Sensei Justin DeSalvo began his karate training in 1975 at the Hackensack Dojo, the first Kimura Shukokai World Headquarters. Training on-and-off during childhood and adolescence, Sensei Justin received his Green Belt from Soke Kimura before his death in 1995. Sensei Justin continued his training in the new Tenafly Shukokai World Headquarters under the tutelage of Sensei Gavin Armstrong who was the last Sensei to live and train with Soke Kimura. He received his Shodan (1st Degree/Dan) black belt from Sensei Gavin in 2004, achieved Nidan (2nd Degree/Dan) in 2007, received Sandan (3rd Degree/Dan) in 2010, received Yondan (4th Degree/Dan) in 2014, and received his Godan (5th Degree/Dan) in April of 2019.
Sensei Justin received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Psychology from Wittenburg University. Graduating with honors as a Psi Chi student (requires a 3.8 out of 4.0 grade point average in major). During these college years, he minored in Ceramics, Japanese Culture, and Sociology. He continued training in the martial arts both at college and during summer recess. After graduating college in 1993, he embarked on a professional career in the medical imaging industry and in 1995, co-founded Strategic Outpatient Services, Inc., a company specializing in building and operating Positron Emission Tomography Centers that offer state-of-the-art cancer imaging.
In 2001, Sensei Justin sold the majority of his shares in the company (but is still active on the board of directors) to pursue his life-long dream of opening a martial arts school. To that end, he began assisting Sensei Gavin in his Tenafly dojo full-time and opened his own dojo in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, in 2006. Due to the popularity of his teaching, he quickly out-grew the space and relocated to Montclair in 2009, where he was able to double the size of the dojo and offer better amenities. The Montclair Shukokai Karate dojo is the first 100% LEED certified “Green” dojo in the USA.
Sensei Justin has competed in Cape Town, South Africa; Birmingham, England; Jarvenpaa, Finland; and Lisbon, Portugal, as well as numerous national championships held in the USA. He continues his training overseas and attends regular gashukus (training sessions) held by the major chief instructors of Shukokai.
Sensei Justin married Lynn Evans DeSalvo in 2001. Sempai Lynn is a speech and language pathologist specializing in autistic spectrum disorders (www.lynndesalvo.com). She received her black belt in 2011 and assists Sensei Justin with teaching. She provides special needs services to children at the dojo and teaches the Little Dragons classes on Wednesdays and Fridays, as well assisting Sensei Justin in Ninja and Samurai classes throughout the week.
Sensei Justin strives to merge his degree in psychology with the aesthetics and physical arts to awaken the power within each of us. Each person’s unique creativity is essential to the development of a true martial artist. In the Samurai spirit, please join us at Montclair Shukokai Karate as we create a community of culture influenced by the 30 nations that house Shukokai Training Halls.