SANDY HOOK, CT…Porco’s Karate Academy, a staple business in Sandy Hook Center, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. This upstanding martial arts studio is a member of the World Tang Soo Do Association (a Korean martial art) and is owned by Master Michael Porco (5th Degree Master). Master Porco’s wife, Sylvia Porco (2nd Degree Black Belt), and his son, Michael Porco Jr. (4th Degree Black Belt), also train in the art. The studio prides itself on training students in the ancient art of Tang Soo Do, which focuses on self-defense, physical fitness and developing a better character. As Master Porco puts it, “we’re teaching life lessons that are meant to transcend the studio and help our students in their everyday lives. Our students range from 3 years old to 65 years old, so whether your in school or working full-time martial arts training can help you with the discipline, perseverance and respect needed to succeed in life.”
Porco’s Karate Academy is currently the longest running martial art studio in CT, celebrating 30 years of martial arts excellence. Below is their story…
Mr. Michael Porco Sr. began his martial arts journey over 35 years ago in 1965. He started training as a young teenager under the instruction of Master Robert Beaudoin (now the Grandmaster of the World Tang Soo Do Association) in an old college gym in Bridgeport, CT. By the age of 17, he was teaching weekly classes at Sacred Heart University and continued his training until being drafted into the military and thereupon serving his country in Vietnam. While there his leadership and team work abilities were ever present. During his service Mr. Porco was involved in the U.S. first entrance into occupied Cambodia. This accomplishment lead to his receiving the U.S. Army's distinguished Bronze Star Medal for meritorious achievement in ground operations against hostile forces. Although his physical martial arts training may have been on pause, his mental training with the emphasis on small details and the unique ability to lead people began to take shape.
His time away from Tang Soo Do eventually led him back to his old instructor and revived his regular training. Once involved he began the instruction of his son in the basement of their home. Mr. Porco was soon instructing large classes again and with his own determination and drive, decided to run a continuous martial arts school. In 1983, he opened the Woodbury Academy of Karate in Connecticut and soon learned his true talents lye in the education of others in the art of Tang Soo Do. While there, he honed not only his teaching skills but his high level of physical ability as well. Mr. Porco earned his first-degree black belt and was on his way to one of the most respected martial arts careers in the region.
His love for teaching others the art of Tang Soo Do grew stronger during this time and planted an internal seed within him to expand the ever-growing martial arts community. So in 1986 he opened the Newtown Academy of Karate, which was based in the banquet hall of the Sandy Hook Firehouse. Mr. Porco's love for karate permeated through everything he did and everyone he has come in contact with. Citing that love and passion, he was selected to represent his art and the World Tang Soo Do Association as a member of the 1987 China delegation. He was chosen in part to represent all that he and his students stood for.
Today, Mr. Porco continues to run the thriving Porco Karate Academy in Sandy Hook Center. Through its development many classes and programs have been added to better service the needs of the over one hundred students currently enrolled. Many of the programs and activities that Mr. Porco has instituted for the development of Tang Soo Do continue to exist and grow today. These activities include woman's self- defense, karate summer camps, demonstrations and numerous Tang Soo Do Clinics. Because of Mr. Porco's deep-rooted beliefs, extreme hard work and true genuine honesty, everyone who passes through his doors walk away a better person.
Mr. Porco received his master's rank at the World Tang Soo Do Championship in August 2002 and was honored as August 2003 Master of the Month on the World Tang Soo Do Website. In his "Spare" time he continues to preside over three of his successful companies that he started from scratch and is very active in community affairs. His greatest enjoyments are spending quality time with his family and teaching the Newtown community the great art of Tang Soo Do.
Porco’s Karate Academy is Newtown’s longest running martial arts school focused on self-defense, health and personal betterment. Through the teaching of Tang Soo Do, an ancient martial art that originated 2,000 years ago in Korea, Porco’s Karate Academy instills disciple, respect, self-control and other life skills to all of its students. Conveniently located in Sandy Hook, CT, Porco’s Karate Academy offers classes to students as young as 3 as well as tweens, teenagers and adults of all ages. For more details visit www.newtownkarate.com, ‘Like’ us on Facebook or call 203.426.2427.