Karate students rake in awards at Mars Hill tournament

MARS HILL, Maine — In their first tournament outing, karate students from a new Fort Kent dojo raked in multiple medals and trophies at the Graves’ Annual Summer Kick-Off Karate and Ju-Jitsu Tournament in Mars Hill on Saturday, June 17.

Of the 8 students who participated in the tournament, five won trophies and the rest returned to Fort Kent with medals. Sensei Andy Hartt studied at an Island Falls-based Graves Institute of Self Defense dojo while working as a forester out of Patten before starting up the Graves dojo in Fort Kent in February. When “life circumstances” brought him back to Fort Kent, Hartt said, he set out to open the dojo, which meets in the small gymnasium at the Fort Kent Elementary School.

“I believe in it and what it teaches,” Hartt said of the martial art. “I started karate with my three daughters … as a family we started to grow into the discipline and self-confidence karate inspires.”

Hartt, who is now a black-belt, said he also enjoys the teaching aspect of being a karate sensei. Teaching runs in the family for Hartt, whose parents were both educators. His sister, Leslie Marquis is the 2017 Aroostook County Teacher of the Year.

“I’ve always liked kids and to see them learn and progress makes me so proud of them. I really enjoy that part of it,” Hartt said.  

Hartt is married to Dr. Kristin Hartt. They have five children between them, including Greg Reischer, who earned a medal at the tournament.

The class meets at 6 p.m. each Tuesday at Fort Kent Elementary School. For more information, call Hartt at (207) 745-8184.

Students from the Fort Kent dojo who participated in the tournament were: Finley Marquis, Ahliya Roy, Greg Reischer, Ryan Griffeth, Sawyer Stoliker, Rafael Sanclemente, Adrien Marquis, and Nicholas Griffeth.

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