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Karate Kid Pursues Passion in Mamaroneck Studio

MAMARONECK, N.Y. – Raayan Ba is a purple belt at the Way of Life Shotokan Karate studio where he brings a wealth of experience for someone who is just 10 years of age.

Ba, a New Rochelle resident, signed up for the Mamaroneck studio, on 501 E. Boston Post Road, when it first opened June 1, 2011. Way of Life is the precocious karate kid's third studio in three different cities.

"I've been doing karate since I was a kid," said the fourth-grader at the Hudson Country Montessori School. "I did it in Canada, Astoria and now here."

Karate can help children develop leadership skills, respect for others, self-confidence, self-discipline, concentration and several other good qualities, wrote Paul Cortissoz, co-owner of Way of Life, on the studio's website.

Now that Ba is continuing his training in Mamaroneck, he said he hopes to earn a brown belt soon.

Sensei Norman Smith and Senpai Paul Cortissoz, co-owners of Way of Life, appear to hold Ba in high regard. At the Jan. 23 Village of Mamaroneck Board meeting, the trustees selected him to demonstrate a kata, which is a detailed sequence of movements. Joining Ba that night was Jonathan Morgenstern, one of Way of Life's adult students.

"There are many reasons for adults to pursue karate training," according to the Way of Life website . "Some seek self-defense training, while others like the exercise."

To watch Ba and Morgenstern's demonstrations, visit LMC-TV's website and select Videos On Demand.

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