Tuesday, February 1, 2022
Contact: Frank Fleury 518-573-8339 / firstname.lastname@example.org
After 35 Years, Local Karate Studio to Rebrand
Grand reopening event scheduled for February 5 to showcase the newly updated dojo and ribbon cutting
Albany, NY – The Covid-19 pandemic impacted nearly all small businesses in the Capital District and US Budokai Karate of Albany was no different, losing approximately 50% of
their student body. Fortunately, with a generous rent discount from their landlord, which Budokai Karate then passed on to their students, the small business has since rebounded and grown, gaining back the Covid-related enrollment losses.
Frank Fleury, an instructor and spokesperson for Budokai Karate Enterprises, LLC, announced this week that after nearly 35 years since its founding, the local karate school, located at 100 Everett Road, will officially change its name to Shoshin Karate.
The name change is accompanied by a recently completed interior upgrade to the dojo. A grand reopening celebration is planned for Saturday, February 5 at 12:30PM and will include a formal ribbon cutting.
Mr. Fleury explained that the new name reflects the evolving focus and standards of the school, adding, “Shoshin Karate is a place of new beginnings, from the Japanese characters Sho meaning first and Shin meaning mind. Shoshin represents the first or more appropriately, the beginner’s mind where all students and instructors are focused on continuous learning and evolution of our art while maintaining the lineage and foundations of Okinawa. Most importantly, our focus is to make each of our students better than they were the day before, creating and educating quality martial artists.”
The US Budokai Karate Association was originally founded in 1987 by then Sensei William J. Reid. Sensei Reid at the time was the Albany lead instructor for Seido (founded by Kaicho Nakamura) and decided to pursue his own view of the martial arts. Sensei Reid taught thousands of Albany martial artists over his 40+ year career, retiring from running his school in 2018 as Hanshi (9th Dan). At that time, the school was acquired by a partnership of four of Hanshi Reid’s students, Ross Elia (7th Dan), Andrew Ballato (6th Dan), Michael Spadoni (4th Dan), and Francis Fleury (3rd Dan).
Fast forward to 2020 and the Covid-19 pandemic, Budokai’s landlord – Atillo (Anthony) Crisafulli, Dr. Joseph Crisafulli, and Lisa Bedian – felt the desire to help their tenants by passing along a 50% discount on rent during the height of the pandemic. In addition to passing these discounts onto their students, the Budokai team also published online videos and tutorials to keep students engaged.
The leadership team of US Budokai Karate of Albany has continued to evolve their view of the art to what it has become today, having taught thousands of Albany martial artists. Students can begin their journey in the “Tiny Tigers” program, starting at age 4 and continue through adulthood. Parents of children with disabilities, including those on the spectrum, have found the structure and social component of the programs very beneficial to their children’s development.
In addition to the karate itself, the leadership continues to invest in the school, including the recent physical improvements to the dojo. The transition to Shoshin Karate more correctly embodies the leadership team’s philosophy and execution of the art. The instructors, students, and parents are all optimistic about the changes as Shoshin Karate promises to continue as a staple in the local business community and provide a positive impact on the lives of its students for another 35 years. More information can be found at www.shoshinkarate.us