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VIDEO: Gerry Blanck Celebrates 30 Years Teaching Karate In Palisades

Thousands of students, from children to adults, have learned under the retired pro. Classes continue this summer at the Alma Real Drive dojo.

For 30 years, seventh-degree black belt Gerry Blanck has built a karate haven in Pacific Palisades. His at 881 Alma Real Drive has seen thousands of students, offering classes from children to adults, and it's graduated more than 100 black belts.

Blanck said he's having one of his best summers, from being selected by the to be a parade marshal in the Fourth of July Parade, to celebrating his 30th anniversary at recently and also looking forward to an upcoming mixer in August with the chamber. Blanck spars in during this year's Fourth of July parade.

Shaun Harrington, of Brentwood, prepared for his adult class last week while his sons Sutton, 4, and Liam, 8, finished their class. The family are former owners of the local camera shop Harrington Camera Corner.

"He's great, while the program is great for kids and the adults," Shaun said of Gerry Blanck. "It's the way he enhances it for everyone who comes in here, and it's the way the kids react to him."

Specializing in Yoshukai, a traditional form of Japanese karate, Blanck's held pro titles such as World Karate Association Super Featherweight Champion and International Kickboxing Association Junior-Lightweight Champion. His office is lined with trophies, photographs and news clippings dating back to his early career.

Blanck opened his first dojo in Palisades in the summer of 1982, retired from his pro career in 1985 and opened at his current location in 1994.

For more information about classes and Blanck's career, visit his website.

CK July 30, 2012 at 03:36 PM
We love Gerry! One of my sons will be testing for his second degree black belt this January, and my other son will be testing for his first degree black belt at the same time. They have both been attending classes with Gerry since they have been little kids in the Little Dragon program, and now they both are learning to teach the younger kids. Gerry does a fantastic job with the kids and this has been such a positive experience for our family. Congrats Gerry on your 30th anniversary!
Erik Hofmeister July 30, 2012 at 03:46 PM
I started with Sensei Blanck when I was 15 years old. This year I will have studied Yoshukai for 20 years and just earned by 4th degree blackbelt this summer. I have my own school in Athens, GA, which has been operating for 6 years. I owe it all to Sensei!
Michele O'Donnell July 30, 2012 at 04:11 PM
I have known Sensei Gerry Blanck for 25 years and am proud to say he is my daughters instructor. He is a teriffic instructor and my daughter has learned so much from him in addition to her blue belt she has learned about good sportsmanship and self discipline. Congrats to Sensei Blanck on 30 years and here is to 30 more.
Arjun Jain July 30, 2012 at 05:17 PM
I have done karate since I was 4 years old, and have stayed at the dojo ever since. It's been 13 years with Sensei Blanck, and each year has been great. Great job on the 30th year!
Linda July 31, 2012 at 08:47 PM
I have personally known Gerry "Sensei Blanck" for 30 years. I was one of his first students when he started his class at La Sante Health Club in 1982. I am now a 3rd degree black belt (should have been a higher ranking but was busy with my studies and raising 2 children with special needs). I met my husband in Gerry's class in 1985. My husband is a 6th degree black belt and is the Assistant West Coast Director for Yoshukai Karate. I can proudly say that "If it weren't for Gerry, I would have never met my wonderful husband!" Gerry is an incredible and very talented teacher. He is really good with children and can remember all of their names and other details of their lives. My daughter who has severe special needs has been taking private lessons with Gerry for about 7 years. I never thought that she would be able to learn self defense moves, but after all these years, Gerry was able to teach her karate! Imagine a child who cannot dress herself but can do a front kick and a block. He has been an important figure in my daughter's life and I believe that not only has my daughter benefited, but that Gerry has learned something significant as well from her. Gerry is a world champion kick boxer and a superb martial artist. Most of all for me, he is a loyal and special friend who makes me laugh. He will always be a champion!
AshFord Harrison August 01, 2012 at 11:03 PM
I had always been a difficult child growing up, so my parents sent me to Gerry to learn discipline (and martial arts)... I'm glad to say, I have been with him for the last 16 years, and have been a loyal employee (i like to think that) for the past decade. Without him, I don't think I would have been successful in college, or any other activity for that matter. It is wonderful to see all those lives he touches and all the joy he brings to children in the multiple classes we have here a day. I have seen kids grow here, and many of them come back to train once they have finished getting degrees. Many of them are now doctors, lawyers and fire chiefs, even globe trotting entertainers. The Palisades would not have been the same without Gerry Blanck!

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