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Jennifer Mazzeo-Skelson

Our family has been coming to Karate International for over 5 years now. It was the best decision we ever made for our boys. Shortly after, my husband started and all three are now black belts. Now I am taking karate, as well. KI has a great family atmosphere in a controlled environment that encourages you to want to come to class to learn and grow. No show-boating here, safety is always #1. There is an abundance of high level knowledge at the Raleigh dojo and every instructor goes above and beyond to help. There are several arts they teach. There is a reason they have been in business as long as they have. And that is because for them it's not a business but a passion and it shows in everything and everyone at KI. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!

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This is The REAL DEAL---A Family type atmosphere--Extremely helpful and friendly----This Dojo is the Best of the Best---

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The best family martial arts school I've ever seen. Something for everybody. The skill level really shows that they are a 40+ year school. And they have multiple martial arts, which is rare.

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This is a wonderful place for my whole family. My sons 11, 9, and 6 are all on the path to Black Belt. Even their old man is giving it a try...

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I can't say enough good things about Karate International. They know how to work with children in a way that they learn proper form and technique while balancing lessons in character and integrity, all without taking out the fun. Any day, you can hear giggles from the little samurai class as they keep children enthused about karate. My son comes many times each week, and never tires of coming, and looks forward to progressing.

In addition to being child-friendly, they are parent-friendly and have done everything they could to make the parent wait comfortable and productive including parent exercise equipment, coffee, a seating area to watch classes, Wi-Fi and a charging station for mobile devices. It's the little things that say to us we are valued here. We are here to stay.

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I have watched in awe as my son has become focused, disciplined, and confident during his journey to black belt. I now see him teaching and giving back to others. KI has been life-changing for him. I can’t say enough great things about this program, the instructors, and the community. If you’re thinking about starting karate, you’ve found the perfect place!

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Every student is treated with attention and care, the staff and owners are extremely knowledgeable, patient, encouraging and hold high standards for the students. It is a delight to come and get a great workout while building character and respect through the discipline of karate. We cannot think of a better option for our middle school son!

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A Mother’s Influence

I learned a lifetime from my MotherKathy Olevsky

A Mother’s Influence
By Kathy Olevsky

My mother was probably the single most important influence in my early adult years.  I remember being recognized by the YWCA , 20 years ago, for their Academy of Women award.  When they followed me around for a day filming my life, they also asked me some pointed questions.  One of the questions was to find out who my mentors were.  In those days, there were very few women in leadership roles in the martial arts and I, personally, did not know any of them.  I did not have any role models in my field in movies or on television.  So, when they asked the question, I told them my role model was my mother.

My mother’s life was totally different from mine.  She was not a business woman.  She was a stay at home Mom who cared for a family of 10.  She made a very middle class life for us on my Father’s IBM income.  She stretched every penny and I never felt as if I was missing out on anything that my friends were able to do with their families.

The lessons I learned from my mother were not evident to me until I was a mother myself.  Her role in my life gave me the guidance to know how to be a better business person and a better mother.  She steered each one of her seven children in any number of directions, but always in a direction that involved productivity and responsibility.

There was nothing in her role as a housewife and homemaker that would lead me to know that I would grow up to run a business and to be an 8th Degree Black Belt.  As an adult, I realize that her constant companionship, attention to detail, caring spirit and her pride in her children, is what I needed to choose my own direction.  In choosing my direction, I knew that she would always be my biggest supporter.  There were people who thought I was crazy to think, back in 1980, that my career would be in the martial arts.  My mother was never one of them.

I have learned, through my own experience as a mother, my job is to raise my children to become good adults who contribute to our society and our community.  They did not have to go to the top schools.  They did not have to become the CEO of a major corporation.  They did not have to earn millions of dollars.  All they had to do is to find their own sole mate, create their own family and do things that bring them happiness, security and good health.  In addition, I want my children and grandchildren to do something in their own community to make life better.

My mother never said these things to me.  She might have, if I had ever thought to have this conversation with her.  She was gone before it occurred to me that I should have discussed it with her.  She did tell me once, that she was sorry she stole my childhood from me.  I spent a good amount of time taking care of younger brothers and sisters.  I told her, those lessons turned me into the leader that I am today.