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Sensei Hilton Siegfried

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Hilton J. Siegfried
Roku Dan, Shihan, 6th Degree Black Belt

Sensei Hilton Siegfried began training in January of 1977 at the Red Dragon Karate School in Easton, PA, under Alick Smith III, 8th Dan, who was under his father, Grand Master Al Smith, 10th Dan (retired).

Grand Master Al Smith (Shihan) had trained under many instructors that helped him to develop his own unique application of karate. His first instructor was Grand Master Louis Casamassas where he studied Chinese Kenpo. Grand Master Casamassas is the owner and head instructor of the Red Dragon Schools in and around Los Angeles, California. Shihan also studied with Sifu Guy Savelli where he learned Kung-fu and Aikido. Sensei Robert Peters instructed Shihan in Okinawan Shorin-Ryu. His unique combination of study had helped him create the Red Dragon School in Easton, PA.

Sensei began working out with Sensei Alick Smith III on Wednesday nights in 1977. After 2 years, he began training with Grand Master Smith four nights per week. As a Green Belt, he began assisting Sensei Alick Smith with the newly formed Kids Class. The Kids’ Classes ran on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 to 7:45. It was here that Sensei learned to become a teacher and developed his love of working with kids. In November of 1982, Sensei received his 1st Degree Black Belt from Grand Master Al Smith directly from the hands of Grand Master Louis Casamassas when he was visiting Shihan Al Smith.

Sensei began his own school in Riegelsville in 1988 in his home with 3 students then known as Upper Bucks Martial Arts Center. It was three close friends that had suggested he teach their children the martial arts. With the encouragement of his wife, this began his teaching career. The main idea of the school was to teach on Saturdays to give students an alternative to watching cartoons on Saturday mornings. To this day, during the school year, classes are still held only on Saturdays. According to Sensei, it is important that kids have time to do their school work, attend other activities, train in the martial arts, and still have some time for their families.

When Sensei moved to Coopersburg, within a year, he opened the Coopersburg Karate Academy in 1993. Since then, the school has continued to grow and now has over 85 active students attending classes.

In April of 2010, Sensei had the opportunity to travel to Okinawa with Sensei Tim Spiess, 5th Dan, Sen Lin Chuan and Matt Faragasso, 2nd Dan at Coopersburg Karate.  The trip included training with 9th Degree Black Belt, Shihan Ron Nix., whose instructor is Grand Master Toma.  They had the opportunity to see much of the island with Master Nix’s and his lovely wife Akemi, 5th Dan. The trip also included a visit to Hanshi Fusei Kise, Head of Okinawan Matsumura Orthodox Shorin-Ryu style. Sensei and Tim Spiess were invited to dine with Grand Master Kise and celebrate his 75th birthday. The trip was a wonderful experience and they all had the privilege of meeting many wonderful martial artists and true Okinawans.

On August 7, 2010, Hanshi Larry Isaac of Okinawan Kenpo Karate Kobudu promoted Sensei to 5th Degree Black Belt, GoDan, according to the standards set by the Okinawan Matsumura Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobujutsu.  This promotion came as quite a surprise.    His last promotion to YonDan had occurred in 1996 from Grand Master Al Smith of Red Dragon.

August 2013- Shihan Sensei Hilton Siegfried was named Pennsylvania Director of the American Jiu-Jitsu Karate Association International (AJKAI).

Hanshi Larry IsaacShihan Larry Isaac
Hanshi Larry Isaac is President and Founder of the TODE KAN. This is a brief history on Hanshi Isaac's extensive Martial Arts career that has been time tested. For over four decades, Shihan Isaac's expertise, experience, and positive teaching and training methods have literally dominated the Martial Arts tournament curcuit, both regionally and nationally. Hanshi Isaac is the first and only Martial Artist/Instructor from the Carolina's to be National Triple Crown winner. In fact, he is six-time National Champion who has been rated in all the major Karate circuits.

Nationally, Hanshi Isaac has been ranked No.1 in Kata (forms), ranked No.1 in weapons, and ranked No.2 in fighting in the Senior Divisions. In 1990 and 1991 he was inducted into the Professional Karate League's (PKL) Hall of Fame. In 1989, after winning the National Karate Championships in Edison, N.J., Hanshi Isaac was inducted into the IAMA organization by Master Gary Alexander (10th degree black belt). Shihan Isaac is an active member of the International Okinawa Kenpo-Kobudo Karate Council under Grandmaster Seikichi Odo (10th Degree Black Belt).

