ZenQuest Martial Arts Center

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ZenQuest Martial Arts Center
Front of the ZenQuest Martial Arts Center building in Lenox Commons
Front of the ZenQuest Martial Arts Center building in Lenox Commons
Also known as Okinawan Karate School
Date founded 1972
Country of origin United States
Founder Frank Gorman
Current head Mark Flynn, Connie Flynn
Arts taught
Ancestor schools
Official website zenquestmac.com

ZenQuest Martial Arts Center, formerly called the Okinawan Karate School, is a martial arts school located in Lenox, Massachusetts. The oldest martial arts school in Berkshire County, it was founded in 1972 as a dojo for Uechi-ryu karate. The school since expanded to include other martial arts, and currently provides instruction in Shohei-ryu karate (a spin-off of Uechi-ryu), Brazilian jiu-jitsu, mixed martial arts, Muay Thai, boxing, wrestling, kobudo, and self-defense, and is the fastest growing martial arts community in Berkshire County. The school also contains a store which provides equipment, gear, and instructional media. It is affiliated with the Okinawan Karatedo Association, Demian Maia Jiu-Jitsu Association, and Team Sityodtong Boston, and is accredited by the North American Grappling Association. ZenQuest has received significant coverage by regional and local media in Berkshire County, including The Berkshire Eagle, Berkshires' Best Buys, Business, and Beyond, and Pittsfield Cable Television, for its regular youth tournaments and seminars with high-ranking officials from the school's parent organizations.

History[edit]

Training room #1
Training room #1 at ZenQuest Martial Arts Center
Exercise and weight room
Exercise and weight room at ZenQuest Martial Arts Center
Training room #2
Training room #2 at ZenQuest Martial Arts Center

The school was originally based in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and was opened on Lyman Street in 1972 by Sensei Frank Gorman, who according to Berkshires' Best Buys Business & Beyond introduced Uechi-ryu karate to Berkshire County.[1][2] It is the oldest martial arts school in Berkshire County.[3] In 1993 the school was moved to the Pittsfield Plaza on West Housatonic Street, developing a significant children's program. Senseis Mark and Connie Flynn took ownership of the school in August 2002. They previously lived and worked in Albany, New York, and ran a smaller satellite dojo in Guilderland. The Flynns purchased the school from Bob and Lisken Dus, who stated at the time that they were entering into retirement and would focus on providing support to the Flynns.[2] In the fall of 2002, the Flynns widened the school's curriculum to include Brazilian "Gracie" jiu-jitsu. Mixed martial arts classes were added later.[2] The Flynns traveled to Okinawa, Japan, in 2003, 2007 and 2012 for training with world leaders in Uechi-Ryu/Shohei-Ryu. During the 2007 trip Mrs. Flynn was promoted to 5th Dan, and both attended the 2007 All Okinawa Championships, a worldwide championship event. Sensei Connie took third place in kata, while Sensei Mark managed to reach fourth in kumite.[2] In 2010, due to deterioration of the Pittsfield Plaza where it was located, and the need for additional space, the school relocated to Lenox Commons in Lenox, where it changed its name from Okinawan Karate School to ZenQuest Martial Arts Center.[4] Along with this relocation and name change the school updated classes to a full roster which includes Muay Thai kickboxing, boxing, wrestling and mixed martial arts.[5] The school is now the largest martial arts community in Berkshire County.[3] In 2016, Mark Flynn received a belt-belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, becoming the third person in Berkshire County to achieve that high a rank in the art and the second in the United States to be awarded a black belt by Demian Maia.[6]

Events and seminars[edit]

The school has received regular coverage by The Berkshire Eagle and Pittsfield Cable Television, including the school's annual hosting of a youth tournament[7][8] and black belt promotions,[9] and in 2002 was noted for helping a teen overcome disabilities.[10]

