By Sarah Rosenblum
Ankur Shah ‘14 has been studying the art of karate for 13 years, and it has inevitably become a way of life for him.
Inspired to continue the legacy of his karate instructor after his tragic death in a fire, Shah opened his own karate studio in his Ohio hometown. “My karate teacher was like another father to me. He always was at my house for dinner or coming to cheer me on in my basketball games. He brought me out of my shell and taught me to believe in myself. I talked to him about everything,” said Shah.
One of Shah’s most rewarding moments with his instructor was when he passed his black belt exam. “I put in six years of hard work before I got to that point,” he said. Shah helped open up a karate school with four other friends after their instructor passed away, hoping to serve as influential instructors to new students.
The school is a non-profit organization where Shah and the other instructors teach for free and donate profits to local charities in their hometown of Steubenville, Ohio.
Shah still teaches when he goes home for breaks, and the other four carry on while he is at Union. The new studio is three miles away from where the old one stood. “I work with the kids in my class like my instructor worked with me. Although it requires lots of patience, it is very fulfilling. We work to teach discipline, respect, and self-defense to children and adults of all ages,” he explained.