Story & Photo by Marianne Salza
Anthony Cogliandro, a fifth-degree black belt in Ed Parker’s American Kenpo Karate, has been practicing martial arts since he was 2 years old; and in October, competed in the International Karate Championships (IKC), in Chile. Cogliandro, who has participated in the tournament 13 times, holds the record with five wins in the grand champions’ bracket, in which victors from each division compete to become champion.
“I was lucky enough to win my division,” said the 37-year-old. “I fought someone from Venezuela and Chile. I’ve fought up to 10 times in the division before.”
The International Karate Championships originated in Long Beach, Calif., in 1964, and is an annual sports karate tournament that is held in a different country each year.
“Bruce Lee debuted at the first International Karate Championships, where he beat the guy in under a minute,” exclaimed Cogliandro, who is planning for next year’s tournament in Dublin, Ireland.
Cogliandro is an Associate Professor and co-owner of his family-run Broadway dojo, Revere Karate Academy, founded by his martial artist parents: Tony Cogliandro and Doreen DiRienzo. Seventy of Cogliandro’s students and their families are preparing to compete in the April 2020 IKC.
“We have a big team. I’m really excited,” said Cogliandro, who specializes in point fighting. “This is one of my favorite things to do because I get to travel around the world and meet a lot of great people. It’s exciting.”
Cogliandro is a substitute teacher in Revere Public Schools and loves to teach; especially instructing the over 150 students at Revere Karate Academy, which he considers to be a sensational sports team.
“Our school has been a part of this community for just about 40 years,” Cogliandro said, while peering at a framed photograph of himself as a toddler, with his parents poised in their gis. “It’s nice to get recognition for our accomplishments. We have amazing students, and a lot of champions here.”