HOLLIS, N.H. – A Groton man and his son were among five local residents who recently earned their Black Belt at Neil Stone’s Karate Academy.
Larry Guilmartin and his son John, of Nashua, was joined by fellow martial arts enthusiasts Terry Boczar, of Merrimack, Jeff MacDonald, of Hollis and Deb Stone, of Nashua.
There are few lifelong activities that are as fulfilling and transformative as the martial arts. John Guilmartin started his studies when he was five and is now in his 30s, while adult students like his father, Larry, started well into their adult lives.
The Guilmartins and the other students were surrounded by friends and family on August 16 in Manchester, N.H. for the Academy’s yearly master’s black belt exam and celebration. Not only has it taken over 25 years for each of these students to reach this milestone, but particularly the last year has been full of intense training, classes, prep and studying.
To be eligible for Master’s rank Black Belt, students have to have more than just years of study. Each student must embody the black belt virtues of modesty, courtesy, integrity, compassion, gratitude, self-control perseverance and indomitable spirit. Unlike other activities and sports, the personal development of a student is just as important as the physical development.
The new Black Belts all truly embody these virtues and are a pillar of not just Neil Stone’s Karate Academy, but also the local community, stated a press release from the academy.