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Black Belt Graduation

Saturday, November 18th at Noon
Soule Road Middle School

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November 2023 

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About the Graduates

5th Degree Black Belt Leaders

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Sensei James McGarvey - 5th Degree Black Belt

Sensei Jim McGarvey is part of the professional instructor team here at Team Feidt. He originally began training in 1988 and achieved his 1st Degree Black Belt in 1992. After some years away he returned to not only train, but once again become part of our professional staff. He’s been back in the dojo for about 18 years now and continues to share his love of the martial arts with others! His wife Leslie is a 1st Degree Black Belt, niece Julia is a 1st Degree Black Belt, nephew Ben is a High Red Belt currently in training for his Black Belt, and his nephews Rocco and Anthony have also trained in the program. His niece Shannon and her husband Tony, along with his niece Christine have also trained it the KickFit program. Sensei McG says that “his passion” for the marital arts is not just about his training and achieving his goals, but seeing others achieve theirs as well.


Outside of the martial arts Sensei McGarvey enjoys traveling with his wife Leslie, going to concerts and shows, spending time outside, and of course enjoying time with their chocolate lab Maximus Miles aka “Max”


Sensei wanted to take a moment to show gratitude and thank his Black Belt Candidate team members for their support and training this cycle – he couldn’t have done it without each one of them! Also, a very special thanks to Shihan Feidt for many years of friendship and leadership. And to his wife Leslie for all of her support and being there for him through his training journey!

Sensei Donalea Maloney - 5th Degree Black Belt

I am 56 years old, and I have been a Type 1 Diabetic for 47 years, I have never let my disease get in the way of being athletic!  I have played basketball in High School and won the Section III Championship for CNS in 1985, I have played softball, I golf, play pickleball, I am a martial artist who has been training for 17 years and I am the 2014 WKA Lightweight North American Tournament Champion in the ring. My Kickboxing Ring record is 8-1. My daughter Jordyn is a 4th degree black belt and an Instructor at Team Feidt. Jordyn’s boyfriend, John Michael, is a red belt, and our nephew Logan is a white belt working towards his yellow belt.  I love the beach, playing board games, doing puzzles, and loving my family, pets and friends with all my heart.  

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4th Degree Elite Force Black Belt

Maura Lisson - 4th Degree Black Belt

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I am on the Team Feidt professional instructor team and an adjunct instructor at Syracuse University.  My mom is a Krav Maga Black belt, and my sister holds the rank of 2nd degree black belt. Outside karate I like designing, screen-printing, and hanging out with friends and family.

3rd Degree Top Gun Black Belts

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Duncan Mackridge - 3rd Degree Black Belt

My name is Duncan Mackridge. I am getting my third degree on November 18th with my two best friends. I started karate as a little dragon when I was 5. I have been training for over ten years now. I am a part of the Elite Demo Team and I am on bench. I am in 10th grade in Phoenix. My favorite classes are either Geometry or Chemistry. I am in the high honor roll and am a 3-sport scholar athlete. My cross-country season just ended, and my personal best time was 18:37 for 3 miles. I also run indoor and outdoor track where I also run long distance. Thank you to my cross-country coach for letting me skip a lot of meets and practices for the cycle. Thank you to my mom and dad for supporting me throughout this cycle and driving me everywhere. Thank you to my instructors for helping me grow and improve. Thank you to my friends for being there for me.

Tyler Trent - 3rd Degree Black Belt

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My name is Tyler Trent. I am 14 years old and currently a freshman at Liverpool High School. I am an honor roll student, and my favorite subject is math. I've been training at Team Feidt for 9 years and got my first-degree black belt in 2018. When I started in 2014, I was very nervous about doing karate but over time I've really grown to love karate. Karate has taught me many life lessons that I use to this day. Now I am an instructor in training and able to pass those life lessons down to the new generation of students. Outside of the dojo I spend a lot of time with friends out and about in the world, riding my bike and having fun. In school I also have fun with my friends while still maintaining an above A average. Back when I started, I wasn't alone, my sister had also been training with me but stopped when she got her black belt. Now my dad is training and is currently a red belt and I can’t wait till he gets his black belt. Getting my third-degree black belt is my biggest achievement ever.

Joey Zoccolillo - 3rd Degree Black Belt

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My name is Joey Zoccolillo, I am 15 years old. I’m in tenth grade and I go to Baker High school in B’ville, and I play the alto saxophone for school. I have a sister that trains with me as well, she is a second degree black belt, and we are both on the demo team and participate in many demos. I teach karate classes and I am trying to make my way to becoming an instructor. I have fought in the ring four times in kickboxing, my record is 3-1, and was invited to fight for team USA in the ISKA’s world kickboxing tournament. I enjoy riding my bike, cooking and working on motorcycles with my dad. I like spending time with my friends and family. I enjoy helping others achieve their goals and watching them succeed.

2nd Degree All-Star Black Belts

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Grace Bedward - 2nd Degree Black Belt

My name is Grace Bedward. I am 12 years old, I’m in the 7th grade at Liverpool middle school and have an average of 95. I enjoy science class and experimenting. Outside of karate I like singing, art, baking, and crocheting. I have won math awards and have gotten honor roll awards. I am in accelerated math and studio art. I love being creative and expressing myself. I have been training at team Feidt for almost 8 years, I started as a little dragon. I am so excited to be getting my 2nd degree black belt.

