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Grand Master J. Cariati, IX Dan

Grand Master Cariati's Story

Early Years

Grand Master Cariati was born in a small town called San Sisto in Southern Italy on March 10 1959. Grand Master Cariati became interested in martial arts as he had some older friends who were practicing. Being from a small town he had never been exposed to any type of martial arts. Up until the time that he saw his friends training, the only form of fighting that Grand Master
Cariati was familiar with was the one that he saw in every day life.

By learning from his friends, Grand Master Cariati became more involved in martial arts. On weekends, Grand Master Cariati's older brother, Mario, 3 years his senior, started to do some training with him. They had their own ideas of what martial art training should be, so they began with conditioning their fingertips. Mario put some sand in pails and they had to strike their fingers into the sand. They had no idea what they were doing. After awhile the tips of their fingers started to bleed, and Mario said that it was normal if they wanted to have deadly hands.

On August 12 1974, the Cariati family decided to move to Canada. The move was particularly difficult for Grand Master Cariati especially as he was unable to speak or understand english. He turned to a familiar activity, but not knowing where to go to train, he asked his eldest brother Franco to help him find a martial arts school. At this time, there were only a few schools to choose in the Toronto Area. In the beginning Grand Master Cariati trained very hard to overcome his feelings of insecurity. However, after a few years of training, his younter brother Tony joined him in training. This made training much more enjoyable as Grand Master Cariati now had someone to train with. Most of their training was done in the evening, so Grand Master Cariati and his brother had to tell their father that they were going to English school.

In 1979, after 5 years of hard trainig, Grand Master Cariati received his black belt. Also in1979 (June 16th) Grand Master Cariati was married to his wife Carm Di Taranto.

Grand Master Cariati began teaching in his basement with only a few students. The classes in the basement began to expand, so withing a few months the basement became too small and he had no choice but to move to a larger location. This was the beginning of Woodbridge Taekwon-Do.

As Grand Master Cariati's best black belts began teaching in their own schools the Woodbridge Martial Arts Group was born. By 2003 the Woodbridge Martial Arts Group was comprised of over 45 schools and 225 black belts, and these numbers continue to grow. Woodbridge Taekwon-Do also provides black belt instructors for community centre programs in Etobicoke, Toronto and Vaughan.