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Gary Josefik named Master of the Year for 2002

It was July 1st, 1980 when Gary Josefik was joined by a handful of people for the first Martial Arts class held at the Tyrone Area YMCA. Twenty-three years later, Josefik, who is now certified as a fifth degree black belt master in the World Tang Soo Do Association, has been inducted into the World Karate Union Hall of Fame as the Master of the Year.
“I feel good about winning the award,” said Josefik. “I don’t expect rewards for doing what I do. I am very thankful that people recognize what my school does for the community.”
The criteria for being named Master of the Year is tough to meet.
You have to be a member of the Association, be internationally recognized, be active in community service, be a mentor/counselor for the students and progress through the degrees.
“We do a lot of community service, but we try to keep a low profile,” said Josefik. “We give back because we want to give back. There was a kid in Altoona who broke a couple vertebrae and we worked and raised money so his family could purchase a van to transport him. We have done kick-a-thons for St. Vincent De Paul’s, we do fund raising for the YMCA. We do it because we believe in these causes.”
In the 23 years Josefik has taught Tang Soo Do at the Tyrone Area YMCA, he has taught over 20,000 students.
“It has grown from a handful to a normal class of 30-40 students,” said Josefik. “I have some of the students who I have taught who are my assistant instructors now. The students in our school trust the instructors. They learn something that is of use to them and that is why they keep coming back.”
With schools at the KNY Fitness Center in Altoona, the Army Reserve Center in Huntingdon and Center Hill Grange in Morrisdale along with the Tyrone YMCA, Josefik is more of a manager now than a hands on instructor.
“It is great that we have people in our programs who are willing to step up and take the responsibility,” said Josefik. “The people who are instructors and students in our program are responsible citizens. That is one of the disciplines we try to teach in our program. There are people who take Martial Arts as a joke or an ego thing. Our students know it is a discipline.”
The Martial Arts program starts at the Tyrone YMCA with the Tiny Tigers program which Tracy and Shelly Bolinda assist.
“Shelly Bolinda is a great story,” said Josefik. “Many schools probably wouldn’t have accepted her into their program. We give everyone an opportunity who wants one. She has worked hard and earned her second degree black belt and works with the Tiny Tiger program. She knows what it is like to hurt. She is accepted in our program for who she is, and the kids in the Tiny Tiger program respond reat with her and Tracy.”
Managing four schools is no picnic.
“It is an eight day a week job,” said Josefik who is also a sergeant at the State Correctional Institute in Rockview. “We have all of our black belts who assist meet Tuesday at the Tyrone YMCA to make sure all of our classes are getting the proper instruction.”
Josefik practices what he teaches everyday at his regular job.
“It definetely helps in my line of work,” said Josefik. “The martial arts have helped me in the ability to keep control of my emotions and keep my composure. It is a mental discipline and it is much needed for the job.”
To find out about the martial art of Tang Soo Do, check out Josefik’s web site, www.josefikskoreantsd.com or to try out the class, call the Tyrone YMCA at 684-2740.

Categories
News

Gary Josefik named Master of the Year for 2002

It was July 1st, 1980 when Gary Josefik was joined by a handful of people for the first Martial Arts class held at the Tyrone Area YMCA. Twenty-three years later, Josefik, who is now certified as a fifth degree black belt master in the World Tang Soo Do Association, has been inducted into the World Karate Union Hall of Fame as the Master of the Year.
“I feel good about winning the award,” said Josefik. “I don’t expect rewards for doing what I do. I am very thankful that people recognize what my school does for the community.”
The criteria for being named Master of the Year is tough to meet.
You have to be a member of the Association, be internationally recognized, be active in community service, be a mentor/counselor for the students and progress through the degrees.
“We do a lot of community service, but we try to keep a low profile,” said Josefik. “We give back because we want to give back. There was a kid in Altoona who broke a couple vertebrae and we worked and raised money so his family could purchase a van to transport him. We have done kick-a-thons for St. Vincent De Paul’s, we do fund raising for the YMCA. We do it because we believe in these causes.”
In the 23 years Josefik has taught Tang Soo Do at the Tyrone Area YMCA, he has taught over 20,000 students.
“It has grown from a handful to a normal class of 30-40 students,” said Josefik. “I have some of the students who I have taught who are my assistant instructors now. The students in our school trust the instructors. They learn something that is of use to them and that is why they keep coming back.”
With schools at the KNY Fitness Center in Altoona, the Army Reserve Center in Huntingdon and Center Hill Grange in Morrisdale along with the Tyrone YMCA, Josefik is more of a manager now than a hands on instructor.
“It is great that we have people in our programs who are willing to step up and take the responsibility,” said Josefik. “The people who are instructors and students in our program are responsible citizens. That is one of the disciplines we try to teach in our program. There are people who take Martial Arts as a joke or an ego thing. Our students know it is a discipline.”
The Martial Arts program starts at the Tyrone YMCA with the Tiny Tigers program which Tracy and Shelly Bolinda assist.
“Shelly Bolinda is a great story,” said Josefik. “Many schools probably wouldn’t have accepted her into their program. We give everyone an opportunity who wants one. She has worked hard and earned her second degree black belt and works with the Tiny Tiger program. She knows what it is like to hurt. She is accepted in our program for who she is, and the kids in the Tiny Tiger program respond reat with her and Tracy.”
Managing four schools is no picnic.
“It is an eight day a week job,” said Josefik who is also a sergeant at the State Correctional Institute in Rockview. “We have all of our black belts who assist meet Tuesday at the Tyrone YMCA to make sure all of our classes are getting the proper instruction.”
Josefik practices what he teaches everyday at his regular job.
“It definetely helps in my line of work,” said Josefik. “The martial arts have helped me in the ability to keep control of my emotions and keep my composure. It is a mental discipline and it is much needed for the job.”
To find out about the martial art of Tang Soo Do, check out Josefik’s web site, www.josefikskoreantsd.com or to try out the class, call the Tyrone YMCA at 684-2740.