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Paul Fracchia

Man wearing karate outfit

Paul Fracchia

Paul Fracchia was born in New York City and was raised in Flushing and Manhasset on Long Island. Upon graduating high school, he went to college at Saint Bernard in Alabama. He graduated in 1964 with a BA in Biology and Chemistry.  While attending college he competed on the school’s judo team.

Upon graduation, he relocated into the Glens Falls area, where he started his teaching career at Saint Michael’s in SGF. His teaching career would take him from Saint Michael’s to Greenwich for one year, to South Glens Falls from 1972 to 2002. Upon retiring, he would later teach at Hartford and Fort Ann School. In 1987 while at South Glens Falls, he was recognized by Price Chopper for his dedication and achievement in his profession.

In 1969, he started a karate and judo school at the YMCA, where he would stay for 22 years. In 1981, he started his own dojo (martial arts school), where he taught an Okinawan style Karate Shito Ryu founded by Kenwa Mabuni in 1928. During the time at his school, Paul would go on to earn a 7th degree black belt in jujitsu and kobudo, a 2nd degree black belt in judo, and a 9th degree black belt in karate and earned the title Hanshi “teacher of teachers.” Paul established programs for disabled students so that they could experience martial arts.

By the time he retired from teaching karate, the Mabuni family made him an honorary family member, an honor only shared by two other non-Asian-American teachers. During this time period, Paul established the northeast region AAU Region for Karate. He served as chairmen of referee committee and as an international class AA referee from 1995-2010.  During his time, the federation grew from 0 participants to over 5,000.  The region he oversaw would go on to produce multiple world champions and appear on Disney’s Wide World of Sports. A student of his, Cardo Urso, a South High graduate, for the past for 40 years would go on to become the lead instructor of hand to hand combat for the Marines and then follow that up with a similar position with the Air Marshals.

Of all Paul’s accomplishments, he is most proud of the fact he instilled character values, discipline and confidence in his students.

Paul and his wife, Joanne, have 7 children: Christian, Jill, Sarah, Elizabeth, Katherine, Anne and Alexandra.