I started my Martial Arts Training in Greeneville, Tennessee approximately 33 years ago in the Isshin-Ryu style, which is an Okinawan style, at the early age of 38 years old and still training at the age of 72.
I was promoted to 1st. degree black belt in 1989 by Erwin Mathes.
In 1992 I started my own school called Greeneville Isshin-ryu Academy and became a member of the IIKA International Isshin- ryu Karate Association. The school eventually closed like so many do for different reasons.
Around 1995 I had the good fortune to meet and continue my training with Master Mike Patrick who had a school in the same town.
In 1998 while training with Master Patrick I heard about Grand Master Rick Moneymaker, who was going to have a seminar on pressure points. Now that sounded very interesting. The seminar was being held in Powell Tennessee outside of Knoxville at Master Allen Wheeler’s Isshin-Ryu Dojo. That’s where I met Master Wheeler and became a lifetime member in the OKU.
When I saw Master Moneymaker use the pressure points and drop people to the floor with very little effort blew me away.
Master Moneymaker revealed to us the secrets of martial arts that had not been taught to the average practitioner. I became a white belt again.
My Sensei, Master Patrick, became very knowledgeable in the science of pressure points and how good that was for me to be able to train with someone like him with that knowledge. A Master and Certified Instructor in The Dragon Society in the dojo!
Years of training under the guidance and patience of Master Patrick paid off. I could not have done it without you my Friend and Sensei.
Thank You Sensei Master Mike Patrick.
On October 15 2012 I was promoted to 4th Degree Black Belt and Assistant Instructor in the Dragon Society by Grand Master Rick Moneymaker and Grand Master Tom Muncy.
I am proud to belong to such an elite group of instructors and the Dragon Society International Organization who are on the cutting edge in the Martial Arts World.
Thank you Grand Masters Rick Moneymaker and Tom Muncy
REMEMBER YOU NEVER GET TOO OLD TO LEARN!
Dragon Society International
Lifetime member Okinawa Karate Union
1992 Master Harold Long
1993 Bill ”Superfoot” Wallace
1998 Terry Hill World Champion Muay Thai kick boxer
1998 Master Dennis Brown Shaolin WuShu Tai Chi Chuan
1998 I started attending Dragon Society Seminars and continue to do so
2004 Martial Arts Discovery with Master Mike Patrick, Master Frank Annese, Alex Ormaza and Troy Price
2010 Police Survival and Defense with Carl D. Wilcox PHD and others
2011 Police Survival and Defense with Grand Master Rick Moneymaker
2014 train with reserve police officers
Ranks & Certifications:
- 4th Degree Black Belt Torite Jutsu
- Certified Instructor Torite Jutsu
- 6th. Degree Black Belt in Isshin-Ryu Karate
- Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan
- Combatix Defensive Tactics Specialist- Level 1 Brown Belt
I was introduced to Karate in the early 60's by the James Bond movies (Bond movies had other good ideas). The "judo" chops and kicks he used to dispatch his enemies ade an impression on me. Much talk was generated in school about Karate.
The only Karate school near my hometown was in Knoxville, Tn. Harold Long had graduated from the same high school that I attended and was well known in my coummunity.A huge problem was that Knoxville was much too far away. The 60 or so miles back then would take nearly 2 hours to drive.That was 4 houurs just driving. Add to that the class time, twice a week and there was not time between school, work, athletics and dating! So the idea was put in the back of my mind.
After high school, I thought the military would be a good place to learn Karate. Wrong! I had 8 hours of hand to hand combat, bayonet traing and pugil stick training but still not Karate. I did have the opportunity to learn various weapon systems, jump from airplanes and spent a year learning survival skills in a combat zone. All useful training but no Karate.
In the early 80's I was able to finally start learning Karate. My instructors , Robin Kidwell, Jim Murphy and Ed Devalt, were alll trained and very knowledgeable in a style of Karate called Isshin-ryu. It was not like the Bond kind I remembered. We would do exercises and basics for an hour or hour and half then we would do sparing and kata.
Block, punch and kick. Learning katas was way to promotions. Added to that was attendance and sparing. Seems the idea was to keep improving on the basics, done every class, preform katas over and over. Still felt something missing.Also in thoes classes talking and or questions were not allowed.
After a few different schools, couple knee operations and a stroke. I began training with Bill Adams at a local center. He and I had trained as white belts in original dojo, we had taken separate trails since. Still under same instructor lineage.
As this dojo closed, a youngster by the name of Mike Patrick invited us to train with him. Mike had also trained under same lineage as I had but, as I found out, he had expanded his knowledge. Now kata was taught correctly.Weapons were introduced. Real kata bunkai, was taught and something altogether differnt was introduced. Pressure points, Chinese medicine, yin-yang, five elements. Now maybe after 20 years I was learning Karate.In 1998 I attended a Master series taught by the DSI. GM Muncy and GM Moneymker were teaching in Powell Tennessee at GM Wheeler's dojo. A new world was opend up. There is much more to Karate than punch, block and Kick.
