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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:08 pm 
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Dana Krolick, a Uechi friend of mine, just sent this to me in an email, for those who know Ric Martin, a Uechi practioner down in Florida. Awful to lose a place like this.

LARGO - An early-morning fire seriously damaged a nearly 30-year-old karate school in Largo, but founder Ric Martin said he plans to rebuild and be back in business soon.

"I built this karate school with my hands," Martin said. "It's a sad day, but people are stronger than buildings, and we've got a great group of people that are part of this organization. … We'll be back teaching martial arts for many, many years to come."

Largo Fire Rescue responded to a three-alarm fire at 1:12 a.m. at Authentic Martial Arts, 780 N. Missouri Ave. The fire started when an electric current from the school's neon sign jumped to a metal construction plate inside the wooden building and started a fire that spread through the attic, Martin said.

Martin said he didn't know the full amount of the damage but said it was extensive.

Authentic Martial Arts, which Martin founded in 1980, has a second location in Seminole.


Regards,
Vicki

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:00 pm 
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Vicki,
Is there a contact or address where those who would like to "help out" can send donations for rebuilding? What better way to use a forum community than to help out one of our own?

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:06 pm 
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This looks devastating and heartbreaking...more so, I'm sure, if you own your own dojo.

I have left a message for Ric to see if there is an address where anyone interested can send donations to help rebuild. I will let you know if I hear back.

For those of you who know Ric, you might be able to get a response sooner. Thanks!

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:10 pm 
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Hey, Shana, I had his email on my old computer but it is at my former work. Not sure if I can get it. I could get it from some others I know possible. His former contact info for his dojo is below. I did contact Dave, his manager down in Seminole, and passed this on to him for Ric. If you or anyone else wants to reach him, you could go through the Seminole contact info below:

Authentic Martial Arts - Largo, Florida
780 North Missouri Ave
Largo, Florida 33770
727-585-8988

Authentic Martial Arts - Seminole, Florida
9362 Oakhurst Rd.
Seminole, Florida 33776
727-593-5000

Regards,
Vicki

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:00 pm 
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I've left a message at both locations, so as soon as I hear back on where any donations (if interested) can be sent, I will post here. Dave said everyone REALLY appreciated the thoughts and prayers. They mean a lot!

Vicki,
Thanks for the contact and for letting everyone know. It's nice when we can do something positive for one another...even if it's just a short warm thought and prayer.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:45 pm 
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Just spoke to Dave who said Ric was very touched and appreciated all the thoughts and support. He is really not comfortable with donations, as he doens't know what his needs will be or what insurance will cover. However, simply knowing that the Uechi community is thinking of htem is very comforting.

So, good intentions aside, I think Vicki has the best thought. If you wish to send any well wishes, thoughts, prayers there way, she has provided the contact information. Sometimes, simply being supported is more powerful than one can imagine.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:41 am 
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Oh No...this is awful :( the most terrible thing there is to lose a blood,sweat and tears, dojo and all the great memories with it.

Hopefully Ric will have enough Insurance coverage to replace it with even a more beautiful dojo.

I know the feeling, because once my old dojo, that felt like it was part of me in more ways I can begin to describe, was razed to the ground along with the old building it was in...when a bank bought it and knocked it down to build a stupid looking bank branch in its place. :evil:

I must admit that I cried
bitter tears...

To this day I have dreams of it...dreams of my class packed with great students...actually suspended in the middle of the street at the same third floor height my dojo was. :(

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