Shihan Larry Isaac currently holds the following ranks: 10th Dan - Okinawa Kenpo-Kobudo Karate; 7th Dan - Okinawa-te; 5th Dan - Shorin-ryu Karate Do; and 2nd Dan - Goshindo Karate Do.

Shihan Jim GiffordShihan Jim Gifford

Shihan Gifford began his martial arts training in Isshin Shorinjiryu Okinawate under Shihan Ralph Cherico and Shihan Wayne Ben-Ali in 1982. He switched to Shinmei Shorin ryu  Karatejutsu under Soke Matt Molineux in 1993, and was promoted to Godan on June 3, 2001.         

Shihan Gifford graduated from Rutgers University in 1991 with a B.S. in Biology. He received a ROTC commission in the United States Air Force on Aug 21, 1991 and entered pilot training at Reese AFB in May 1992. Upon graduation he flew the KC-135R Stratotanker for 3 yrs at McConnell AFB, KS. While stationed there, Sensei Gifford deployed to Saudi Arabia in support of the “no fly zone” in northern Iraq, Turkey and Bosnia. Quickly rising to the top, he was chosen for the selectively-manned tanker Special Operations mission.           

The Air Force called and Shihan Gifford accepted a new assignment to Kadena AB, Japan and continued to fly the KC-135R for another 3 yrs. While in the Pacific, he deployed to Diego Garcia in support of B-52 refueling for Operation Desert Scorpion, Thailand, Singapore, Alaska, Australia, Korea and New Zealand. It was out of Kadena that Sensei Gifford was selected for the “Crossflow” program in which there is keen competition to transfer from heavy aircraft to fighters. He was chosen to fly the F-15E Strike Eagle - undeniably the most advanced fighter in the Air Force inventory– in 1999, and after 18 months of training, he moved to RAF Lakenheath, UK. The unit there is the spearhead for the U.S. military instrument of power in Europe. Its mission includes air superiority, close air support, precision guided munitions and special weapons. Sensei Gifford was assigned to the 494th Fighter Squadron with the call sign “Venom”. Presently he is stationed in Oklahoma.           

He was promoted to the rank of Shichidan 7th Dan in Shinmei Shorin ryu and Godan 5th Dan Shintoyoshin Ryu being tested for his Jiu-Jitsu rank by Master Grose.   He is the A.J.K.A.I. Chief Instructor for Oklahoma.        

Interestingly enough, Shihan Gifford had the honor of teaching Shinmei Shorin ryu on Okinawa, where the style has its roots in the Matsumura lineage. Shihan Gifford is a member of the AJKAI and was promoted to a Godan by Master Douglas L. Grose, Judan. He continues his diligent study of Shorin ryu, including Hakutsuru with Soke Molineux and Shintoyoshin Ryu.

Soke Matthew MolineuxSoke Matthew Molineux

Soke Molineux began his martial arts training in Shorin Ryu karate in 1974 under Soke Mike Hancock.

Soke Molineux was promoted to Kudan in Mar 2001 by Soke Hancock and was, subsequently, recognized by Master Douglas Grose of the American Jiu-Jitsu Karate Association International in May 2001. He is, undoubtedly, one of the youngest individuals in the world of this rank and position—successor to a system. Soke Hancock appointed Molineux as the 3rd generation successor—Sokesandai—of Shinmei Shorin ryu in 1993. Due to the untimely death of Soke Hancock, Molineux was appointed Soke of Shinmei Shorin Ryu in 2006 and promoted to Judan. Molineux began studying the principles of Hakutsuru, White Crane, with Shihan Tony Sandoval, undoubtedly the most skilled Hakutsuru practitioner in the US, in 1995. Shihan Sandoval recognized Molineux as a Master Instructor and personal representative in Nov 2001.

In 2001 Master Douglas Grose of the AJKAI, made Soke Molineux Chief Technical Advisor to the AJKAI because of his vast knowledge and experience. On a side note, Soke Mike Hancock was one of Master Grose’s first Chief Instructors.

