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Isshinryu Karate Academy

Kyoshi Tom Laurent

Kyoshi Tom Laurent

As the movie Enter The Dragon premiered in 1973, Kyoshi Tom Laurent began his martial arts journey. As a teenager he trained for two years at the Academy Of Isshinryu Karate in Pittsburgh with William H. Duessel and Charles A. Wallace. He took a break from training for a number of years to pursue professional endeavors; however, in 1981 he had an experience, as fate would have it, which altered the course of his martial arts career. Specifically, it was during a random meeting in downtown Pittsburgh with Sensei Wallace that his interest in karate was ultimately renewed, and his training began anew soon thereafter. In 1985, Tom was promoted 1st Dan (1st Degree Black Belt), his 2nd Dan promotion followed two years later. Throughout the 1980’s he continued to train, develop and teach at the academy which ultimately culminated in his promotion to 3rd Dan in 1990.

Furthermore, in the early 1990’s the dojo was in a period of transition and Sensei Donald Washabaugh was authorized to locate and secure a new home for our dojo. Tom and the other instructors were instrumental in developing the new location in Greentree where our dojo remains today. In 1993, the dojo was ultimately renamed as the Isshinryu Karate Academy of Pittsburgh, soon thereafter Tom was promoted to 4th Dan and he was recognized as one of the dojo’s most senior instructors.

As the dojo continued to develop over time, new classes were eventually added and Tom began to assume an active leadership role within the dojo, and as a result, he was promoted to 6th Dan in 2003. Subsequently, he was later promoted to the rank of 7th Dan and the formal title of Kyoshi was conferred upon him by Hanshi William H. Duessel, 10th Dan in 2007. In 2015, he was given the rank of 8th Dan by Kichiro Shimabuku. Lastly, Kyoshi Laurent is one of our most experienced, valued, and respected instructors and he currently serves as the Vice President of the Isshinryu Karate Academy of Pittsburgh.

Note: Kyoshi Laurent has received all of his IWKA Association Dan ranks from Hanshi William H. Duessel, 10th Dan. He has also had the privilege to train with Hanshi Duessel directly for over 30 years. What follows is a listing of Kyoshi Laurent competitive accomplishments with the IWKA Isshinryu World Karate Championships:

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