Every Tuesday and Thursday at Hansborough Recreation Center in Harlem, Grandmaster Sam McGee, sixty-five, gives free Goju Karate lessons to children and adults from its community. As a young Vietnam War veteran in the late 1960s, McGee was a disciple of “Major” Leon Wallace, who introduced Goju karate to Harlem, offering free lessons to McGee and other youngsters.
Founded in 1973 by McGee, Harlem Goju Association has trained over 10,000 children and adults of the Harlem community, some of whom have started their own schools, expanding the teachings and philosophy of Wallace in New York and beyond.
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Emon Hassan, Narratively’s Director of Video & Multimedia, is a New York-based filmmaker and photographer. He is also a contributor to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Atlantic. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook & Google+.