Fast forward to 2015 and I was honored to becoe an Assistant DSI instructor. Now after all these years I had finally reached A Starting Point in the quest to learn Karate.
Ranks & Certifications:
- 4th degree Torite Jutsu
- 6th degree Isshinryu karate
- Taoist Tai Chi
- Combatix Defensive Tactics
- Assistant instructor DSI
Military Awards & Designations
- Bronze Star with V device
- Bronze Star 2nd award
- Purple Heart
- Vietnam Service Medal with Silver Star
- Vietnam Campaign Medal
- National Defense Medal
- Army Commendation Medal
- Combat Infantry Badge
- Parachute Badge
Sensei Ciraco has developed a specialized program for children 4 to 6 years of age. He teaches “Bully Busters and Stranger Danger” along with basic skills to help the children mainstream into the traditional program. Sequential memory, balance, focus, courtesy and respect are the main goals of this program.
Sensei Ciraco’s varied program and range of knowledge teaches material from a few different styles of Okinawan karate. Goju-ryu Shorei-kan, Matsurmura Shorin-Ryu, and Hakutsuru White Crane. Through this structured program students are taught to channel aggression and to focus their energy along with learning important life skills. Children with learning disabilities concentrate better and drills that enhance their performance help to replace shyness with assertiveness. All of this helps to make positive attitudes that show up at school and at home.
Sensei Ciraco has dedicated himself to help preserve the ancient arts of Okinawa. He teaches and trains full time.
Ranks & Certifications:
- 8th Dan Okinawan Kempo Dragon Society International
- 7th Dan Okinawan Konanryu Kohokan Kyokai Organization
- 4th Dan in Torite Jutsu Dragon Society International
- Certified Instructor in Torite Jutsu Dragon Society International
- 3rd Dan in Yamanni Ryu Kubodo
- 2nd Dan in Shorei Kan Goju-ryu
Awards & Recognition:
- Michael Ciraco was awarded an 8th Dan in Okinawan Kempo and a fully certified international instructor by the Dragon Society International 2014
- He was awarded the rank of 7th Dan and title of Kyoshi by the Okinwan Konankyu Kohokan on January 1st 2009.
- Michael Ciraco is a Master Teacher (4th Dan) for the Dragon Society International.(December 2011)
- He was awarded a Shihan grade teachers license by the Universal Martial Arts Association in April 2011.
- Shihan Ciraco is also a 3rd Dan in Yamane Ryu Kobudo.
- Shihan Ciraco trained with Kyoshi Chuck Chandler for 12 years learning many White Crane karate katas and Matsumura Seito Shorin-Ryu Karate.
- He also holds the rank of 2nd Dan Shorei-Kan Goju-Ryu 1996
- 2009 Inductee Universal Martial Arts Hall of Fame.
- Regional Instructor of the Year. His dojo has been the winner Best Martial Arts on the Grand Strand WMBF News many times.
- 2009 Superior Leadership International Shurite Yudansha-Kai
- 2008 Sensei of Merit International Shurite Yundansha-Kai
- 2007 Professional Martial Artist Shurite Yundansha-Kai
- 2005 Renshi grade teachers license Okinawan Konanryu Kohokan.
- USANKF Official Referee and Judge, AAU Successful Coaching Principals 1999.
- CPR and First Aid American Heart Association.
- 1974 Ex Captain and Engineer Village of Mamaroneck Fire Department.
- Shihan Ciraco is a retired engineer of the Murrells Inlet Garden City Fire Department.
- Shihan Ciraco has been teaching on the Grand Strand since
- 1992 and began his martial arts career in 1986. He and his black belts continue to teach stranger danger and bully buster programs for the Horry County School System Shihan Ciraco has produced many high caliber Black Belt instructors who help to teach classes under his direct supervision.
- Shihan Ciraco and his students have won more than 25 National and World Championships in numerous traditional karate tournaments.
Ciraco’s Dojo is a member of the USA/NKF. His students have also competed in the AAU and the World Okinawan Championships. The competitors have been extremely successful winning over 20 National and World Titles.
From humble beginnings to humble endings, countless hours of research and application of the dynamic forces internal and external to the human mind, body and spirit. Charlie Dean began martial arts studies 40 years ago with the Korean Marines (ROK) White Horse Battalion in Vietnam, 1970. Charlie is a founding member of the DSI.
After returning to the United States, Charlie began searching for martial arts training commensurate to previous war time training. Many institutions visited found to be lacking in his specific requirements for further study.
