Dr Corey Pavitt of Juneau and Shihan Michael Taylor of Wasilla were recently honored for their long time commitment to promoting Japanese Karate in Alaska at the grand opening of the Juneau Karate Academy’s new location on Aug. 2.
Both men were raised in Juneau, graduating from Juneau-Douglas High School in the mid-1970s, and both trained together at a local dojo. At that time the dojo was in a church basement across the street from the Federal Building, where the fire station now sits. Pavitt and Taylor went different routes after high school and were reunited at the grand opening after 38 years.
Shihan (the Japanese term for Master Teacher) Taylor went on to establish a karate school in Sitka in 1984, which is still in operation today. He currently runs several dojos in the Mat Su valley. Taylor was honored for 40 years of teaching karate in Alaska.
Pavitt went on to earn a black belt and has become a well-known local business owner and longtime community heath advocate.
The two men are tied to the establishment and growth of the Juneau Karate Academy. School owner, Sensei Nathan Young, was a childhood student of Taylor’s and went on to understudy from one of Taylor’s teachers: world renowned karate master Katsutaka Tanaka. Sensei Young then ran the Sitka dojo for nine years before moving to Juneau. With the help of Pavitt, Young established JKA through a partnership with Pavitt Health and Fitness. After four years of growth, the academy moved to its current location in the Jordan Creek Center.
Pavitt was presented an honorary black belt from JKA and Taylor was presented a Japanese signature stamp commissioned from a master Japanese calligrapher.
The Juneau Karate Academy teaches family oriented karate classes for ages 4 and up and more information is available at www.juneaukarate.com.