ZDK members earn rank promotions

Shown, from left, are Schuyler Claes, Brianna Ferro, Hayden Lindsay and Matthew Bowler who have earned rank promotions at American Zen-Do Kai Karate Studio in Johnstown. (Photo submitted)

JOHNSTOWN — Four members of the American Zen-Do Kai Karate Studio at 490 N. Perry St. in have successfully tested for Adult Brown Belt ranks, according to a news release.

They are Brianna Ferro and Hayden Lindsay, for second kyu brown belt, and Schuyler Claes and Matthew Bowler, for first kyu brown belt.

Sensei Michael Campos, founder and director of Zen Do Kai; Robert and Bonnie Streeter, owners and instructors of the American Zen Do Kai; and Miss Rachael Bailey, second-degree black belt, judged the students’ performance for the adult ranks.

Claes, 16, of St. Johnsville has been training with the AZDK for five years. He is very active in community service events held at the studio. Claes is involved with 4H, being selected as Fulton County 4H senior teen member, and has won state awards in horse communications.

He is also a master showman at the fair with poultry and assists in the Intermediate Junior Program and has a great connection with the students.

Ferra, 13, of Fultonville has trained with the American Zen Do Kai for more than three years. She now assists with the Beginning Junior Program at the school.

She is in the jazz band at Fonda Fultonville Central School, playing both the piano and the clarinet. She received the President’s Academic Award and All Star in piano. Her mother, Kathy Ferro, said that “Brianna is an extremely hard worker with academics coming easily to her.”

“Karate has been a challenge which Brianna has dedicated herself to excel at.”

Lindsay,15, of Broadalbin began training with the AZDK at the age of five. Hayden began training in our junior beginning class and has worked to move first to the intermediate class, then advanced junior class, and finally into the adult advanced program.

He is involved an underwater robotics team. Lindsay plays the trumpet and was selected to perform at New York State Student Music Association and in an Empire State Orchestra program and also participates in two youth groups. Lindsay is a Broadalbin student and was chosen for the PTech Program, a high school-college program. He will be graduating with his class in Broadalbin.

Lindsay assists in the Advanced Junior Program and is a mentor to the younger students. He is also a weapons competitor and participates in area tournaments.

Bowler, 15, of Fonda has been training for six years. He enjoys baseball, hunting, fishing, camping and has a love of the outdoors. He is in the wind ensemble and select chorus and has been chosen for all-county for the last several years. He is an honor roll student and volunteers at old Fort Johnson.

Bowler also assists in the Advanced Junior Program and attends community events, participates in tournaments, attends various weapons classes, and is a member of the Black Belt Club.

In addition to testing for their new rank, each of these students has participated in demonstrations, community service events, and been active in martial arts seminars and competition through the ZDK program. For more information on our community services and seminars visit https://www.facebook.com/AZDKUSA.

Campos, ninth degree, said he is impressed with the four students’ test skills and is pleased to see the high standards and proficiency the students demonstrated.

Robert Streeter, chief Instructor, said he was very proud that all four students passed with a unanimous “thumbs up” from the test board. “Students begin getting ready for each test with strong areas and areas that need work,” he said.

“Whether it is in basics, kata, self-defense or sparring, they worked hard and overcame their weak areas. I have seen them struggle and make the decision not to give up.

“The test board is very proud of each one of them and would like to thank their families for giving them the opportunity to train with the American Zen Do Kai.”

The organization’s junior students have also been working on their karate skills. Also earning rank promotions in recent testing were Tyler Downing (12th kyu), Atticus May (12th kyu), Myles Buanno (second kyu), Ryan Dorfman (second kyu) Ryan Altemus (seventh kyu), Logan Musto (seventh kyu) and Drew Cionek (seventh kyu).

The Johnstown ZDK studio has been in operation since 1974. The Johnstown program emphasizes traditional Japanese karate, street-oriented self-defense from a number of martial arts including krav maga, kenpo, jiu jitsu, and fitness for adults and children.

Anyone interested in more information on any of the programs offered at the ZDK can also call the studio at (518) 762-4723.

By Paul Wager

Leave a Reply