In 2005, the dojo made the headline story in The Berkshire Eagle for hosting a special camp called “Tokkun 2005” at Cross Athletic Center at Miss Hall's School.[11] The camp featured visiting karate masters from Okinawa, specifically Senseis Shigeru Takamiyagi (9 dan), Toshio Higa (8 dan), Hirokuni Yamashiro (7 dan), and Sakae Uechi (5 dan), and in addition to local students in Berkshire County had additional students from more distant areas such as Florida, New Jersey, Michigan, New York, Vermont, and Cape Cod.[11] Another event that received attention from The Berkshire Eagle was a visit from mixed martial arts and jiu-jitsu legend Royce Gracie, who held a clinic at the dojo in 2009.[12] The year before, 2008, another jiu-jitsu clinic had been held with Robert “Crush” Kahn.[13] Several seminars are held every year with notable members from the Okinawan Karate-do Association and Sityodtong Muay Thai.[3] After ZenQuest left the Royce Gracie Jiu-Jitsu network and joined Demian Maia's organization, Demian Maia held a seminar at the school on November 2, 2012, garnering attention from The Berkshire Eagle.[14]

Affiliation and associated schools[edit]

ZenQuest Martial Arts Center is a member of the Okinawan Karatedo Association,[3][15] which is located in Okinawa and is the worldwide governing body for Shohei-ryu karate, and Team Sityodtong,[3][16] a Muay Thai training camp based in Somerville, Massachusetts. The dojo was also an affiliate of the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Network,[3] but the termination of its association with the Network was announced on February 2, 2012.[17] On February 18, the dojo announced that its jiu-jitsu program would be under Demian Maia.[18] The school is accredited by the North American Grappling Association.[19] ZenQuest maintains an affiliation with Mike Torres' Torres Advanced Combat Systems classes taught at the Quest Karate and Pace Karate schools in New Jersey.

Competitions[edit]

Karate[edit]

2007 All-Okinawa Championships[edit]

In 2007, Senseis Mark and Connie Flynn competed in the 2007 All-Okinawa Championships in Okinawa, which featured competitors from throughout the world. The results for the Flynns were as follows:

Name[2] Place[2] Division[2]
Connie Flynn 3rd Place (Win) Women's Kata
Mark Flynn 4th Place (No win) / Competed (No win) Kumite / Kata

Battle for Boston 2012[edit]

On April 22, 2012, ZenQuest competed in the Battle for Boston karate open tournament at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, five miles from Boston. The win was as follows:

Name Win Event
Chris Mattoon[20] 3rd place[20] Men's Advanced Kata Ages 18–34[20]

Grappling[edit]

ZenQuest Martial Arts center has participated in numerous grappling competitions, the following is a list of wins captured by the school.

Rhode Island, 2010[edit]

On October 16, 2010, On June 4, 2011, students from ZenQuest Martial Arts Center competed in the 2011 NAGA East Coast Championship in Lincoln, Rhode Island. The school took several wins, which are listed as follows:

Name[21] Win[21] Division[21]
Jedd Hall 2nd / 3rd Mens No-Gi Directors Expert Middle Weight / Mens GI Directors Expert Middle Weight
John Soules 1st place / 2nd place Mens Masters No-Gi Intermediate Light Heavy Weight / Mens Gi Masters Blue Belt Light Heavy Weight

Rhode Island, 2011[edit]

On January 29, ZenQuest students competed in the NAGA New England Championship in Lincoln, Rhode Island. The school's win is as follows:

Name[22] Win[22] Division[22]
David Solis 1st / 1st Mens No-Gi Absolute Novice / Mens Gi White Belt Light Heavy Weight

Springfield, 2011[edit]

On June 4, 2011, students from ZenQuest Martial Arts Center competed in the 2011 NAGA East Coast Championship in Springfield, Massachusetts. The school took several wins, which are listed as follows:

