My martial arts training began over 20 years ago in Danzanryu Jui‐jutsu under Sensei Ron Jennings. During this time I met Professor Wally Jay, an international jui‐jutsu expert. After jui‐jutsu, I began training under Sempai Tommy Burris and later under Shihan John Adams in Dentoteki Karate, an unrecognized branch of Kyokushin under Sensei Don Allen. I remained with Shihan Adams when he left Dentoteki and joined IKO‐Matsushima under Shihan Roman Szyrajew. I tested for nidan shortly after Shihan Adams switched to IKO‐Matsushima, and tested for sandan (2002) and yondan (2006) at the 1st and 2nd IKO World Cup tournaments in Maine, USA and Sydney, Australia in the presence of Kancho Matsushima and Hanshi John Taylor.
Over the past 20 years, I have hosted or participated in the Kyokushin Challenge and Kyokushin Regional Open tournaments, annual summer camps, and various activities for Northwest Kyokushin, Shihan Adams’ branch of IKO‐Matsushima. I founded the Central Kyokushin dojo 12 years ago, during which time it has grown from 4 university students to many community and university members. The Central Kyokushin dojo hosted the 4th, 7th, and 10th Kyokushin Challenge (with guest of honor Kancho Matsushima), international open tournaments that drew over 70 full contact fighters from across the U.S. and several countries. I have served as an IKO‐certified (#0039) corner judge in several major international events, including the 1st and 2nd World Cup tournaments, and as center referee (#0136) at numerous regional and national venues that include the Kyokushin Challenge and Kyokushin Regional tournaments.
Our dojo has performed many demonstrations for academic, business, and other groups. We have also co‐produced a self defense DVD. My last international knockdown competition was the 2009 Kyokushin Challenge in Seattle, WA. Prior to that it was the 2000 Mas Oyama Memorial Cup in Montreal, Canada in men’s unlimited heavyweight.
I am not physically gifted, but I train and fight hard and try to learn all I can from those who are more (and less) experienced. Our students have performed well in competition, including multiple first, second, and third place finishes in recent Kyokushin Challenge and Kyokushin Regional Open tournaments. Five of our students have earned spots on the United States knockdown team, including Sarah Woolley, who received a 4th place finish at the 2004 World Tournament in Japan.
As the years have passed, I have been fortunate to learn from talented and experienced instructors who have helped to improve my physical and mental ability and spiritual awareness. The extensive experience and skill of Kancho Matsushima, Hanshi Taylor, Shihan Roman, Shihan Adams, and other IKO– Matsushima yudansha is inspiring, and I hope to continue to learn from them for many years. Kyokushin training has influenced so many aspects of my life. It has helped me to become a humble student, an effective teacher, and provided a pathway for discovering the ultimate truth.