Austin Galeski, center, recently won a world championship in karate.

Shipbuilder Wins World Championship in Karate

Published November 2, 2021

Austin Galeski (K93), a quality analyst at Newport News Shipbuilding, returned to the shipyard earlier this fall after spending a few days in Romania.

But he wasn’t in Europe for vacation. He was competing in his third karate world championship. Galeski, who has been practicing karate for about a decade, returned from the competition with his third gold medal after finishing atop the 18 to 35 age division.

At NNS since 2019, Galeski wasn’t initially interested in karate. He got involved after learning his middle school history teacher ran a karate school. “He was one of the teachers you remember forever and instilled some good life lessons while I was taking his class,” Galeski said. “I enjoyed the way he taught so much that I wanted to do something he was teaching.”

It turned out Galeski had a knack for the sport. Before this year’s competition, he went to karate world championships in 2015 and 2017 and won gold medals. In addition to being an athlete, Galeski also is the lead assistant instructor at Axsom Martial Arts in Newport News and was a coach during this year’s world championship.

Helping to guide others – whether in karate, at NNS or elsewhere – is important to Galeski. “It’s huge. I think it’s my calling in life,” he said.

Karate has benefits for people of all ages, and Galeski encourages shipbuilders to get their children involved or even to get involved themselves, adding that his school offers shipyard discounts.

“People at any age can always learn a lesson about respect and being humble and disciplined,” he said. “They are universal lessons that can go anywhere.”