Name[23] Win[23] Division[23]
Connor T. Faulkner 3rd place Mens No-Gi Novice Fly Weight
Daniel Mazzeo 2nd place Masters No-Gi Novice Light Weight
Jedd L. Hall 1st place / 1st place Mens No-Gi Directors Expert Middle Weight / Mens Gi Directors Expert Middle Weight
Jordan Bradford 1st place Kids Gi Novice 50 to 59.9 lb (22.7 to 27.2 kg). 7 & 8 year olds
Rick Byers 3rd place / 3rd place Mens No-Gi Intermediate Light Heavy Weight / Mens Gi Blue Belt Light Heavy Weight
Robert Blessin 1st place Mens No-Gi Novice Welter Weight Division
Sherman Somerville 3rd place Mens Gi Blue Belt Light Weight

Hartford, 2011[edit]

On July 30, 2011, students from ZenQuest competed in the NAGA Hartford event in Hartford, Connecticut. The school's wins are as follows:

Name[24] Win[24] Division[24]
Cameron Loehr 1st place Gi Advanced Teen
Connor T. Faulkner 2nd place / 2nd place Mens No-Gi Novice Bantam Weight / Mens Gi Novice Flyweight
Tony Riello 1st place Mens No-Gi Masters Cruiser Weight

Northeast Championship, 2011[edit]

On October 15, 2011, students from ZenQuest competed in the NAGA Northeast Championship. The results are as follows:

Name[25] Win[25] Division[25]
Chris Bradley 3rd place Boys Gi 70 to 79.9 lb (31.8 to 36.2 kg)
Connor T. Faulkner 3rd place Mens Gi White Belt Fly Weight
Colleen Garrity 2nd place Girls No-Gi Beginner 115 to 129.9 lb (52.2 to 58.9 kg) 16 & 17 yr olds
Noah Farevaag 3rd place / 2nd place Boys No-Gi Novice 80 to 89.9 lb (36.3 to 40.8 kg) 9 to 11 yr olds / Boys Gi Beginner 80 to 89.9 lb (36.3 to 40.8 kg) 11 yrs old
Robert Blessin 3rd place Mens No-Gi Beginner Welter Weight
Stephen Taglieri 2nd place / 2nd place / 1st place Boys Gi Intermediate 115 to 129.9 lb (52.2 to 58.9 kg) 11 & 12 years old / Boys No-Gi Intermediate 115 to 129.9 lb (52.2 to 58.9 kg) 11 & 12 years old / Boys Gi Beginner
Timothy Somerville 2nd place / 2nd place Mens No-Gi Intermediate Bantam-Weight / Mens Gi Blue-Belt Bantam-Weight

Rhode Island, 2012[edit]

On January 28, 2012, ZenQuest returned to Lincoln, Rhode Island for the New England Championship. Wins are as follows:

Name[26] Win[26] Division[26]
Cooper Shepardson 1st place / 1st place Kids No-Gi Novice 49.9 lb (22.6 kg) and 7-8 year olds / Kids Gi Novice 49.9 lb (22.6 kg) and 7-8 year olds
Jack Purcell 1st place / 1st place Kids No Gi Novice 60 to 69.9 lb (27.2 to 31.7 kg) 9 yr olds / Kids Gi Novice 60 to 69.9 lb (27.2 to 31.7 kg) 9 yr olds
James Purcell 3rd place Kids Gi Novice 50 to 59.9 lb (22.7 to 27.2 kg) 7 - 8 year olds
Jordan Bradford 3rd place / 3rd place Girls No-Gi Beginner 50 to 59.9 lb (22.7 to 27.2 kg) & 8-9 year olds / Girls Gi Beginner 50 to 59.9 lb (22.7 to 27.2 kg)

Albany, 2012[edit]

On March 10, 2012, ZenQuest competed at Albany, New York. The schools wins are as follows:

