On Friday, Annadale resident Antonino Bussa received his first degree black belt in Taekwondo.
Bussa, who also works for the College of Staten Island, has mild cerebral palsy which affects his movement and muscle coordination.
He said he began training as a means of physical therapy but added that he also learned how to be more assertive and independent.
"I had faced a lot of challenges from the beginning and that was causing me to quit, but I learned in life I have perseverance. I have to keep going," said Bussa.
Bussa said he plans to continue training and will pursue the process towards getting a second degree black belt.