Tri-Valley Karate is commencing its third year in the East Bay community of Pleasanton, CA, and owner/head instructor Sanjit Mandal has been busy welcoming an enthusiastic influx of new students to kick off the New Year. The East Bay location has already been selected as Bay Area Parent Magazine Family Favorite for each of the past two years, so the celebrated martial arts “dojo” must be doing something right.
Officially known as Goju Ryu Karatedo Seiwa Kai USA (Tri-Valley Location), Tri-Valley Karate promotes the oldest of martial arts traditions and movements combining traditional Okinawan techniques with both internal and external Chinese principles.
Mandal, a 4th dan (Yondan) JKF Goju Kai (black belt), 4th dan (Yondan) Seiwa Kai (black belt) was influenced early on by the popular 1984 movie “The Karate Kid” starring Ralph Macchio, Noriyuki “Pat” Morita, and Patricia Shue. “When I was 11, I wanted to be like Daniel LaRusso in `the Karate Kid and move like the men in the old kung fu movies,” he laughs. “So, in 1988 I began with Tae Kwon Do and a year later switched to karate.”
Mandal’s childhood ambition would become a reality after committing himself to more than 25 years of rigorous training and competition at the highest level. Now, he teaches others the skills and discipline that have helped him earn black belt ranking.
Tri-Valley Karate currently engages approximately 18 students – the oldest is 48, and the youngest is 5. “All of our students are great,” explains Mandal. “We embrace improving each individual and try not to compare one student to another.”
Over the years, Mandal’s students have earned four USANKF national championships and more than 250 medals and trophies at collegiate, local, regional, and national tournaments and have defeated top universities such as Harvard, MIT, Boston College, Boston University, Brown University, West Point, and others.
In addition to his hands-on teaching, Mandal is still active in competition, recently earning a gold medal in the Men’s Kata Division at the USA-NKF National Championships in Reno, NV. Some of his own most eminent teachers or Senseis (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sensei)have been 7th Degree Black Belt Sensei Vassie Naidoo and 7th dan Seiwa Kai and 6th JKF Goju Kai Sensi Desmond Tuck, among others.
And what should students expect to learn at Tri-Valley Karate? “Humble high quality traditional karate,” responds Mandal modestly.
For further information about Tri-Valley Karate, readers can call 925-272-8348 or refer to their website at www.trivalleykarate.com/. It’s all about lessons in life.