The search took an unexpected turn when fate intervened in 1984 and through work related travel to Waynesboro, Va., Charlie met Rick Moneymaker on a job site. The young Texas engineer was immediately the target of intrigue due to a set of ‘warty’ boots (full quill ostrich) and a friendship was bonded. There were many of these extended trips to Waynesboro and Charlie was looking for weights to work out in his apartment when Rick offered up his nautilus center. This led to common interests in martial arts being recognized and being introduced to Tom Muncy and the To-Ri Martial Arts system.
From these events, real martial arts training began. Training exclusively with Tom Muncy and Rick Moneymaker, Charlie was awarded Shodan in 1985. Tom and Rick being true innovators of the arts, totally open to share with all who have the openness to learn, exposed Charlie not only to their specific styles but many greats such as Wally Jay, Remy Presas, George Dillman, Ed Hampton to mention a few.
Charlie fully comprehending the invaluable information and real foundation building research, carried this to his local Texas area finding many attracted to the beneficial training. Texas To-Ri was born. Tom and Rick were destined to make many trips to Texas.
Charlie’s work continued to consist of out-of-state travel where martial arts were ever reaching. Another chance encounter occurred in the 1988-90’s in Phoenix, Az., through an entertainer at a resort hotel.
Mike Anderson was performing and conversation during his break established another friendship.
Martial arts, eventually, was a topic. At the time Mike was studying with Mike Wall, of Robert Trias’s USKA. The excitement was abuzz after learning of Charlie’s studies and it was arranged for him to teachan introductory class at Mike Wall’s school. This resulted in several things.
The meeting of another tremendous martial artist and friend, Master Mike Wall.
An introductory mystery guest in an unmarked gi, being another tremendous martial artist, Ray Fisher. (claims I picked oh Him).
An opportunity to introduce Rick Moneymaker to the Phoenix, Az. Martial arts in future visits.
It was learned that Ray Fisher was head instructor for Tomas Conner’s TRACO International. He indicated that he would like us to present our arts to his school. This resulted in getting Rick Moneymaker to visit the area with Charlie. It was at this time that they worked with Ray, Peter Hill and Charles Stanley. Ray, eventually, founded ACS Martial Arts and the solid friendship carries on to date as a prominent, creative, contributing innovator of the Dragon Society. Charlie, personally, gained invaluable knowledge from Master Ray Fisher, who, so freely, opens his doors of knowledge to those that have the desire to learn.
The Phoenix trips continued into the 1990’s. Charlie’s personal friends, Mike and Cathy Anderson, were inspired to continue the martial arts with the sharing of their version of the arts. What began with one-on-one training in the backyard of their home, drew students to the ideas and vision. This endeavor grew to the opening of Goshin Karate and Judo Academy in October 1991. A success story that continues today.
Afforded by the fulfilling times in Phoenix, other avenues for development came in greatness. Charlie had the opportunity to work with and learn from the extraordinary, Taika Seiyu Oyata in hosted seminars.
Charlie studied and learned Tai Chi Chaun fundamentals from Master Willie Lim in Phoenix, AZ. Master Lim’s teaching aided in resolving some inherent issue to the development and generation of chi energy.
Charlie studied and learned Hsingi fundamentals from Ed Hampton in Blacksburg, Va. Ed is a phenomenal, advanced master of Hsing-I, Ba-qua and Tai Chi that far exceed what is commonly available today in the arts. His concepts and insights provided missing links that only he could fill. Ed having made several trips to Texas with his wealth of deep knowledge to share, established the Texas Energetic Movement Arts with close friend, Randy Fuller.
Throughout this period of martial arts research and development, Charlie delved into the deeper energetic and spiritual nature of the human anatomy. Technologies advanced, research aids and compiled experiences gave opportunities not available in the past and give solid credence to the application of ToriTe Jutsu and it’s development. There are answers to many unanswered questions.
There is a creator and there is a design. Small steps to understanding this design is worth the effort.
Charlie continued to promote the ideas developing in the martial arts and as Tom Muncy and Rick Moneymaker’s roles in Texas continued, there were visits to the Houston area schools of martial artists.
Charlie held seminars and taught at Houston area schools including: Al Garza’s Martial Arts, Young Brother’s Tae Kwon Do - Master David McCloskey, Karate USA – Master Mike Tucker.
It was during this period that five martial artists came together to determine how to pass on the knowledge and research that was awakening through in-depth, studies and real techniques being shared by a few dedicated martial artists. The Dragon Society International was formed. Charlie is proud of his co-founding role in the Dragon Society and of all it’s members. Tom Muncy and Rick Moneymaker are exclusively this generation’s leaders and developers to these martial arts enhancing concepts.
Charlie says, “I would not have wanted to miss knowing what we have learned for anything else in the world.”
Ranks & Certifications:
- 5th Degree Black Belt in Okinawan Kempo
- 5th Degree Black Belt in ToriTe Jutsu,
- 1st Degree Black Belt – Korean National Federation of Tae Kwan Do. Martial Arts
- Advanced studies include KyuSho Jitsu, Tai Chi, Hsingi and Modern Arnis
- Dragon Society member and co-founder.