Soke Molineux has studied with some of the top Karate masters in the world and has traveled extensively to train with them. Soke Molineux attended the US Air Force Academy from 1985-1989—graduating with Military Honors. After the academy, he attended Undergraduate Pilot Training at Williams AFB, AZ. He was assigned to fly the KC-135 Stratotanker upon graduation and relocated to Grissom AFB, IN. Soke Molineux deployed to the Middle East multiple times in support of operations in the aftermath of the Persian Gulf War. Over the years he amassed 20 medals and nearly 300 flight hours directly associated with combat and combat support. This is exclusive of 18 additional decorations for individual and unit achievements. 

While stationed at McConnell AFB, one of the missions Molineux flew out of Mombassa Kenya while participating in the operations in Somalia was deemed pivotal in his unit, the 384th Air Refueling Squadron, being named Air Mobility Command’s #1 refueling squadron. He performed in a command and control function at the site of an aircraft crash, and devised a plan with his navigator credited with saving the lives of downed airmen. Quickly rising to the top, Soke Molineux was chosen for the selectively-manned tanker Special Operations mission. A part of that mission involved receiver air refueling—during which the tanker aircraft receives fuel instead of passing it to another. This specialized training led to his next assignment.

 In 1996, Soke Molineux was handpicked to be a member of the Command Crew for the Commander in Chief (CINC) of Central Command—the 4-star general responsible for the entire Middle Eastern region (a successor to Gen Schwarzkopf/Gen Franks) Molineux ended up at MacDill AFB, FL–collocated with the General. His superior performance resulted in his selection as the Executive Officer to the Wing Commander at the only Department of Defense unit hosting two warfighting commanders in chief. Ultimately, he became the CINC Support Flight Commander, serving as Gen Zinni’s Chief Pilot. With all of this flying experience under his belt, his commanding officer encouraged Soke Molineux to seek a staff assignment to gain breadth and a better understanding of the Air Force. This led to his assignment at Scott AFB, IL. 

Soke Molineux served as Operational Programming Officer at Air Mobility Command Headquarters. He was responsible for future planning for multi-billion dollar programs associated with the procurement and base assignment of aircraft and units. He attended the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell AFB, AL. This is an accomplishment in itself as only a select number of those promoted to the grade of major attend the school in residence. In 2005 he was assigned to 351st refueling Squadron as Commander in the U.K., was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel after a tour in Afghanistan. He then was assigned to Kadena Air Base, Japan where he served as the 18th Operations Group deputy commander. 

Soke Molineux is currently stationed at MacDill Air Force Base and assumed command of the 6th Operations Group. He recently was promoted to the rank of Colonel. 

Soke Molineux attributes any minor successes he may have had in his life thus far to family support; the discipline, tenacity, and respect learned in the martial arts; and a sound education. He said when asked what the younger people should concentrate on, “Everyone should strive to do their best, conduct themselves with respect and honor, and above all else, study diligently both in the dojo and school. A strong, fundamental education will go far.”

Hanshi John Chatwood Hanshi John Chatwood

Hanshi John F. Chatwood has been active in the martial arts for over thirty years starting his martial arts career in Peoria, IL. He began his training under Master Douglas Grose in Shinto Yoshin Ryu Jiu-Jitsu, Shorei Ryu Karate and Shuri Ryu Karate.  He has also studied and is ranked in Tae Kwon Do and Judo.

 

In 1988 he relocated to Carson City, Nevada and became active in Dan Zan Ryu Jujitsu.  He successfully coached AAU medal winning teams that competed in Jujitsu kata.

Hanshi Chatwood established Sierra Jujitsu & Karate in 1995.  He founded WIDS (Women's Individual  Defense Systems) in 1996.  This program specializes in the unique and easily useable defense tactics available for women who are not involved in the martial arts. This seminar is a widely sought after and informative defense program for women.

In 2003, Grand Master Douglas Grose awarded him the Hanshi Menkyo Certificate.  

Hanshi Chatwood has also been very active in Shin-Mei Shorin Ryu Karate under the instruction of Soke Dai Matt Molineux and Soke Mike Hancock.  He is also a member of the International Okinawan Budo-Kai Association.

In October of 2004 Master Grose awarded Hanshi Chatwood a Menkyo Kaiden to be presented to him upon Master Grose's death. He was hand picked by Master Grose to take over the leadership of the A.J.K.A.I.

 

 

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