40 years and still kicking in Canton

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CANTON -- In the martial arts world, it's not uncommon to see karate schools sandwiched in local strip malls open and then shut their doors a few years later.

But Yu's Academy of Martial Arts in Canton has stood the test of time. The loyal students are going to the mat for Grandmaster Chang Yu, who opened his Taekwondo and Judo school in 1976 and is now celebrating 40 years.

Bill Fullard, a 3rd degree black belt from Enfield has been studying under Master Yu for 35 years.

"He's patient and encouraging," Fullard said. "He teaches techniques almost to perfection."

Master Yu, who was born in North Korea and escaped to the South before immigrating to Connecticut.

"I just try to do the best for my students," said Yu. "They build up confidence after they learn."

Mikael Anderson was a student and now head instructor at the schoo.

"The sheer effort that he has put in to this is incredible," Anderson said. "It's kind of what the American dream is."

Master Yu noted that he thinks he has taught over 5,000 students in his four decades of instruction.