Ray Fisher (1961-Present) began his training in the martial arts in February 1977 in the internal styles of Taoist and Tibetan Chi Kung. He began his external martial arts training in February 1982 in Chinese Kenpo at TRACO International Schools of Self-Defense under the tutelage of Peter Hill and the direction of Grandmaster Tomas Connor. In addition to Kenpo, Professor Fisher’s training also included boxing and kickboxing under Tomas Connor II.
Due to the unfortunate and untimely passing of Grandmaster Connor in 1989, Professor Fisher continued his training under the direction of Master Connor’s son –Tomas Connor, Jr. On June 28, 1990, Professor Fisher was promoted to Shodan (1st degree black belt) in Chinese Kenpo by a panel of Grandmaster Connor’s senior students including Tom Connor Jr., Mr. Bill Packer (American Kenpo Karate Academies), Peter Hill and Steve Hansen.
Apart from the styles taught at TRACO International Schools of Self-Defense, Professor Fisher also trained in Aikido under Sensei John Takeji while a student at ASU. In addition to these arts, he has also studied Tai Chi Chuan, Danzan Ryu Jujitsu, Hsing-I Ch’uan, Kajukenbo and Kyusho Jitsu Okinawan Kempo.
He currently holds the rank of Rokudan (6th degree black belt) in Kenpo Jujitsu (American Jujitsu Institute), Rokudan (6th degree black belt) in Chinese Kenpo (Five Fingered Fist Society), Godan (5th degree black belt) in Kyusho Jitsu Okinawan Kempo (Dragon Society International) under Grandmasters Rick Moneymaker and Tom Muncy, Shichidan (7th degree black belt) in the Goju-Shorei Weapons Systems under Grandmaster Dave McNeill, and Shodan (1st degree black belt) in United States Kajukenbo Association under Richard Hurtado.
Professor Ray Fisher was the first person to be awarded a black belt in the Goju Shorei Weapons Systems (as a long distance student) outside of Grandmaster Dave McNeill’s home dojo in Nevada. He was then granted the honor of being the first instructor (outside of Grandmaster McNeill’s dojo) who could test and promote students in the Goju-Shorei Weapons System.
In April 1992, he was recommended by two of his instructors (Richard Hurtado and Ben Lomeli) to attend a closed black belt seminar in Hsing-I Ch’uan and Kajukenbo hosted by Dr. Vincent Black. At that time, Professor Fisher was tested and awarded the rank of Shodan (1st degree black belt) by the United States Kajukenbo Association. His testing panel included Adriano Emperado and Joseph Holke, two of the founding members of Kajukenbo.
Professor Fisher was introduced to the principles of Kyusho Jitsu in July 1990 at a seminar that featured Master Charlie Dean of Silsbee, Texas. He immediately recognized the value of this knowledge and saw that it was a missing answer to many of the questions he had in the martial arts. Kyusho Jitsu was THE link that would connect his various studies and gave him a deeper understanding of the martial arts.
Under the tutelage of Grand Masters Rick Moneymaker and Tom Muncy, Professor Fisher was able to blend together the various aspects of his training with an emphasis towards the hidden art of Tuite. He was awarded Shodan (1st degree black belt) from the To-Ri Karate Institute on February 22, 1992. On February 5, 1994, he was promoted to Sandan (3rd degree black belt) in Kyusho Jitsu from "The Masters" (Grand Masters George Dillman, Wally Jay, Remy Presas, Rick Moneymaker and Tom Muncy) in Houston, Texas at a national seminar.
Today, Professor Fisher is the head of Arizona Ch’uan Fa Society, which is located in Chandler, Arizona. For the past 34 years, Professor Fisher has been an extremely active member within the martial arts community. He has taught martial arts at grade schools, middle schools, high schools and colleges in the greater Phoenix area. Seven of his students have won National Champion titles in Kumite (sparring), Kata (forms) and Kubudo (weaponry). His students have also captured over 75 state championships. Professor Fisher was an avid tournament competitor for many years and has won numerous grand championships. He also is a two-time Arizona State Champion in Kata and Kubudo.