Eva Norrison - 2nd Degree Black Belt

My name is Eva Norrison. I am 13 years old and I’m in 8th grade at North Syracuse Junior High. I have been training since October 2017 and I train with my step mom Pam who is a 2nd degree black belt and my brother Chance who is currently a brown belt.  I really like performing with the demo team and seeing the kids faces light up as we perform. I am currently taking theater classes in school and plan on joining the next musical. For now, I am part of the behind the scenes crew. I also enjoy going camping and being outdoors and going on adventures.

1st Degree Black Belts

Volodymyr Braylyak - 1st Degree Black Belt

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I am Volodymyr Braylyak. I am 10 years old, turning 11 on March 19. On Saturdays, I go to a Ukrainian school called “Lesia Ukrainian School” to learn about geography, culture, history, and literature. A fun fact about me is that I can do a backflip on my trampoline. When my friends come over, we usually go on my trampoline together. I like to play video games and hang out with my friends from school, and we like to ride our bikes. My favorite sports are karate, soccer, volleyball, and skiing. In the wintertime, I like to go skiing with my dad, my sister and family friends. In the spring I like to play soccer with my friends at school during recess. When I am older, I want to be a professional soccer player because it's my favorite sport. But if I do not get to be one then I would like to have my own restaurant chain that sells Japanese food. My favorite food is kani salad. My sister does karate and she is a first-degree black belt. She got her 1st degree black belt on June 11th, 2022. In 5 years, I see myself achieving a 3rd degree black belt. The achievement I am most proud of is that I ran 2 miles in under 15 minutes and 49 seconds. I have a cat that I love and adore, called Smilee. He is a siemens and has black fur and green eyes.

Saria Deal - 1st Degree Black Belt

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My Name is Saria Deal. I am a ten year old girl who is in fifth grade, I am a high red belt at the Team Feidt Dojo.

I like to play the flute in band , and love to play games with my dad. In the winter I love to sled with my grandma and grandpa. And this year my grandpa joined karate so I’ve been helping him train. In the summertime I love to have friends over and swimming in the pool I also enjoy walking my dog in the summertime. His name is corky. And I enjoy being at the dojo and taking classes at the dojo. I also love to bike ride and be outside. Some accomplishments I’ve made are the many belts I’ve earned In karate throughout the years I’ve been to the dojo.

Connor Jennings - 1st Degree Black Belt

Hi, my name is Connor Jennings. I am 10 years old and in 5th grade at Morgan Road Elementary. I live in Liverpool with my mom, dad, little sister, and dog, Lila. I started karate through a program at my school, Elmcrest Elementary, when I was 6 years old and in first grade. I also play the trumpet, like to draw, and enjoy running and playing basketball. I love camping with my family, playing with logos, and shooting nerf guns.


My favorite thing about karate are the weapon katas. Thanks to my karate training I am stronger and more confident. I have learned to face my fears and overcome them. At first, I was afraid of sparring, but I am overcoming that fear and getting better at it. Ever since I was a white belt, I’ve dreamed of getting my black belt. It was a lot of hard work, but it was worth it. I am very excited and looking forward to working towards my second degree and learning the bo staff.

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Ben Miles - 1st Degree Black Belt

Ben Miles is a 6th-grade student at Soule Road Middle School. He maintains an A average, and his favorite subjects are Science and English. He plays Little League baseball in the fall and the spring. In the winter Ben skis, the black diamonds in his school’s ski club and with his family. Ben plays the trombone in the middle school band and earned a perfect score in the most recent NYSSMA solo festival. In his spare time, he likes to play pickup sports with his neighborhood friends, especially wiffleball. Ben also enjoys writing fiction. 

Ben lives with his supportive parents, Jon and Gretta, his athletic and musical older sister Addison, and his handsome, clever, little dog Ziggy. Together they enjoy taking vacations, including a trip last Spring to Italy. In the summer, they spend their weekends hiking, swimming, boating, tubing, water skiing, and having campfires at Trout Lake. Ben recently earned his Safe Boaters certificate, so he can operate a motorboat. Ben is a dedicated fan of the Buffalo Bills and the New York Yankees. This year he has traveled with his family to Orchard Park and the Bronx to see his favorite teams play.

In the future, Ben wants to become a veterinarian and wants to help family pets have long and healthy lives.

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Leah Rapke - 1st Degree Black Belt

My name is Leah Rapke and I am 10 years old. I live in Baldwinsville NY and I’m in 5th grade at McNamara Elementary. I started karate at Impact Martial Arts in February 2020 right when COVID hit and did a lot of my first classes on zoom. I most recently achieved my High Red belt on December 17, 2022. I live with my mom, dad, and 13-year-old sister and I spend a lot of time with my extended family. In addition to karate, I’m also on a competition dance team and we won an Elite Gold trophy at our competition last year. I ran in the elementary cross country meet last year and I recently joined the yearbook club at school.

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Krav Maga Alliance Black Belt

Guro Michael Koch - 2nd Degree Krav Maga Black Belt

Guro Michael Koch is a 5th Degree Black Belt in our martial arts system and started his training in 1992. He is now a 2nd degree Black Belt under Krav Maga Alliance. Guro Koch is also our head Krav Maga Instructor.


Guro wants to work on growing our Krav Maga program, refine instructor training, create a comprehensive seminar series for Krav Maga self-defense, and maintain skills as a top-level instructor. "Working with my students to help me get ready for my 2nd degree test was a favorite training moment. They learned from helping me and I learned from them. It was a fantastic learning experience all around.”


Guro enjoys riding motorcycles and playing bass guitar in my church band.


His favorite quote: "Goals we set, are goals we get!"

Graduating Black Belt Class of November 2023

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