Pizzeria owner teaches the 'way of the warrior'
Eric LeVan, pictured right, knows something about running a successful business. The Churchville native opened Mark’s Pizzeria in Batavia two years ago and he is also co-owner of one in Gates as well.
When he’s not making pizza, he’s engrossed in martial arts.
“When I was a kid I took martial arts classes, but it was eight years ago that I seriously got into it. I found that I loved doing it and I was passionate about it,” LeVan said.
LeVan, along with his good friend, neighbor and fellow martial artist, Russ Corey, decided to turn their love of martial arts into a business by opening a dojo (Japanese for martial arts school) at the old location of Grammy O’s Laundromat in Batavia’s Valu Plaza. After redoing the entire space, the new 2,200-square-foot facility now has new walls and carpet, fresh paint and authentic martial arts memorabilia on the walls.
“The only thing left from the original building is one wall. We added two bathrooms, two changing rooms, an office and the workout area,” LeVan said. “We were weekend warriors who came in and got it done, although most of the credit goes to our friend and fellow martial artist, Dick Shamp, who knows more about this stuff than Russ or I do.”
Bushido Martial Arts officially opened earlier this month. If you’re looking to learn how to do fancy jumps or mixed-martial-arts type of moves, this is not the place for you.
“Our school is very traditional. We teach centuries-old Japanese martial arts traditions,” LeVan said. “Our style of Goshin Jutsu Karate is a good mix of Karate, Judo and Jujitsu. It includes punches, blocks, strikes, stances and throws used for the sole purpose of self-defense.”
Bushido means “Way of the Warrior” in Japanese. There are seven virtues associated with the Samurai Code of Bushido which is stressed at the school: Gi -- Integrity, Yu -- Courage, Jin -- Compassion, Rei -- Respect, Makoto -- Honesty, Meiyo -- Honor, and Chugi -- Loyalty.
All classes are taught by Sensei Eric LeVan, Sensei Russ Corey or Sensei Dick Shamp, who are all black belts of varying degrees. They emphasize self-defense, help you gain mental and physical confidence, as well as provide a good workout. There are also women’s self-defense classes and anti-bullying classes available.
"I love martial arts and I’m passionate about teaching it and passing on the art,” LeVan said. “Our instructors are high energy, respectful martial artists that will work with each student one-on-one to reach their full potential, with over 30 years training and/or teaching experience.”
Bushido Martial Arts is located at 452 W. Main Street Road in Batavia at the Valu Plaza. You can visit their Web site at www.bushidomartialarts.org or call Eric LeVan 585-330-4616 or Russ Corey 585-303-7696 for more information.
Photo by Howard Owens.
I will be checking this out!!!
Howard, Why was my comment removed? I didn't break any rules and it wasn't offensive.
I considered it a personal attack.