- Taoist and Tibetan Style Chi Kung
- Chinese Kenpo
- American Kenpo
- Okinawan Kempo
- Kenpo Jujitsu
- Iron Body Qi Gong
- Torite Jutsu
- Kyusho Jitsu
- Tai Qi Ch’uan
- Hsing – I Chuan
- White Crane Kung Fu
- Kick-Boxing (World Kickboxing Association)
- Western Boxing
Ranks & Certifications:
- 7th Degree Black Belt (Goju- Shorei Weapons System)
- 6th Degree Black Belt (Five Finger Fist Society)
- 6th Degree Black Belt (American Jujitsu Institute)
- 5th Degree Black Belt (Dragon Society International)
- 5th Degree Black Belt (United States Karate Alliance)
- 3rd Degree Black Belt (Dillman Karate International)
- 1st Degree Black Belt (United States Kajukenbo Association)
Awards & Recognition:
- Certified - Touch For Health energy balancing – Level III
- Certified – Seifukujutsu – Level II
- Certified – Reiki Practitioner – Level II
- Certified – Instructor / Seifukujutsu (Hihon Kaifuku Amma) – Level I
- Professor Fisher was the first person ever granted a Seifukujutsu teaching license by the American Jujitsu Institute (prior to receiving their Level III practitioner’s license). His teacher, Professor Ken Eddy, requested and was granted special permission by the A.J.I. Board of Directors to award this honor in June of 2001.
- Elected to Who’s Who in America – 1996
- Co-Authored the Torite Jutsu Reference Manual – 1997
- Elected to World Martial Arts Hall of Fame – 1999
- Elected to United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame – 2003
- Co-Authored “The Edge – Teaching of a Karate Master” - 2013
- Youngest graduate in the world (at that time) of the Evelyn Woods Speed Reading Course -1974
- B.S. in Geography at Arizona State University – 1985
- Adjunct Professor at Southwest College of Naturopathic Healing Arts 1996-1998
- Adjunct Professor at Mesa Community College (2005 to present)
Testimonials for Grandmaster Ray Fisher:
“I have had the great privilege of training with Master Ray Fisher for approximately the past twelve years. Master Fisher’s students are all exceptionally fortunate to have the good fortune of training and receiving his wealth of knowledge to facilitate one’s ability to be the best martial artist they can be.
Master Fisher possesses a level of passion for the arts that is unparalleled! His manner of imparting knowledge makes learning, practicing and further imparting that learned knowledge to others a joy as his love for the arts is infectious!
As an atypical student in the arts, I began my journey, perhaps, much later in life than many students and I attribute my ability to have come so far a tribute to my teacher, Master Fisher. For without his guidance, patience, and absolute love for the arts, most likely I would never have been able to achieve as much as I have at this point in life.
In summation, all of Master Fisher’s students are truly blessed to be so fortunate to be in the company of such a extraordinary man.”
Mr. Jim Tulin - 12/31/2010
"Ray Fisher’s 33 year professional martial arts career is a shining example of what the arts are about. Ray’s cross training has rewarded him with Black Belts, awards, and knowledge from several disciplines. He has been able to pass on this deep understanding to his students resulting in many state and national champions, which epitomizes what a martial arts teacher aspires to accomplish. We are proud to have him as one of our Certified Instructors and look forward to spending many more years with him on our studies."
Grandmaster of Dragon Society International
"I have known Ray Fisher for over twenty years and have received instruction in Kenpo karate, Goju-Shorei weapons, tai chi and Seifukijitsu from him. I have found that his dedication and enthusiasm for the martial arts is as unwavering as his genuine desire to help others in becoming better practitioners. His knowledge of meridians and acupressure points is integrated into all styles that he teaches -- hands on, and with teaching aids. I am both grateful and honored to be able to call Professor Fisher, both my instructor and my friend."
"Ray Fisher's thirty plus years of experience in the martial arts as a full time teacher and school owner/operator really speaks for itself. Ray has always considered himself a student as well as a teacher. He is open minded about martial arts and has elevated himself in several empty hand arts as well as weapon arts. He has received numerous honors and awards for his dedication to the practice and teaching of his art and has been an asset to the Dragon Society International organization since its inception. It has been a pleasure to work with such a dedicated student of martial arts."
Prof. Tom Muncy, Grandmaster
Dragon Society International
"I have had the pleasure and honor of knowing Ray Fisher for over 2 decades. During that time, I have found him to be a martial artist driven for knowledge and an instructor that strives to serve his students. I have watched Ray overcome personal tragedies and challenges that would have defeated lesser martial artists.
Mr. Fisher's knowledge of the art and service to others is why I give my endorsement to him. His addition to your organization will add further credit to you and your work. If you have any questions or, if I may be of further service, please do not hesitate to contact me."
American Institute of Kenpo
9431 East 22nd St. #161
Tucson, AZ 85710
(W) (520) 298-9805
"Master Ray Fisher has been a long time student of Goju-Shorei Weapons and a long time friend. He is also the highest ranked active member of Goju-Shorei Weapons System.
Master Fisher’s commitment to Goju-Shorei Weapons System, and to his students, have set a high mark for the many schools in the System. Master Fisher is the person I turn to for editing of the written curriculum of our system and his eye for details is much appreciated.
Any student advancement under Master Fisher you can be assured was earned. His tests are hard, comprehensive and fair, and he asks no less of himself.
Dedication and High Standards are the hallmarks of Master Ray Fisher."
