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Irwin martial arts instructor Morgart up for national award

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Martial arts instructor John Morgart, Jr. poses with one of his students, Melissa Pistella, 11, of Wilkins.
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Martial arts instructor John Morgart, Jr. poses with Chuck Norris, whose system he is studying.
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John Morgart Jr., a resident of Irwin, is the creator of his own form of martial arts.

A novice martial arts instructor from Irwin is up for an impressive honor.

John Morgart, Jr., 25, is one of 22 nominees for the 2018 Greatmats National Martial Arts Instructor of the Year Award.

Brett Hart, a spokesman for the specialty flooring company in Wisconsin, said the competition is designed to recognize instructors who have served as positive influences in their communities through the demonstration of service, integrity and quality. They are nominated by community members, colleagues and clients.

Voting began Nov. 15 and ends Nov. 29 to narrow the field to two finalists.

Greatmats will announce the winner Dec. 14, with the winner being offered $250 in Greatmats martial arts mats.

Morgart, who has instructed only one student since Feb. 2017, said he was shocked to be nominated.

Morgart has a black belt in Tang Soo Do and is studying Chun Kuk Do, or the Chuck Norris System. He is in the process of creating his own system, Wei Son Do, and is considering opening a school.

Melissa Pistella, 11, of Wilkins, a Woodland Hills sixth grader, said Morgart has taught her different defenses.

“He’s a really good instructor,” she said.

Georgeann Pistella said her daughter was bullied in school.

“(She) took a lot on the bus (and) didn’t fight back,” Georgeann Pistella said.

Melissa Pistella said Morgart taught her how to respect people and treat them nicely.

To vote, go to greatmats.com/2018-greatmats-national-martial-arts-instructor-of-the-year.php.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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