Terry Maccarrone of Westhampton Beach has been teaching karate as a vocation for more than 45 years and for the past 20 years he has been raising and breeding parrots.
Although his vocation and avocation are not related, together he says they fulfill his life in many ways.
Maccarrone is the chief instructor of Westhampton Beach’s , which is member of the New York Traditional Karate League.
As a sensei at the school, Maccarrone says he not only has provided instruction of the original Okinawan karate principles and applications since 1964, but also teaches adult education self defense programs; children’s special needs classes, where he works with students to build confidence and self-esteem; and anti-bullying classes where he teaches students deal with issues of peer pressure and bullying.
Maccarrone also teaches physical fitness and self-defense classes at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue, where he has been an instructor since 1987, and provides karate instruction at the Dance Center of the Hamptons, located on Old Riverhead Road in Westhampton Beach.
When asked how he got into martial arts, Maccarrone explained, “My martial arts training started in 1964 on Long Island, under Okinawan karate master Ansei Ueshiro.”
Eventually, Maccarrone said he became a part owner and instructor, and in 1976 he became a full-time professional karate teacher.
At that time, he said, he began traveling throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.
“These trips culminated in me opening four karate studios on eastern Long Island, which I owned and ran until 2009. We promoted Sport Karate with the Amateur Athletic Union and other national organizations,” he said.
In 1982, the popular “Karate Kid” movie brought young children into contact with the martial arts and Maccarrone said he pioneered some of the first children’s programs on Long Island and awarded black belt titles for their accomplishments.
Maccarrone said many of his students studied up to 15 years in Karate USA programs because of the benefits they received with better grades, acceptance into colleges and career opportunities. And, he pointed out, many of the original instructors he taught now have their own studios and organizations, teaching throughout the United States.
In addition to teaching, Maccarrone has competed in karate tournaments across the United States and is recognized as a martial arts historian.
To that end, in 1981 he donated a huge martial arts book collection to the Patchogue-Medford Library.
Maccarrone also sits on the board of advisors of the Karate Masters Hall Of Fame, an international organization that is part of the Museum of Sport Karate in Texas.
“We’re currently working on establishing a website, kmhof.org for the first generation of martial artists in America,” he said. “It’s a website of biographical and achievement recognition and is currently operating on Facebook.”
Aside from his marshal arts career, Maccarrone is also the owner of a parrot breading business.
In 1992 he started this new trade after he volunteered to pet sit a friend’s parrot.
Having enjoyed this experience, he said he adopted one of his own and soon he had a flock of 20 parrots and a breeding business called, Captain John Parrot of Westhampton Beach.
Born in Manhattan and raised on Long Island, Maccarrone has appeared on many television interview shows talking about his Italian heritage. His father owned a shoe repair shop on the Lower East Side, and was an amateur boxer and ballroom dancer. Maccarrone enjoyed boxing in his youth, but learned to prefer the non-violent forms of martial arts, using Asian culture strategies for survival.
“I immersed myself in the Japanese culture, and I have an Eastern philosophy toward life,” he said. “Martial arts prepares people for life and teaches appreciation for simple principles, fundamental for a successful life through hard work, discipline and a passion to contribute back to society and nature.”