Meet Robert Mathews! Also known as the head of The Pottstown Guardian Angels and a Karate expert with his own gym at 21 North Hanover Street, called “The Pottstown Karate Club. Mr. Mathews was born and raised in nearby Phoenixville and has lived in Pottstown since 1994. He began Karate training at age 14 in Phoenixville, after bouncing around with different clubs trying to find a place that taught real Shotokan Karate. He stated that, “I finally made Bushi Karate in Hatfield my home. Bushi being one of a handful of real Shotokan Karate clubs in PA.”
Mr. Matthews offers various programs to Pottstown youth which include the Clean Street Community Service Program, Karate, Boxing, and Crossfit. He is known to be quite generous and often waives tuition fees for serious students who cannot afford his classes. He informed us that his attendance is as follows: “Active this month July 2011- 43. But we lose some in the summer due to vacations and some other sports. Usually we have over 60 through the Fall to Spring months.” For further information on these classes that teach kids fitness and positive self-control visit http://www.pottstownkarate.com/.
When asked to discuss his long history with The Guardian Angels and Curtis Silwa, he responded, “I initially volunteered in 1988, the GA were in Germantown at Germantown pike and Washington Lane in Philadelphia. We would patrol the neighborhood but mostly we would ride the trolley downtown and ride the subways where we were always greeted warmly by citizens and Septa personnel alike. In 1989 I moved to Kensington and Somerset. Wow what a difference, the drugs and crime were unbelievable – with the club house for the Warlocks Motorcycle a couple blocks over, what a tough neighborhood. We were invited and financed by the local merchants who got a good return on their investment. Eventually I became the Self Defense Coordinator for the GA and they were training at my club in Phoenixville. Every Saturday morning at 5am, two van loads of Angels would show up in Phoenixville for PT and Self defense training. Over the years I would be involved and “outvolved” in different trainings in many cities in PA. My experiences downtown over the last 3 years are what encouraged me to establish a chapter here in Pottstown.”
Mr Mathews mentors Pottstown students both as a Karate Instructor and as a Guardian Angel because he wants to “empower youth against the life is not always fair reality. Karate builds good character and develops strong self esteem, which enables these kids to overcome any negative adversity in their lives.” Perhaps you have seen these incredible volunteers walking our neighborhoods in the evenings wearing their red berets keeping us safe?! If you are interested in the serious commitment of becoming a Guardian Angel contact Robert Mathews at phone #610-327-1321