Tokey Hill Karate Puts On A Show

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The Tokey Hill Martial Arts Studio sent eight of its athletes to compete in the U.S. National Karate Championships in Fort Lauderdale from July 13 to 19. Under the leadership of Sensei Christina Muccini, they earned 11 medals, four of them gold. In addition to their success, Muccini was awarded USA Karate Coach of the Year.

Tokey Hill has been in the Port Washington area since 1985. Tokey Hill, who the studio was named after, was a World Champion for the U.S. and one of the most well-known names in the sport of karate. Muccini was a student who trained under Hill. She eventually earned a spot
on the U.S. national team from
1992-2000. She went on to win two Pan Am Games bronze medals. Muccini also achieved a silver medal in the France Invitational. She was then crowned U.S. National Champion eight times. In 2007, Muccini was put on the U.S. National coaching staff, where she won Karate Coach of the Year.

At the studio, Muccini is busy training athletes both young and old. Not only does the studio teach karate, they also offer kickboxing, boxing, mixed martial arts and self-defense. They hold a two-tier program, where one is recreational, in which students can achieve their ultimate goal of a black belt. The other program is geared toward competition, where students can prepare for upcoming tournaments.

Ashley Davis, gold medalist; Tokey Hill; Christina Muccini, Finegan 2015 United Olympic committee, USA Karate, Coach of the Year
Ashley Davis, gold medalist; Tokey Hill; Christina Muccini, Finegan 2015 United Olympic committee, USA Karate, Coach of the Year

Muccini stressed that karate is not only about fighting. “We do a lot of tactics and strategy for younger people on how to combat social situations where bullying would occur,” said Muccini. “All without using any type of martial arts.” Their program helps children with self-esteem issues, confidence building, physical fitness, agility, flexibility and, most importantly, to strengthen character.

At the higher level, students train year-round in preparation for tournament competition. At this stage, the athletes engage in serious condition training, consisting of a lot of track work, strength training, weight lifting and body conditioning. There is also technical and psychological preparation involved, as well as emphasizing nutrition. “All of those things blended together makes a world-class athlete,” said Muccini. “That’s what we’re trying to accomplish here.”

At the Fort Lauderdale tournament, eight athletes representing Tokey Hill earned medals. Gold medals were won by Calog Torretta, Jennifer Sullivan, Lizel Lee and Ashley Davis, who also earned a bronze. Austin Pfeifer took home a silver and a bronze medal. Ashley Hill and Tony Pisani picked up a bronze medal, while London Mckeiver earned two bronze medals. Ethan Wachsman and Mark Palzer finished fifth and Valerio Bonnano finished seventh to round out the team.

Muccini is honored to see her team achieve this type of success. “It is a great sense of pride for our school and something that we take very seriously,” she said. “It’s about achieving balance and being able to succeed in all aspects of their lives.”

Tokey Hill Studio has earned a reputation for developing students into successful athletes as well as becoming better people both in and out of the dojo.

To learn more about Tokey Hill’s programs, go to www.tokeyhill.com.