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Tributes to Past Masters


Sherman Harrill Sensei

Sherman Harrill was born in May 11th 1941, Lebanon Missouri. He enlisted into the United States Marine Corps and in 1959 and was assigned duty to Okinawa. He was stationed at Camp Courtney near the village of Tengan. He started in Isshin-ryu from Master Tatsuo Shimabuku who was teaching in Agena located in Gushikawa. Shimabuku called Harrill "Harru." Harru often tells others... [moreĽ]

Dan Bohan Sensei

Don Bohan was a retired Marine Gunnery Sgt. with 21 years in service to his country in the United States Marine Corps. With three tours in the Republic of Vietnam, this puts this battle hardened Leatherneck in a class that few others in the martial arts will ever attain. In this day and age of want-to-be's, claiming to be martial arts warriors or make-believe-champions in their own minds there are few who stand out as true martial arts Masters. [moreĽ]

Don Nagle Sensei

Master Don Nagle was born on April 5th, 1938.  Master Don Nagle began his study of Isshinryu karate before the close of 1955 in the Kyan (Pronounced Chun) village in Okinawa, Japan with founder Tatsuo Shimabuku.   I talked with Grand Master Nagle several months before his death and asked him when he began studying he told me he knew it was late 1955 either November or December shortly after he arrived in Okinawa. [moreĽ]

Harold G. Long Sensei

Harold G. Long was born in Rockwood, Tennessee, on September 3, 1930.  He was one of thirteen children born of Bessie Marie Fance Long and John Riley Long.  His family moved from Rockwood to Morgan County in 1934 where he attended elementary school in Petros, Tennessee.    Mr. Long attended Central High School in Wartburg, Tennessee where he excelled as a football player.  [moreĽ]

Dai Sensei Robert E. Herron

Robert E. Herron (Bob) Master Sergeant was born Feb. 18, 1934. Herron joined the U.S. Army on February 13, 1953 and served until February 28, 1994. Bob began his martial arts training in Shoto-Kan karate with Sensei Joe Butrim in April 1968 while stationed in Baltimore, MD. He studied with him for 16 months achieving the rank of 6th Kyu Green Belt prior to being transferred to Buffalo, NY. Unable to locate another Shoto-Kan dojo, Bob began his search for another school. [moreĽ]

Mr. Allen Wheeler was born October 11th, 1919 in Knoxville. Mr. Wheeler served his country in the United States Army in the European Theater during World War two. He was an automatic rifleman and hand to hand combat instructor in the Army. For over 57 years Allen Wheeler extensively studied and taught self-defense and the history of karate. As a Karate Master, he served as a leader and positive role model, teaching personal improvement to people of all ages... [moreĽ]


     I want you to close your eyes and picture in your mind the soldier at Valley Forge, as he holds his musket in his bloody hands. He stands barefoot in the snow, starved from lack of food, wounded from months of battle and emotionally scarred from the eternity away from his family surrounded by nothing but death and carnage of war. He stands tough, with fire in his eyes and victory on his breath. He looks at us now in anger and disgust and tells us this...

     I gave you a birthright of freedom born in the Constitution and now your children graduate too illiterate to read it. I fought in the snow barefoot to give you the freedom to vote and you stay at home because it rains. I left my family destitute to give you the freedom of speech and you remain silent on critical issues, because it might be bad for business. I orphaned my children to give you a government to serve you and it has stolen democracy from the people. It's the soldier not the reporter who gives you the freedom of the press. It's the soldier not the poet who gives you the freedom of speech.  It's the soldier not the campus organizer who allows you to demonstrate. It's the soldier who salutes the flag, serves the flag, whose coffin is draped with the flag that allows the protester to burn the flag!!! "Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they  protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. Amen." 
--Author Unknown

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