ABOUT OUR KARATE SCHOOL
Shoshin Karate is a martial arts school dedicated to the traditional art of Okinawan Karate and is based upon 5 foundation principles represented by each segment of the Dojo Kamon: Physical, Social, Mental, Spiritual, and Lineage. The mission of Shoshin Karate is to guide each of our students to reach the highest level of individual performance in both Karate (open hand) and Kobudō (weapons). Through the use of our traditional curriculum, we strive to enhance our students ability, knowledge, and spirit in the martial arts.
On February 1st of 2018, Kyoshi Ross Elia (7th dan), Shihan Andrew Ballato (6th dan), Sensei Michael (Mike) Spadoni (4th dan), and Senpai Francis (Frank) Fleury (3rd dan) assumed the leadership of US Budokai Karate of Albany (USBKA) from their long time instructor, Hanshi William Reid (9th dan). Having begun their training under Hanshi Reid in 1980 and 1986 respectively, Kyoshi Ross and Shihan Andrew became the chief instructors of Shoshin Karate, guiding the growth of knowledge and execution in the art. Sensei Mike, a 15 year martial artist, continues to grow our Kobudō and Tiny Tigers program. Senpai Frank, with 14 years of training, introduces all of our new students to the art through the new student introductory program. The four owner-instructors who represent Shoshin Karate have over 100 years of martial arts training and instruction.
Founded on February 1st, 2022, Shoshin Karate has evolved directly from the foundation of US Budokai Karate of Albany. USBKA was founded in 1987 by Hanshi Reid who had previously served as owner and Chief Instructor of Albany Seido Karate, one of the largest branches of the World Seido Karate Organization. The World Seido Karate Organization is based in New York City and was founded in 1976 by Kaicho Tadashi Nakamura (9th dan) who had trained under Master Mas Oyama in Japan. In 1969, Kaicho Nakamura brought Kyokushinkai Karate to America which evolved into what is now the World Seido Karate Organization.
PRINCIPLES OF OUR KARATE SCHOOL
MEET OUR TEACHING STAFF
Shihan Andrew Ballato
Shihan Andrew Ballato (6th Dan) began his training in 1986, at the age of 13, under Hanshi William Reid (9th Dan), head instructor of the World Seido Karate Organization in Albany, N.Y. When Hanshi Reid broke away from the World Seido Karate Organization to form the U.S. Budokai Organization, Shihan Andrew remained a student of Hanshi Reid until his retirement from Budokai in 2018. Shihan Andrew has been a participant in many demonstrations and seminars, including leading a self defense training program for the FBI Albany Branch, Albany Academy for Girls, and both the Saint Rose and Herkimer Colleges. In 1999, he became the lead instructor of the West Sand Lake Budokai dojo until the dojo closed in 2003. Shihan Andrew is the head instructor and one of the owner/instructors of Shoshin Karate. He continues to teach, train, and help run the organization to further the knowledge and techniques of traditional karate practices. Shihan Andrew also holds a 2nd degree black belt in our Okinawan Kobudo weapons program.
Head Kobudo Instructor / Head Tiny Tigers Instructor
Sensei Mike Spadoni
Sensei Michael Spadoni began training with US Budokai Karate in 2008. Sensei Spadoni holds a 4rd Dan rank in empty hand and a 2nd Dan in weapons. He works in the telecommunications industry and is the proud father of five children, 3 of which are training in Budokai Karate. Sensei Spadoni teaches our youngest students in our Tiny Tiger Class as well as he is our head instructor in the traditional kobudō weapons class.
Instructor / Head Intro Instructor
Senpai Frank Fleury
Senpai Frank Fleury began his karate journey later in life, starting his training at age 36 under Hanshi William Ried at US budokai Karate honbu in Albany, currently holding the rank of 3rd dan. In addition to his instructor duties, Senpai Frank manages the front office at US Budokai Karate of Albany and is the lead introductory lesson instructor for the school. For his day job, he works in the digital transformation consulting industry.