have done. Consequently, I always knew I wanted my students to share in these experiences and so I knew at some point I would have to bring it to them, hence – the International Martial Arts Expo.”

According to the release, the Expo was open to all styles and practitioners and welcomed spectators, and now provided not only Pazzaglia’s students, but local people, with an opportunity to really explore and see what’s out there and meet some the most talented and recognized Martial Artist found in the industry today.

“I am so honored, proud, and thankful for this opportunity,” Pazzaglia said in the release.

In years past, the International Martial Arts Expo has featured headliners like Grand Master Larry Tatum, Gokor Chivychian (UFC fighter/coach), Benny “The Jet” Urguidez (undefeated Full Contact champion fighter and Hollywood stunt choreographer and actor), professor Damian Abbott of the U.K. and more, the release said.

“Our hope is that we will be able to continue to have the support locally and abroad and continue to bring in the likes of people like UFC fighter George St Pierre, and other Martial Arts legends in years to come,” Pazzaglia said in the release.

This year’s expo featured presenters from the United States, Canada, Chile, England and Japan

The 2016 International Martial Arts Expo featured Damian Abbot of the United Kingdom. Abbott is recognized throughout Europe’s as one of three top kenpoists, the release said.

“It’s our goal to grow this event and some day fill the Fulton County YMCA with practitioner’s and spectators,” Pazzaglia said in the release. “We had a good turnout this year and I was pleased to see more spectators this year than last. We encourage everyone to come out and watch and help spread the word. The International Martial Arts Expo is truly a one-of-a-kind event and there isn’t anything like it held in our region.”

The expo also featured martial arts demonstrations by all the presenters and can also be viewed by spectators.

This year, master Adam Grogin of Pil-Sung Martial Arts topped it all off by breaking nine patio blocks in a one-shot demonstration. Grogin holds the national creaking championship title for his division, the release said.

For more information about the International Martial Arts Expo, upcoming events, classes or programs, visit www.pazzagliaskenpokaratestudio.com. Those interested in learning more may also visit the studio, which is located at 40 West Main St. in Johnstown, or call 762-1533. For additional information about the expo, visit The 2016 International Martial Arts Expo page on Facebook.

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