Our History

History of the Kin-Tora

On May 5, 1974, Kin-Tora Judo Club opened it’s doors for the first time on Ledger Street in North Buffalo. Brothers Tony and Marty Grisanti started Kin-Tora with the help of their parents, Salvatore and Doris Grisanti. Tony and Marty began studying Judo in 1963 and became black belts 9 years later and began to teach. They created Kin-Tora in 1974 out of their love for Judo, their desire to share it, and to have their own club where Judo could be taught and practiced: a club with a family atmosphere.  Kin-Tora started with just a few students and has flourished over the last 44 years.  Some of their first students are still with us today, including Sensei Eric Joseph.   The first child they taught was their niece, Anita Rastelli Hawley, who received her black belt in 1984. Soon Judo became a family affair; a core activity for the large and close knit Grisanti and Rastelli clan of parents, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, etc.  Everyone in the family participated, with many earning their black belts, and consistently winning tournaments.

In 1988, Kin-Tora moved to Main Street in Buffalo and stayed there until we moved to our current location in 1993.  Through the years, we have offered a variety of martial arts and fitness classes, including Aikido,Self-Defense,Tae Kwon Do, Aerobics, Boxing, Ju-Jitsu, Seido Karate, Brazilian Ju-Jitsu and Ryukyu Kempo.  We currently offer Judo, Aikido and Ryukyu Kempo classes.

Sadly, Tony Grisanti passed away in 2014 at which time his nephew, Nicholas Rastelli II took over Kin-Tora.  Nick began studying Judo in 1975 under the instruction of his uncles Tony and Marty.