As I continue to seek information anywhere in the world, as I have always done, I had the pleasure of meeting SHIHAN Tony Butler from the American Institute of Japanese Karate (AIJK), member of The Albany Council of the Traditional Karate-Do, one of the most prestigious karate academies in the State of New York. AIJK is an institution responsible for developing the art of traditional Japanese Karate in the County of Albany, with the mission of educating and preparing youth for college, careers, citizenship, and life. AIJK serves about 9,500 students in 17 elementary and middle schools, including four themed academies at Albany High School.
I had the privilege of watching my grand-niece, Chloe de Oliveira, being taught by Shihan and his Senseis. I witnessed, for the first time, how high performance athletes are formed. It is not surprising that in this country, athletes accumulate world championships and gold medals in the Olympics in the majority of sports. This past July, at the National Karate Championship in Raleigh, North Carolina, AIJK finished third among 350 dojos, thanks to this legend known as SHIHAN Tony Butler, 8th Dan, who continues to teach children of all ages to develop self-respect, character, and class, so they can become responsible citizens with character and respect for the most basic rules of life.
Shihan Butler teaches youth to develop a positive mental attitude, to define worthy goals, and how to be the best one can possibly be. Such teachings stimulate the mind, body, and spirit for all of his young athletes. It is through examples such as Shihan Butler’s that young Americans now developing will continue to hold the highest position on the podium, and continue to make the “Star Spangled Banner” the most played anthem in all international competitions. AIJK is an institute that receives public and community support. Shihan Butler is a singular figure. He conveys confidence, strength, respect, while showing admirable simplicity and positive thoughts. Shihan Butler, from AIJK in Albany, is an example we should emulate. He gives anyone around him the certainty that you are before a myth, with the serenity and wisdom of the great champions.