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Croton Karate Owner Kick Starts Enjoyment Of Martial Arts

Sensei Peter Doherty opened Croton Karate in 2005, and teaches all of the classes at the studio.
Sensei Peter Doherty opened Croton Karate in 2005, and teaches all of the classes at the studio. Photo Credit: Contributed

CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. -- Sensei Peter Doherty opened Croton Karate in 2005. A long time fitness and martial arts advocate, Doherty had been learning and teaching karate for over 15 years and had always dreamed of having his own dojo, or martial arts studio.

Doherty worked three jobs simultaneously before a client told him about the space in Croton.

 “It was an old martial arts school, so the buildout was already done,’’ Doherty said. “It just felt like the right time. It’s in a shopping center, and I thought it had good visibility. That was important because I wanted to work the art more than the business.”

One unique feature of Croton Karate is Doherty teaches all the classes, everyone from age 3 to adults. Doherty said he teaches all classes so he knows every student and their abilities.

His chosen art is Goju-ryu, which means “hard-soft style.” Doherty said it is a philosophy borne out of Okinawa, which is where karate started. “It reflects the hardness of the of body on the outside and the softness of the person inside,’’ Doherty said. “It’s also evading, which is soft, and coming in with hard strikes.”

Doherty said what separates his studio from competitors is its focus on learning. He said other studios will advance students and award belts as long as tuition is paid. Doherty believes this is an incredible disservice to families and students.

“You have to know what you’re doing if you want to get promoted,’’ Doherty said. “You want kids and adults to remember things on their own."

Doherty has high expectations of his students, who come from Croton and the surrounding area and he knows their capabilities. Doherty said he loves seeing the growth of his students and is still in awe as each one develops in their own unique way. 

“You watch and eventually the light go on,’’ Doherty said. “There’s a mind-body connection.”

Doherty’s expertise extends beyond teaching. He captured a gold and silver medal in the Goodwill Games, an international competition modeled after the Olympics. 

For more information about Croton Karate, click here to visit its website or contact Doherty at 914-271-0027. Croton Karate is at 420 Riverside Avenue. 

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