Karate kicking to the top

Twenty-plus students gathered in three lines to go through warm-ups and punching and kicking routines. Third degree black belt of Okanogan Go Ju Ryu Roy Augustine walks around the students to check their form on each technique.

On this Thursday night, students from all levels and abilities gathered to have a group class for a change of pace. The new change of pace also came about when Augustine's Martial Arts moved from a 1,000 square foot studio to a space with about 3,000 square feet at 161 Madison St., Oneida. The new location was once home to End Rail Billiards.

Washing away purple and black painted walls, and cleaning carpets and rolling out new ones, helped put the finishing touches on the new studio.

Augustine and his wife Linda run the studio as a solid partnership that they said helps the studio run smoothly. While Linda runs much of the administrative side and organizing of events, Roy can focus on leading the students in class and helping each of the 50-plus students he oversees.

"She allows me to focus out here," Roy said of his wife. "If it wasn't for her we wouldn't have gotten into this new studio."

By day, Linda is a United States mail carrier and Roy works for the county in business services.

Roy started his discipline in martial arts in 1991 when Linda got a gift certificate to start lessons as a birthday present.

"I've always had an interest," he said. "I was hooked."

Hooked on the art itself was one thing, but Roy said he bases his studio's focus on respect, self-control, self-defense, physical fitness and integrity.

Although Roy has been studying martial arts for more than 18 years, he has only had his own students and martial arts studio for about two years.

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