Name[27] Win[27] Division[27]
Brandon Lucchese 1st place Men's No-Gi Novice Bantam Weight
Colleen Garrity 2nd place / 3rd place Women's No-Gi Novice Fly Weight / Women's Gi White Belt Fly Weight
Cooper Shepardson 2nd place Kids' No-Gi Beginner 50 to 59.9 lb (22.7 to 27.2 kg) 8-9 year olds
Jack Purcell 3rd place / 3rd place Kids' No-Gi Beginner 60 to 69.9 lb (27.2 to 31.7 kg) / Kids' Gi Beginner 60 to 69.9 lb (27.2 to 31.7 kg) 8-9 year olds
James Purcell 1st place / 1st place Kids' No-Gi Novice 50 to 59.9 lb (22.7 to 27.2 kg) / Kids' Gi Novice 50 to 59.9 lb (22.7 to 27.2 kg)
Jordan Bradford 1st place / 2nd place Girls No-Gi Beginner 60 to 69.9 lb (27.2 to 31.7 kg) / Girls Gi Beginner 50 to 59.9 lb (22.7 to 27.2 kg) 8-9 year olds
Jedd L. Hall 2nd place / 1st place Men's No-Gi Expert Welter Weight / Directors' Gi Expert Middle Weight
Neil Von Flatern 3rd place Men's Gi White Belt Welter Weight
Samuel Johnson 2nd place Kids' Gi Beginner 80 to 89.9 lb (36.3 to 40.8 kg) 11 years old
Stephen Taglieri 3rd place / 3rd place Kids' No-Gi Beginner 115 to 129.9 lb (52.2 to 58.9 kg) / Kids' Gi Beginner 115 to 129.9 lb (52.2 to 58.9 kg) 10-12 year olds

East Coast 2012[edit]

On May 5, 2012, ZenQuest competed at NAGA East Coast Championship in West Warwick, Rhode Island.

Name[28] Win[28] Division[28]
Conner Faulkner 2nd place / 2nd place Mens No-Gi Intermediate Bantam Weight / Mens Gi Blue Belt Fly Weight
Robert Blessin 3rd place Mens No-Gi Intermediate Middle Weight

Schenectady, 2012[edit]

On September 8, 2012, ZenQuest competed at NAGA New York in Schenectady, New York.

Name [29] Win[29] Division[29]
Colleen Garrity 2nd place / 3rd place Women's No-Gi Beginner Light Weight / Women's Gi White Belt Light Weight
Conner Faulkner 2nd place / 2nd place Men's No-Gi Intermediate Fly Weight / Men's Gi Blue Belt Fly Weight
Neil Von Flatern 2nd place Men's Gi White Belt Middle Weight
Robert Blessin 1st place Men's No-Gi Intermediate Welter Weight
Scott Stetz 2nd place / 2nd place Masters' No-Gi Novice Cruiser Weight / Masters' Gi White Belt Cruiser Weight

New England Championship 2013[edit]

On January 26–27, 2013, ZenQuest competed at the New England Championship in West Warwick, Rhode Island.

Name[30] Win[30] Division[30]
Bryan Rahilly 3rd place Mens No-Gi Novice Light Weight
Caleb Pollard 1st place / 1st place Kids Kids No-Gi Novice 50 to 59.9 lb (22.7 to 27.2 kg) 9 & 10 year olds / Kids Gi Novice 50 to 59.9 lb (22.7 to 27.2 kg) 9 & 10 year olds
Neil Von Flatern 3rd place Mens No-Gi Intermediate Middle Weight
Shannon Pollard 2nd place / 2nd place Girls No-Gi Novice 51 to 54 lb (23 to 24 kg) 7 years old / Girls Gi Novice 51 to 54 lb (23 to 24 kg) 7 years old
Stephen Taglieri 2nd place / 1st place Kids No-Gi Intermediate 130 to 149.9 lb (59.0 to 68.0 kg) 13 years old / Kids Novice No-Gi 130 to 139.9 lb (59.0 to 63.5 kg)

Albany, 2013[edit]

On March 16, 2013, ZenQuest competed at the NAGA Albany in Albany, New York.

