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Press Release

Novi Parks partner, Family Self Defense Center, celebrates 25 years

Release date: Thursday, February 2, 2017
Contact: Nathan Mueller, Community Relations Specialist 248-347-0431

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Mr. Z Szelap and Ms. Chris have turned the Family Self Defense Center into one of the top five karate schools in the country.
Mr. Z Szelap and Ms. Chris have turned the Family Self Defense Center into one of the top five karate schools in the country.
NOVI, Mich., February 2, 2017 –The Family Self Defense Center, the karate school of the Novi Parks Department, celebrates 25 years this month. The martial arts school has been providing quality instruction in Isshinryu Karate in Novi for the last 10 years.
Currently, the school has more than 150 students, including 30 black belts and a competition team of 50 kids and adults who travel to tournaments throughout Michigan and nationally. The family-oriented school has achieved many accolades including being chosen as one of the top five karate schools in the country for nine years. The school has promoted hundreds of black belts and junior black belts, from ages eight to adult and also boasts several hundred local, national and world champions in kata, weapons and sparring, as well as team divisions.

Founders of the school, Mr. Z Szelap, a 7th degree, Black Belt Master, has been training and teaching for more than 40 years. In July of 2016, Mr. Z became one of only 134 Masters, since 1979 to be inducted into the prestigious Isshinryu Masters Hall of Fame. Ms. Chris, a 6th degree Black Belt Master, has been instructing for more than 25 years, joining FSDC as co-owner in 1994. In 2012, she was inducted into the Midwest Women’s Hall of Fame. Both have been certified by the world renowned Cooper Institute and were chosen Top Contributors nationally for their instruction of Isshinryu Karate, as well National Female and Male Instructors of the Year by the Isshinryu Hall of Fame.

In 2013, the school’s dream of adding a partner charity became a reality and Families in Defense of Youth was born. A 501C3 entity, the charity works in partnership with the dojo, providing instruction and equipment for underprivileged and handicapped youth at no charge to the family. FSDC hosts several charity events throughout the year to aid FIDOY’s cause.

The school performs annually in the City of Novi’s Memorial Day Parade and supports the annual Light Up the Night event. FSDC offers classes in partnership with Novi Parks on both Monday and Tuesday evenings at the Novi Civic Center. Registration is going on now.