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Johnk222 has made a comment on West Boca Karate Commercial:

This school is one of the finest! I have seen so many positive changes in the children I know that attend these classes. The instructors are highly qualified and the business owners are very much, loving caring people. This karate school is that of no other. You will certainly be happy with the progress you will see!   

January 23, 2008

Dear Master T and Linda,

I remember the very first time we ever attended a Black Belt Ceremony. Andrew was five years old and he had just moved up to the children’s class from the preschool class.  Even though he had turned five in October I just did not think he was ready to be in the children’s class, he was so little.  He was little; his first karate uniform was a 00.

I remember you read a letter from a parent of a child that had received their black belt that year and I thought that it was a very nice letter and a very nice gesture that the parent had taken the time to write it to you and that you thought enough about it to read the letter to the group there for the ceremony that January of 1995.  Off and on over the years I have thought about that letter and I have noticed that you have not read any others.  Whatever the reason I did not want this occasion to go by without me writing to you, just to let you know how much you both mean to us, not just Andrew, but Al & I as well.

I will never forget the first time we walked into this studio, on June 25, 1994.  Al had decided that we needed to get Andrew into something and he thought that karate might be just the thing, even though we did look into tennis but Andrew said no way.  Anyway Al had called and talked with you and he was very impressed with what all you had to say.  So we came in for Andrew to take a free lesson in the preschool class.  I told them both before we got here, “Now we are not going to sign up today, even if he really likes it, we are going to go home and talk and think about it.”  They both agreed and of course Andrew loved the class and then we went back to your office to learn more about the program.  You sat and talked with us, Al and Andrew were ready to sign up but I said no.  We actually got to the car and sat down before they both started on me.  We turned around came back in, signed him up and have been here ever since, without any breaks.  I think the longest Andrew has ever gone without being inside this studio over the last fourteen years is two months over the summer on a couple of years.

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I’ll never forget when Andrew was seven years old and a red belt, and Mr. Culver told you that Andrew wanted to test for his first degree black belt the following April, not his Junior Dan.  You looked at him and it was like you could not decide what to say, because you have always been very positive, and told the kids they could do anything they set there minds to.  You were very serious and you told him that he would have to learn all eighteen combos and the forms, but if Mr. Culver thought he could do it and he pasted the pre-test then of course he could go.  That was all Andrew needed,

I felt like we moved into the studio.  Andrew wanted to go ALL the time, he had to practice, and he had to be able to do this.  We know he did it and he did it great.  But he did not stop there, he had a plan, he was going all the way to Master.  There were times that I just could not see how he could do it, but he loves karate and he set a goal and in April of last year at seventeen years old he accomplished his goal.  I think Andrew would be the first to tell you that it was not easy and there were times, though not many, that he truly questioned his decision.

I was one of those mothers who could not just drop her son off and let him take class; I wanted to be there to watch.  I always loved watching him take class and teaching classes.  In the beginning I just never thought about not going to watch and then it became a habit and then I just did not want to stop.  I did not stop coming with him until after he got his Master belt. At which time we both agree that I would not be going with him anymore.  

It sure has been a lot harder on me than him.  The first couple of weeks when he would leave to go the studio I had all this free time and I did not know what to do with it.  Of course coming there at least twice a week for thirteen years, it was a hard habit to break.   If you remember I always came in and sat in the front row and the first chair beside the doors going into the other room.  Mr. Shuman used to say that was my reserved chair and he would not let anyone sit there if he knew we were coming in.  

We can not talk about Andrew and karate without including tournaments, one more thing that you got him started on.  I will never forget the first Disney/KICK USA Tournament that we all went up to Orlando for in October 1997.  Andrew was only a red belt but he loved the whole tournament idea.  We have been to every Disney/KICK USA tournament since including this past October, which was Andrew’s last because he has turned eighteen and KICK is just for kids.  

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There are so many funny stories like when Andrew was in the heat of getting ready to test for his first degree black belt and we were there everyday and you said to me that I might as well set up a cot in the back room we were there so much.  I did feel like we were there more than home for a couple of months.  Once when Andrew was only a green or red belt, Mr. Culver and Mr. Shuman were asking questions and I was mouthing the answers. They took the mats and circled then around me so no one could see me.  

Yes Master T you do make memories, and some truly wonderful ones.  You say it all the time and as the kids get older they do not appreciate it but as a parent I do.  You and Linda are a part of our family; we have all been through so much together over the years.  

Now, Andrew has accomplished his goal of becoming a Master, he is now eighteen years old a senior in high school and will be graduating in June and if he can keep it for one more semester he will graduate valedictorian of his class with a GPA of 4.85.  As you can see his desire to do his best applies to everything that he does.  Andrew is very independent, self disciplined and self motivating, all qualities that you promote in your black belts.

Thank you for all your support for my son.


Debbie Menconi

Master and Mrs. T,

I hope you will enjoy your Thanksgiving break. I would like to tell you how grateful we are for the both of you. I see a tremendous difference in Luke since he started Karate over a year ago. He is definitely more confident and focused. However, the most important thing for Luke is that he is learning how to get out of dangerous situations. All children (and adults) need this tool, but Luke needs it a little bit more.

As you know, he has life-threatening allergies to milk and nuts. He has already had a few anaphylatic reactions to milk products. Unfortunately, he has also had to deal with bullying from other kids involving food to which he is allergic. Just this past Monday on the school bus a young boy put a doughnut in his face, taunting him. Luke came off of the bus with his eyes bright red, swollen and covered with hives. The itching, swelling and hives lasted for over 2 hours. It is hard for me to believe that this happens in the lower grades of elementary school, but it certainly does. This is the fourth or fifth time that it has happened! Realistically, it may only get worse as he gets older.

It is vitally important that Luke learns how to defend himself and get away from any situation that may be dangerous. That is why we are so grateful for West Boca Karate. You are giving him the tools he needs to survive. Please keep it up!

From the bottom of our hearts we thank you for everything that you do!

Have a wonderful and peaceful Thanksgiving!


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