Name[31] Win[31] Division[31]
Jack Purcell 1st place / 2nd place Kids' No-Gi Beginner 70 to 79.9 lb (31.8 to 36.2 kg) / Kids' Gi Beginner 70 to 79.9 lb (31.8 to 36.2 kg)
Caleb Pollard 2nd place / 2nd place Kids' No-Gi Beginner 50 to 59.9 lb (22.7 to 27.2 kg), 9-10 year olds / Kids' Gi Beginner 50 to 59.9 lb (22.7 to 27.2 kg), 9-10 year olds
Shannon Pollard 1st place / 1st place Girl's No-Gi Novice / Girl's Gi Novice
Jordan Bradford 2nd place / 3rd place Girl's No-Gi Intermediate / Girl's Gi Intermediate
Chris Clark 3rd place Men's No-Gi Novice Welter Weight
Matt Gerlitz 1st place / 1st place Masters' No-Gi Novice Middle Weight / Masters' Gi White Belt Middle Weight
Jedd L. Hall 2nd place / 1st place Directors' No-Gi Expert Middle Weight / Directors' Gi Expert Middle Weight

Manchester, 2013[edit]

On April 6, 2013, ZenQuest competed at the New England Submission Challenge in Manchester, Connecticut.

Name[32] Win[32] Division[32]
Matt Gerlitz Silver No-Gi 170 to 184.9 lb (77.1 to 83.9 kg)

Plymouth, 2013[edit]

On April 20, 2013, ZenQuest competed at the North American Pankration and Grappling Association Pankration Championships at Plymouth, Massachusetts. Their wins are as follows:

Name[33] Win[33]
Chris Clark 2nd place in division
Neil Von Flattern 1st place in division
Ricky Chiu 3rd place in division

East Coast 2013[edit]

On May 4, 2013, ZenQuest competed at the NAGA East Coast Championship in Danbury, Connecticut.

Name[34] Win[34] Division[34]
Nicole Viale 2nd place / 2nd place Women's No-Gi Novice Light Heavy Weight / Women's White Belt Middle Weight

