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.