I began my martial arts training in January 1988 under
Sensei Kevin P O'neil SR
in his then
private studio in Silverdale, WA. It was because of my close friendship with Sensi O'neil, that I was coaxed into joining the small class.
I eventually moved in with Sensei O'neil and helped him to convert his garage into a more formal Dojo. Although moving around a bit, through my dedication to the art, and with the support of my wife, Lynn I continued to attend classes. These classes were held in the "old school" traditional style of Japanese training. This meant aquiring an ample collection of bumps, bruises, contusions and a fair share of humility. I accended the ranks with Sensei Marvin Stohs under the constant and direct suporvision of Sensei Kevin O'neil and the occasional reality checks provided by Yodan George Royce.
In March of 1990, I achieved the rank of 3rd class silver belt and was allowed to begin weapons studies. I immediately began studying the Sai, the Katana and Arnis under Sensi O'neil. LAter, under the authorization of Sensei O'neil, I sought out further weapons study under a very close personal friend, Sifu Russ Kauffroath of the Sam Pai Kenpo system. Sifu Russ over the years, trained me extensively in his own Compositional Arnis System, White Lotus Sword and some basic Kenpo self defense principals.
By March of 1992, with the rank of 2nd class Brown around my waist, I began teaching classes, under the suporvision of Sensei O'neil at the Eastside Shotokan Academy . It was through learning to teach, that I truly began to learn and advance.
On October 24, 1994, with 4 high ranking senseis and 4 high ranking sifus watching my every move,
I tested for and was granted the rank of Shodan, 1st degree blackbelt. This achievement was not given to me, but rather paid for, through my own, blood, sweat, tears and dedication.
I have always held close to me, the traditions of Gichen Funikoshi's Karate, as well as Sensei Royce's belief that working out with other systems, will only help to better the individual as a karateka. I am greatful for all of the assistance and advice I was given over the years, for it is not only through my own dedication and interest, but also the knowlege and wisdom of those who have passed this "gift" down to me, that allows me to say I have learned the way of the "Empty Hand", Shotokan Karate.