In Loving Memory of
(July 18, 1975 - January 15, 2021) was a 2nd Degree Black Belt and Sensei
THIS IS HIS STORY.
American Karate Institute was very influential in guiding Mr. Otero into a journey of success which began in his youth. Mr. Otero started taking Martial Art classes at the age of 13. His mom encouraged him to take Martial Arts, because he had been getting into trouble at school. After starting classes at AKI, Mr. Otero found that he had the courage and determination to excel in karate. He spent six days a week taking karate classes and would look forward to assisting his instructors. He traveled with his father, who gave support, and the karate school to tournaments where he won many 1st place medals. He also won a gold medal in forms at the Junior Olympics Taekwondo tournament in Orlando. After years of training, he earned his blackbelt at 17. He continued competing and winning many tournaments. Furthermore, his true passion was to teach students the love of Martial Arts.
He worked as an assistant instructor for many years and learned a great deal from Masters Mr. and Mrs. G and Master Mr. Lipsky. They were his mentors and their guidance and expertise were invaluable. After a few years of teaching Martial Arts, he decided to continue his educational goals. Mr. Otero was accepted into the University of Miami where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Psychology, graduating in 2003 on the Dean’s List. In his first year of teaching at Avocado Elementary, he was awarded Rookie Teacher of the Year. After 3 years there, he transferred to Calusa Elementary school where his two daughters, Sofia and Lianna graduated successfully. In 2009, Mr. Otero won Teacher of the Year. He was honored for this award and contributes his success from the structure and discipline he gained at AKI. He taught Reading/LA to fourth and fifth grade students, and assisted his colleagues in maintaining Calusa as a top-rated public school.
In 2013, Mr. Otero went back to AKI to compete in a NAGA tournament. His instructors trained and prepared him for this event. Mr. Otero won first place in two weight divisions. He always contributed his success in both Martial Arts and his educational career from the principles and philosophy that he was taught at AKI.
We were honored and excited to have him back as a part of the AKI family, once again. May he rest in peace.