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About Us". Zenquestmac.com. ZenQuest Martial Arts Center. Retrieved 14 June 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Quality Martial Arts in Pittsfield". Berkshires' Best Buys Business & Beyond. 1 (10): 19. 16 September – 6 October 2008. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "ZenQuest Martial Arts Center". Berkshires' Best Buys, Business, and Beyond. 4 (15): 8. December 6–19, 2011. Retrieved 10 December 2011. 
  4. ^ Dobrowolski, Tony (14 February 2011). "Pittsfield Plaza's last shop to leave". Berkshire Eagle. pp. A01. 
  5. ^ "Martial Arts Training". zanquestmac.com. ZenQuest Martial Arts Center. Retrieved 14 June 2011. 
  6. ^ "Mark Flynn earns black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu". Retrieved 2016-07-11. 
  7. ^ Brian Schaffer (Producer) (28 March 2010). 2010 Okinawan Karate School Adult & Youth Demonstration and Tournament. Pittsfield, Massachusetts: Pittsfield Cable Television. Retrieved 14 June 2011. ; Brian Schaffer (Producer) (9 June 2009). Okinawan Karate School Children's Tourney & Adult Demonstration. Pittsfield, Massachusetts: Pittsfield Cable Television. Retrieved 14 June 2011. 
  8. ^ Drew, Jack (30 March 2008). "Kudos to karate kids". Berkshire Eagle.  ; "Area Sports". Berkshire Eagle. 7 February 1998.  ; "Shepard earns 4 wins in youth karate event". Berkshire Eagle. 8 April 1998.  ; "Giving his all". Berkshire Eagle. 28 March 1999.  ; "O'Malley finishes first in karate tournament". Berkshire Eagle. 28 April 2001.  ; "Karate tournament set for March 23". Berkshire Eagle. March 1, 2002. 
  9. ^ "Area Sports". Berkshire Eagle. 10 December 1998.  ; "Karate school announces promotions". Berkshire Eagle. 8 December 2000.  ; "5 from Okinawan Karate honored". Berkshire Eagle. 8 December 2000.  ; "7 earn karate black belt promotions". Berkshire Eagle. 30 May 2001.  ; "Okinawan Karate School promotes 7". Berkshire Eagle. 27 November 2001.  ; "Five promoted to black belts in karate". Berkshire Eagle. 11 June 2002. 
  10. ^ Sullivan, Brian (25 March 2002). "Pittsfield teen uses karate to help fight disabilities 'You can achieve anything if you put your mind to it'". Berkshire Eagle. 
  11. ^ a b De La Mater, Benning W. (26 August 2005). "Getting their kicks". Berkshire Eagle. pp. A01, A04. 
  12. ^ Truxell, Dane (4 December 2009). "Legend Teaches Locals". Berkshire Eagle. pp. C01, C03.  ; Truxell, Dane (5 December 2009). "Mixed martial arts legend teaches locals". Berkshire Eagle. 
  13. ^ Community (12 August 2008). "Rob 'Crush' Kahn will present Jiu-jitsu clinic". Berkshire Eagle. 
  14. ^ Poulisse, Adam (November 3, 2012). "UFC fighter Demian Maia shows Lenox Jiu Jistu students new moves" (Print). The Berkshire Eagle. Retrieved November 19, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Okinawa Karate-do Kyokai Overseas Branches: USA". Okinawan Karatedo Association. Retrieved 14 June 2011. 
  16. ^ "Muay Thai". zenquestmac.com. ZenQuest Martial Arts Center. 24 February 2011. Retrieved 14 June 2011. 
  17. ^ Flynn, Mark and Connie (2 February 2012). "Dear Students,...". Facebook. Retrieved 2 February 2012. 
  18. ^ ZenQuest Martial Arts Center (18 February 2012). "ZenQuest's...". Facebook. Retrieved 23 February 2012. 
  19. ^ "Naga Schools". Nagafighter.com. NAGA. Retrieved 21 April 2012. 
  20. ^ a b c "Battle for Boston Photo". Facebook. 22 April 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  21. ^ a b c "Event Results: Northeast Grappling Championship". nagafighter.com. NAGA. Retrieved 14 December 2011. 
  22. ^ a b c "Event Results: NAGA New England". NAGA. Retrieved 14 December 2011. 
  23. ^ a b c "Event Results: NAGA East Coast". nagafighter.com. NAGA. Retrieved 16 June 2011. 
  24. ^ a b c "Event Results: NAGA Hartford". nagafighter.com. NAGA. Retrieved 4 August 2011. 
  25. ^ a b c "Event Results: NAGA Northeast Championship". nagafighter.com. NAGA. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  26. ^ a b c "New England Championship". Nagafighter.com. NAGA. Retrieved 9 February 2012. 
  27. ^ a b c "NAGA Albany". nagafighter.com. NAGA. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  28. ^ a b c "Event Results - NAGA East Coast". nagafighter.com. North American Grappling Association. Retrieved 12 May 2012. 
  29. ^ a b c "Event Results - NAGA New York". nagafighter.com. North American Grappling Association. Retrieved March 2, 2013. 
  30. ^ a b c "Event Results - New England Championship". nagafighter.com. North American Grappling Association. Retrieved March 2, 2013. 
  31. ^ a b c "Event Results - NAGA Albany". nagafighter.com. North American Grappling Association. Retrieved March 17, 2013. 
  32. ^ a b c "Timeline Photos". ZenQuest Martial Arts Center. Facebook. April 7, 2013. Retrieved June 15, 2013. 
  33. ^ a b "Three students represented like crazy in their...". ZenQuest Martial Arts Center. Facebook. April 20, 2013. Retrieved June 15, 2013. 
  34. ^ a b c "Event Results - NAGA East Coast". nagafighter.com. North American Grappling Association. Retrieved June 15, 2013. 

External links[edit]