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Tom Burba
Sandan 3rd Degree Black Belt

Tom, a lifelong Kirkwood resident, began taking lessons at Tracy’s when he was five years old.
The Ninja Turtles and The Karate Kid were great motivators for young boys, and Tom was no exception.

Twenty years later, Tom is a 3rd degree Black Belt and has been teaching a new generation of Karate Kids – and often their parents – for 6 years.

Tom is an accomplished competitor, winning numerous UKA Grand Championship titles. In 2006, Tom was awarded the checkered Gi, the highest honor a tournament fighter can receive.

Tom is the 2011 Grand Champion. Community involvement is important to Tom. He gives demonstrations / presentations for area schools, and he does karate-themed birthday parties at the studio. Self-defense seminars for the staff of St. John’s Mercy Hospital are also an important part of his work.

Tom is currently completing his BA degree in History, and his BS in Secondary Education at UMSL.

His activities outside of work and school include spending time with family and attending local musical events.

“Many people come in looking for a positive role model for themselves or their kids. Students sometimes just need to talk, and I can relate and show empathy. I lost my dad at an early age, and I know how important it is to build relationships.”