Students and instructors from the Presti Karate Centers in Lewiston took a special trip to Las Vegas this summer to the International Training Conference and World Championships co-led by John Presti and world famous martial artist and actor Chuck Norris.
Norris and Presti, owner of the Presti Karate Centers in Niagara Falls and Lewiston, have been working together for about two decades to host the competition for karate practitioners of all ages. Competitors from across the globe flocked to Las Vegas to participate in the event, which took place in late July and featured training in several areas of martial arts.
“We were training along side Chuck Norris — he was overseeing the training sessions at the event,” said Presti who said the opportunity has proven to be very beneficial for his students and staff. “It opens their eyes up to what they’re doing, especially with our instructors. It helps them identify poor karate technique.”
For 21-year-old Shannon Myers of Lewiston, it was her ninth time attending the event. She has been teaching since 2006.
“I started karate when I was about six years old and I stuck with it,” Myers said. “It has instilled wonderful principals into my life. The principles of integrity, respect, discipline and loyalty. Those are the things I just hold on to on a day to day basis. That’s how I try to live my own life and that’s how I try to teach my students. It has had a big impact on who I have become as a young woman.”
Like Myers, Carly Presti, John Presti’s daughter, has been practicing karate since she was six and has been attending the tournament for several years as well.
“It was exciting. This year was my 15th year going,” said the 14-year-old. “A bunch of my old friends go, so I got to see them.”
And, one of those friends is Norris’s daughter, Dani Lee. The two families have been friends for years.