Larry F. Gagnon grew up in a foster home for the first 17 years of his life. In 1963, at the age
of 17, Larry Gagnon left his foster home, joined the US Air Force and was stationed in
Germany. After spending 4 years in the Air Force Larry Gagnon was given an honorable
discharge. His years in foster care shaped the man Larry Gagnon became and as a tribute to
his foster mother, Larry Gagnon took her surname Giordano and became Larry F. Giordano!
While stationed in Germany in 1963, Kancho Giordano started his formal karate training
under a German national named Norbet Faye. Faye taught traditional Shotokan Karate. In
1970, Kancho Giordano began the study of Kyokushin Karate, which became the style of
Karate Kancho Giordano continues to teach to this day. His first Kyokushin instructor was
Sensei Steve Senne of Burbank, California whom Kancho still has contact with.
Kancho Giordano then trained with Karate legend, Sensei Donald I. Buck 8th Dan of San
Francisco, CA. Sensei Buck’s school (School of the Tiger) was the USA affiliate of the
Kyokushin Organization founded by Mas Oyama, of Japan.
Kancho Giordano received his 1st Dan in Kyokushin from Sensei Senne. In 1976 it was his
extreme honor to receive his 2nd Dan directly from Mas Oyama. In the same ceremony in
Japan, Kancho also received his IKO Branch Chief certificate. Sensei Buck awarded Kancho
his 6th Dan in January of 1992 for his many years of dedication to the art of Karate. In April
of 2000, Hanshi Tezuka of Japan awarded Kancho Giordano the rank of 7th Dan.
Over the years, Kancho traveled to Japan on five separate occasions to train with Mas
Oyama. In 1990 Sensei Buck sent Kancho Giordano to Japan to represent the USA at the
IKO Branch Chiefs meeting. During this time he continued his personal relationship with Mas
Kancho Giordano founded the Methuen Karate Organization (School of the Rooster) in 1968
in his apartment. Now known as The Giordano Family Methuen Karate Organization,
Kancho Giordano runs the school with his sons Shihan’s Stephen R. and Lonnie F. Giordano.
Since the death of both of his teachers, Mas Oyama & Sensei Buck, Kancho has adapted his
Karate style. Teaching traditional Kyokushin Karate and incorporating Aikido and grappling
techniques, Kancho calls this style Giordano Family American Kyokushin.
Kancho was a Police Officer in Methuen for 22 years and was elected as a State
Representative. Governor Weld appointed Kancho Giordano to Commissioner of Public
Safety for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1992. Kancho Giordano is also a boxing
judge for the Commonwealth. Retired from the police force and public life he now dedicates
all his energies to teaching Karate. In addition to his main school, Kancho now runs satellite
schools in many grade schools and neighborhood programs. He is also actively involved in
self-defense training for women.
In addition to the joy Kancho Giordano receives as he teaches karate, other organizations
have recognized his efforts over the years. In 1992 he was inducted into the Martial Arts Hall
of Fame, receiving his Diamond Life Achievement award. In 1993 The Methuen Karate
Association received the Outstanding School of the Year award. In 2001 Kancho was inducted
into the International Hall of Fame for World Head Sokeship Council as Master Instructor of
the Year. In July of 2003 Kancho Giordano was inducted into The Hawaiian International
Martial Arts Hall of Fame during a ceremony in Las Vegas.
Since 1968 Kancho has dedicated his life to karate and he was awarded for this dedication. In
2008 Hanshi Senne, Hanshi Terry Hotchkin, and Hanshi Mike Dayton flew out to Methuen
from California to celebrate the MKA's 40th anniversary. During a banquet held in honor of
Kancho Giordano, Hanshi Senne awarded him the rank of Kudan (9th Degree Black Belt) in
the US Kyokushin system and a Judan (10th Degree Black Belt) in the School of the Rooster.
Recently Kancho Giordano celebrated his 50th anniversary in karate. As a part of his 50th
celebration, the Methuen Karate Association celebrated its 45th anniversary. Kancho
Giordano is breaking new ground, as he always has, in creating the North American
Kyokushinkai Karate Organization. This organization currently has members from around
the United States, including California, Texas, Arizona, Florida, and New England. Ties from
outside of the United States include Aruba, Puerto Rico, Denmark, Canada, and South Africa.
Congratulations to Kancho Giordano! Osu!