Soke, Goju-Shorei Systems
"I recommend Ray Fisher as the Kenpo master that he is. He has high quality expectations of his students; which is reasonable as he maintains high quality in his own performance. He can expect accuracy in kata and techniques because he maintains the accuracy in his own demonstration. When he pushes his students athletically, it is reasonable because he maintains the athleticism himself.
He cares more about the maintenance of quality in student training than in just making money, which is evidenced in his absence of testing fees. He cares about both the art (as well as the martial aspects) in the system in addition to caring about the students. In all matters, he is an excellent example of a martial arts master."
"To the Directors and Members of the illustrious Dragon Society,
This letter is to endorse my friend, student and fellow martial artist, Sensei Ray Fisher. I have known Sensei Fisher for over 16 years and have related to him through the martial arts as well as on a personal level.
Sensei Fisher is a man of true integrity and has demonstrated many times his respect for all people. He has compassion for all and a commitment to high moral standards; he maintains the ideals that strengthen and support the martial arts and the community. He has done all of this as he raised a family by himself (a difficult task for any single parent).
Ray trains very hard and strives for perfection in all of his endeavors.
Sensei Fisher is an excellent student and is a friend that can always be counted on in times of distress.
I consider Sensei Fisher to be an excellent representative for the martial arts community and an asset to any group or community in which he participates."
Prof. Kenneth Eddy, AJI
"Master Ray Fisher has been an extraordinary influence on my life. I first met Master Fisher in 1992 when I walked into ACS Karate. At the time, I knew very little of what to expect but he sat me down and went over my goals and how he would be able to help me attain them. About 6 months later, Master Fisher sat me down for a talk that I will never forget. To paraphrase, it went something like this: "Mr. Gale you have talent but are not taking your training seriously. If you decide to continue with ACS, I will train you personally but you need to re-commit yourself. If you do not want to continue, I will rip up your contract right here on the spot."
I guess that's exactly what I needed to hear. 18 years later I am grateful that he took the time to even give me the opportunity. Master Fisher has changed my life. One of the most important lessons I learned from Master Fisher is to take what the Martial Arts has taught me and apply it to everyday life. There is not a day that goes by that I do not apply some principle or strategy that was taught to me.
I am extremely thankful that he is in my life and I have seen hundreds of students changed for the better by Master Fisher. Now that I have been training for this length of time and have been introduced to the world of Martial Arts, I now realize what a true Martial Artist Master Fisher is. He continues to amaze me with his knowledge and his drive to continue to learn and better himself, both externally and internally. Master Fisher is an amazing man and I want to Thank you Sir… from the bottom of my heart for putting me on the right path and making sure I stuck to it."
Nova Home Loans
Senior Loan Officer
Phil Peplinski proudly served 8 years with the US Air Force. His duties there included Law Enforcement and Criminal Investigation, Autopsy, Accident Investigation, and In-Flight Photography. His more than 25 years of martial arts, tactical weapons, and defensive tactics training is extensive. He worked Emergency Room Security with Tampa General Hospital where he took control of prisoners for medical clearance, controlled psychiatric patients, and maintained a secure environment in the Level 1 Trauma Center. He has since provided training in tactical weapons and defensive tactics, instructed a SWAT unit, and nightclub security (including the largest night club in Tampa). Phil Peplinski is a Certified Abduction Prevention Instructor and was a presenter at the Central Florida Tactical Conference 2010, 2011, 2012. He is the owner and Head Instructor of US Taekwondo Hapkido in Seffner, FL and is the Chief Combatives Instructional Officer with Marshall Protection & Investigation/Marshall Services. Phil Peplinski holds black belts in Taekwondo, Hapkido, and Torite-jutsu, In fact, his school boasts the largest concentration of Torite-jutsu black belts in the country. Phil Peplinski is on the Board of Directors of the American Hapkido Federation, is the recipient of the 2006 World Head of Family Sokeship Council Black Belt Hall of Fame Instructor of the Year Award, the 2010 WHOFSC Black Belt Hall of Fame Outstanding Contributions to the Martial Arts Award, and is a Featured Dragon Society International Certified Instructor. Master Phil is the Korean Arts, Tactical Combatives, and Advanced Pressure-Point Theory and Application Advisor for The Willow-Oak Martialist Academy. In 2014 became a certified NRA pistol instructor. Phil Peplinski is also the founder and creator of Practical Hapkido and is recognized by the WHOFSC as such.
- Tactical weapons and defensive tactics training.
- Private security Specialist for Tampa General Hospital
- Black Belts in: Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido and Torite Jutsu
- Board of Directors American Hapkido Federation
- World Head Of Family Sokeship Council “Instructor of the Year”
- World Head Of Family Sokeship Council “2010 Outstanding Contributions to the Martial Arts Award.”
- Law Enforcement Defensive Tactics Instructor
- Weapons and Hand to Hand Tactics Instructor
- Private Security Hand to Hand Instructor
- Kid Safe Network “Certified Abduction Prevention Instructor.
