Welcome to our home page. To our past visitors, you may notice that we have recently changed our name to Fighting Spirit Shotokan. The name change was due to our new logo design in which we are very proud of as much thought went into the design.The logo patch worn by the students training at our school is unique to this school. We believe understanding the message and symbolism behind the patch’s design is important to assist the students, and their families,understand what we at this school are striving to achieve as each of us grows through our training, and thus in our lives.
The crane is traditionally held, in Japanese society, to represent long life, happiness and good fortune. Symbols of the crane are often used at weddings, as the crane mates for life, representing a deep value for the family.
The tori gate represents good fortune and we wish all of our students good fortune in their studies.
The crane is spreading its’ wings to take flight, and reaching for the stars. The wing tips of the bird are extending beyond the tori. This represents each of us as we strive to reach our potential, which may sometimes take us outside the familiar.
The sun is the symbol of life and the sun is the source, which gives us life, light and energy. It also represents our belief in the son of God.
The Japanese characters, or Kanji, placed inside the sun simply translate to mean "Shotokan" which is the main style emphasis of our school.
The bamboo is a symbol of strength as we all seek to find our inner strength.
The black belt represents the final goal of the student, as a student strives to achieve or fulfill their dream of attaining their black belt.
The Japanese characters, or Kanji, placed at the bottom center below the black belt are translated to mean "Journey". We hope that martial arts will become a lifelong journey which will change the lives of our students in a very positive way.
Shotokan Karate is a great way for you to learn self defense while getting in shape. It has been proven that a person’s discipline and self-confidence increases with the practice of the martial arts. Classes are held at our dojo, located at 14696 Hwy 98, next to Kellam's Corner in Magnolia Springs, Alabama. We offer classes for children and adult beginners, as well as intermediate and advanced classes. Classes are divided by age group but still allow parents to participate with their kids. We have several parents learning karate with their children. It is a valuable activity whether you are interested in sport competition, discipline and concentration, or just good exercise. The club is a direct descendant of the original school established by karate’s founder, Gichin Funakoshi, whose aim in karate was the development of character.
My journey in martial arts began several years ago when my youngest son started coming home, running to his room, and locking himself in while crying. Two older boys were picking on him, telling him he was dumb, and calling him Dumbo. The reason for the name calling was because he is hearing impaired and wears a hearing aide on each ear. At the time he had just gotten the aides, his hair was short, and the aides made his ears stick out a little (like Dumbo). As in the case with many hearing impaired people, his speech was hard to understand. After talking with the boys parents and with the bus driver failed to resolve the issue permanently, I decided to enroll him in karate classes. I did not want him to go looking for a fight, but, if one came his way, I wanted him to be able to defend himself. I also thought it would boost his self confidence. Every week I would sit and watch him and he enjoyed it, but, as the time approached to test for his first belt, he grew very nervous. He ask me to start taking classes with him and a reluctantly did so only to discover, I love karate. I have been practicing ever since. Karate has become a TREASURED part of my everyday life!
In the many years since my journey began, I have studied under several different instructors, and have I believe retained the best from all of them. I hold a 3rd degree black belt in Shotokan karate (working toward my 4th) and a 1st degree black belt in Kenpo karate. I am a certified instructor with the WBBB (World Black Belt Bureau) as well as a certified instructor with the IMAF (Independent Martial Arts Federation). I also have trained in Kobudo Weapons, Aikido, and board breaking. I received my IMAF certifications from Robert Shook (8th Dan) and I received my WBBB certifications from Master Courtney A. Griner and Master Kang Rhee. Master Kang Rhee holds a 9th degree black belt among many other titles. Master Griner is a 5th degree black belt and instructor of the WBBB and holds the rank of advance level black belts in the following system's:
5th Degree Black Belt in the art of American Karate given to him by Grandmaster Robert Shook (8th Dan) and a board of black belts (located in Dallas Fort Worth TX)
5th Degree Black Belt in the art of Kenpo Karate given to him by Grandmaster Kang Rhee (9th Dan) and a board of black belts
See my links page or my photo album to read more about Master Kang Rhee!
To see pictures of my instructors, just visit the photo gallery.
Kenpō is the name of several martial arts but is widely recognized as a martial art with roots in Hawaii.
Dr. James Mitose, a Japanese-American, was largely responsible for spreading Kenpo throughout the Hawaiian Islands. Born in Hawaii, he was sent to Japan where he learned at a very young age his ancestral art of self-defense called “kosho-ryu,” said to be based directly on Shao-lin kung-fu. Mitose returned to Hawaii in 1936 and five years later he organized the Official Self-Defense Club in Honolulu.
Mitose emphasized the attacking of vital areas by punching, striking, chopping, thrusting, and poking. Similar to Japanese styles that also utilized throws, locks, and take downs, it differed technically and philosophically. Mitose' style employed linear and circular movements, using intermittent power.
In the United States, kenpo is often referred to as Kenpo Karate. The most widespread styles have their origin in the teachings of James Mitose and his student William Kwai Sun Chow. Chow later instructed Ed Parker who became a leader and was dubbed the “Father of Kenpo Karate” in America.
Their lineage also includes Kajukenbo, an art that does not use the kenpō name itself, but which possesses recognized offshoots that do. These arts have spread around the world through multiple lineages, not all of which agree on a common historical narrative. Notable systems such as Kajukenbo employed harder direct movements and Kenpo Karate (developed by Ed Parker), employ more of the Chinese circular movements with a signature "rapid fire" combination of blows to vital areas of the body.