Welcome to

Pawtucket, RI


USA Karate RI
124 Broad Street
Pawtucket, RI 02860
(401) 723-0414



Shihan Tony Abatecola


6th Degree Master Black Belt
Chief Instructor / Owner

Shihan Tony started training in January of 1990 in the Arts of Shaolin Kempo/Karate/Jiu-Jitsu.  He earned his Black Belt under Thomas Sullivan (5th Dan) in June of 1995.  In July of 1997, he started training in the art of Kenpo under Hanshi Larry Sullivan (10th Dan) here at USA Karate.  He is a certified master instructor and tournament head judge.  He currently holds the following Black Belt Ranks: 6th Degree Black Belt in Sullivan's American Kenpo Karate, 4th Degree Black Belt in Nick Cerio's Kenpo Karate, and a 2nd Degree Black Belt in Shaolin Kempo/Karate/Jui-Jitsu.He has been teaching his skills since 1995.  He has taught Karate Classes and Self-Defense Seminars at many different locations across Southeastern New England.  As a martial arts tournament judge and referee, he has strictly enforced the rules of fairness and good sportsmanship to all competitors.  As a martial arts instructor, he has gained a reputation as one who truly cares about the progress of every student.  His personal slogan is "Make a Difference." He has been the Chief Instructor at USA Karate, Pawtucket since February 2000 and was trusted by Hanshi Sullivan to continue the fine traditions of teaching excellence here at USA Karate.  He was named "Instructor of the Year" by the New England Karate Commission for 2001.  Under his guidance, USA Karate has been voted Best Karate School by the Annual Readers Choice Awards conducted by the Pawtucket Times 6 Years in a row and has received the "Mark of Excellence Award" from Century Martial Arts for 2011, 2012, and 2013.Shihan Tony also served on Active Duty in the Rhode Island Army National Guard where he served as a Recruiter and Military Career Counselor for over 11 years.  He also served with the RI Army National Guard's Select Honor Guard as a Trainer and Operations Sergeant.  His military awards and decorations include the Army Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal (multiple awards), Army Achievement Medal (multiple awards), the Army Good Conduct Medal, the Master Recruiting Badge, and the Career Counselor Badge.  He is currently serving part-time in the RI Army National Guard as the Ceremonial Band Leader in the "Governor's Own", 88th Army Band, located in East Greenwich, RI. There he is in charge of the 88th Army Band during Ceremonial Performances and Parades.  Shihan Tony also a Certified Master Resiliency Trainer for the US Army where he conducts training to soldiers on how to deal with and recover from hardship and adversity in a positive way.Shihan Tony is married to Luisa (DeMello) Abatecola has 4 children and is member of the Sons of Italy in East Providence, RI.


Luisa Abatecola


General Manager / Owner


Luisa is a graduate from Cumberland High School.  While in high school, she was an active participant of Project Talent as a dancer and worked with choreographers Dante Deljudice and Adrienne, and danced in productions such as "The Wizard of OZ."  She was also a co-captain of the Cumberland Clippers Cheerleading Squad.  Afterwards she attended and graduated with a Degree in Education from Becker College in Leicester, Massachusetts.  While a student at Becker College, she served as a Resident Assistant at Lane Hall.  Her past experiences include: head teacher at the Beehive Childhood Center in East Providence, employed at Harvard Health of New England, founder and director of "Impressions."  "Impressions" was an interpretive dance group based in South Eastern Massachusetts in the mid-nineties.  She left the corporate world to focus on raising a family.  She is a mother of 4 and has successfully taught her children at home through a successful home school program for about 9 years.  She has been a well respected member of the local home-schooling community and organized many very successful educational field trips for LIGHTS, a local home schooling group.  She was also deeply involved in the coordination and operation of the S.M.A.R.T. (Supporting Mothers and Raising Toddlers) program. She trains privately under Shihan Tony Abatecola in the martial arts and provides very helpful insight into innovating methods of teaching  children.  She incorporates her creativity, knowledge and experience in Early Childhood Education and mixes it with karate basics.  The result is a unique kids program that develops motor skills and enforces values in a positive environment.  She is the Program Director and General Manager here at USA Karate, Pawtucket, where she has earned the respect of all who know her.  This has helped earn her recognition as "Program Director of the Year" by the New England Karate Commission. She is also heavily  involved in her local public school system serving as the PTA President.  She has been awarded the Community Service Award in recognition of her selfless time and energy she committed to the school system. In November of 2008, she was elected in a landslide victory to the East Providence School Committee as the School Committee Member At Large, meaning she represents all 4 wards of the City of East Providence.  She was the only school committee member to be re-elected in 2010; winning in yet another landslide victory.  In 2012, she decided not to seek Re-Election and put her focus back here at USA Karate RI and her Family.

Sensei Tim Mulligan


3rd Degree Black Belt

Senior Instructor


Sensei Tim Mulligan began training at USA Karate RI in December 2006. Sensei Tim first became involved as a parent bringing his son to classes. It was not long afterwards when he decided he no longer wanted to sit on the sidelines; he wanted to become involved. He set a goal for himself on that day, that being to earn his Black Belt within 4 years. On December 4th of 2010, under the guidance of Shihan Tony Abatecola, that goal was achieved. He began the Instructor Training Program before he attained his Black Belt. As an instructor, he embraces USA Karate RI's core teaching concept of SSL (Smiling, Sweating & Learning). He strives to show that hard work and determination can be fun. Due to the excellent example he has set and the respect he has earned from the students he teaches, Shihan Tony granted him recognition as a Sensei before he was due to take his Instructor Certification Exam. He earned his 2nd Degree Black Belt in May 2012.Sensei Tim has been a member of the Fighting Tigers Tournament Team since its formation in 2007. In 2008 he won the Grand Masters Challenge in men’s sparring. Although he still occasionally participates in the tournaments, he prefers to take an active role in the training of the other lower ranked members of the tournament team.Sensei Tim graduated from Saint Raphael Academy in 1988 and went on to graduate from Bryant College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting in 1992. He is currently employed by Coca Cola Refreshments as a manager for the last 15 years. Sensei Tim is married to Lynda (Barber) Mulligan and they have one son Shaun who also trains under Shihan Tony Abatecola.

Sensei Victor Lima


3rd Degree Black Belt



Sensei Victor started training in the Martial Art of Kenpo-Karate in May of 2003 here at USA Karate under Shihan Tony Abatecola. He earned the Black Belt Rank of Shodan (1st Degree) in July of 2008. He currently holds the Black Belt Rank of Sandan (3rd Degree).  He was selected for and successfully passed the Level 2 Instructor Exam in July of 2009, earning him the title of Sensei.


As an instructor, Sensei Victor's high energy makes his classes fun, motivating and informative.  Sensei Victor's youthful disposition and demeanor allow him to connect with the kids in his class. Sensei Victor graduated from Charles E. Shea High School in 2011.