- 15 years extensive study of street level confrontations
- Founder and creator of Practical Hapkido
Ranks & Certifications:
- 9th Dan Practical Hapkido
- 6th Dan Taekwondo
- 4th Dan Torite Jutsu
- Certified School Attacker Response Course instructor
- Certified Abduction Prevention instructor
- Certified NRA pistol instructor
Jon has dedicated the last 30 years of his life to the acquisition of Martial Arts knowledge and techniques. His main focus is in the disciplines of; Karate, Self Defence and Self Protection incorporating aspects of Kick Boxing, Muay Thai, Kali, Boxing, and ToriteJutsu (pressurepoints).
Always on a quest with a great thirst for knowledge he is currently studying Kali, JKD and Jun Fan Gung Fu under the tutelage of Rick Young and BJJ under Lucio Rodrigues & Paul Hartley.
He is also a Coach with the British Combat Association under Peter Consterdine and Geoff Thompson
Jon is one of only two people in the UK to have Active Instructorships with the Dragon Society International.
Jon often teaches security staff from both civilian, blue light and military organizations where he incorporates aspects of Karate Jutsu to give participants some easy to use and more “Bang for the Buck” applications for threat removal.
Apart from his involvement with the BCA, Jon also runs the Karate Jutsu Association which concentrates on the adaptation of Karate techniques to real life situations whilst maintaining vast aspects of the founding karate principles.
Ranks & Certifications:
- 7th Dan Karate Jutsu
- 7th Dan Shotokan Karate
- 4th Dan Torite Jutsu
- 3rd Dan Freestyle Karate
- 3rd Dan Kick Boxing
- Level 3; Coach, British Combat Association
- Chief Instructor; Karate Justsu Association
- Kyoshi; Karate Jutsu Association
- Full Instructor; Dragon Society International
- L3 Coach; Core Combat
Awards & Recognition:
- UK Martial Arts Hall of Fame 2015
Testimonials for Jon Ryley:
"I’M ALWAYS IMPRESSED WITH A CLUB WHICH RECOGNISES BOTH THE IMPORTANCE OF SOUND BASICS, BUT ALSO THE REQUIREMENT TO ADAPT A TRADITIONAL EASTERN MARTIAL ART TO THE DEMANDS PLACED ON US IN THE WEST TO COPE WITH VIOLENCE AS IT HAPPENS IN TODAY’S WORLD!
YOUR CLUB HAS ALWAYS EMBRACED THE BEST OF TRADITIONAL STANDARD JON, BUT BEEN PROGRESSIVE AND EXTREMELY OPEN TO THE CONCEPTS AND STRATEGIES OF PERSONAL SECURITY AND THE NEED FOR INTENSIVE TRAINING.
THIS LATTER PREPARES YOUR STUDENTS FOR THE REALITIES OF THE STREET AND NOT MANY CLUBS WILL EMBARK UPON ‘REAL’ HARD CORE TRAINING – WELL DONE!
ON A CLOSING NOTE, I FULLY ENDORSE THE TRAINING REGIME OF JON RYLEY, AND HAVE HAD THE PLEASURE OF RUNNING OPEN TRAINING COURSES AT JON’S CLUB IN MAWDESLEY, LANCASHIRE. THE BCA RECOGNISE AND HAVE GRADED JON RYLEY TO 6TH DAN KARATE JUTSU, 5TH DAN SHOTOKAN KARATE AND 3RD DAN KICK BOXING."
PETER CONSTERDINE, 8TH DAN, KYOSHI
JOINT CHIEF INSTRUCTOR
BRITISH COMBAT ASSOCIATION
"I HAVE KNOWN JON FOR AROUND 7 YEARS AND HE RUNS A WELL ORGANISED AND EFFECTIVE MARTIAL ARTS ASSOCIATION, I HAVE HAD THE PLEASURE TO TRAIN WITH JON AT HIS CLUB FREQUENTLY OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS, AND I’M ALWAYS SURPRISED BY THE SKILL LEVEL AND OPENNESS TO NEW CONCEPTS. JON IS A GOOD COACH AND MOTIVATOR AND I WISH I HAD KNOWN HIM WHILST I WAS FIGHTING, HE WOULD HAVE BEEN IN MY CORNER."
HEROL “BOMBER” GRAHAM
EX BRITISH, EUROPEAN AND COMMONWEALTH MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPION
"I HAVE HAD THE PRIVILEGE TO KNOW JON RYLEY SINCE 1997. DURING THAT TIME JON HAS RAPIDLY EXPANDED HIS KNOWLEDGE OF TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE (TCM) AS APPLIED TO THE MARTIAL ARTS. HE HAS A WEALTH OF EXPERIENCE IN THE MA HAVING 5TH DAN SHOTOKAN AND SEVERAL OTHER HIGH DAN GRADES IN VARIOUS DISCIPLINES.
HE IS A MOST ACCOMPLISHED MA WITH A SUPERB ATTITUDE. JON WAS AN OCFM INTERNATIONAL COACH FOR OVER 4 YEARS, THE TOP LEVEL IN THE OCFM
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT PEOPLE GO TO TRAIN WITH JON, HE HAS AN OPEN MIND A WILLINGNESS TO HELP OTHERS AND JUST AS IMPORTANT HE LISTENS TO WHAT YOU WANT FROM YOUR TRAINING AND LISTENS TO WHAT IS REQUIRED.
NOT ONLY IS JON A FINE MA HE IS ALSO A GENTLEMAN WITH THE TRUE VALUES OF HONESTY, INTEGRITY AND HONOUR THAT ARE A RARE COMMODITY IN THESE TIMES. ALWAYS TRUE TO HIS WORD AND HIS BELIEFS I FEEL PRIVILEGED TO BE ABLE TO CALL JON NOT ONLY A MA COLLEAGUE BUT A FRIEND AS WELL."
OCFM PRINCIPAL AND INTERNATIONAL COACH
"I HAVE BEEN INSTRUCTED BY AND TRAINED WITH JON SINCE 1995, HE IS A GREAT TEACHER AND IS ALWAYS TRYING TO FURTHER HIS ALREADY VAST KNOWLEDGE OF MARTIAL ARTS. HE IS ALWAYS TRYING TO HELP AND BETTER THE PEOPLE HE WORKS WITH IN ANYWAY HE CAN WHICH IS A BRILLIANT QUALITY. IT’S BEEN A PLEASURE KNOWING, TRAINING AND GROWING UP WITH JON."
KARATE JUTSU ASSOCIATION
"I HAVE KNOWN JON PERSONALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY FOR OVER 12 YEARS. HE IS AN EXCELLENT MARTIALARTIST AND AN EXCELLENT CHIEF INSTRUCTOR. I HIGHLY RECOMEND TRAINING WITH JON OR WITH ANY OF HIS STAFF IN HIS ASSOCIATION."
“I MET JON A FEW YEARS AGO IN CYPRUS ON A TRAINING CAMP. ON MY FIRST IMPRESSION OF MEETING HIM I TOOK AN INSTANCE LIKING TO JON. I WAS PARTICULARLY IMPRESSED WITH HIS INTERPERSONAL SKILLS. JON IS ALSO AN EXCEPTIONAL MARTIAL ARTIST AND UPHOLDS VERY HIGH STANDARDS. I HAVE KEPT IN TOUCH WITH JON AND MEET UP AND TRAIN WITH HIM WHENEVER I CAN. I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO THANK JON FOR ALL HIS HELP."
4TH DAN KARATE JUTSU
ASSISTANT CHIEF INSTRUCTOR, KJA
"I’VE BEEN FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO BE A MEMBER OF THE KARATE JUTSU ASSOCIATION (KJA) AND CORE COMBAT FOR JUST OVER FOUR YEARS NOW. I TRAVEL 30 MILES THERE AND BACK TWICE A WEEK TO TRAIN, EVEN THOUGH THERE ARE NUMEROUS CLUBS ON MY DOOR-STEP. I BEGAN TRAINING IN VARIOUS MARTIAL ARTS AT THE AGE OF 5 AND SPENT BASICALLY TWENTY YEARS TRYING TO FIND SOMETHING THAT I REALLY LIKED. AT A TIME WHEN I NEEDED IT THE MOST, I DISCOVERED THE KJA AND HAVE NEVER LOOKED BACK. IT IS A WARM AND WELCOMING CLUB WITH STRONG VALUES AND IS THE MOST PROGRESSIVE, FORWARD LOOKING CLUB I HAVE EVER TRAINED AT. I URGE ANYONE WITH A DESIRE TO LEARN TRUE MARTIAL ARTS TO COME AND TRAIN WITH THE KJA.?"
KARATE JUTSU ASSOCIATION
I HAVE BEEN TRAINING WITH THE KARATE JUTSU ASSOCIATION AND CORE COMBAT FOR MANY YEARS NOW AND HAVE ENJOYED EVERY MOMENT. THE MARTIAL ARTS TAUGHT AT THE KJA/CC APPLICABLE TO REAL LIFE SITUATIONS AND EVERYONE IS ALWAYS WILLING TO ADVISE AND ASSIST. ALL TOGETHER THIS IS A FANTASTIC CLUB.?
KARATE JUTSU ASSOCIATION
"JON RYLEY IS A FOCUSED AND DEDICATED SELF PROTECTION INSTRUCTOR, JON AS INSTRUCTED ME FOR THE LAST 10 YEARS IN SELF DEFENCE/ PROTECTION WHILST ALSO BEING HEAVILY INVOLVED IN HIS MARTIAL ARTS ASSOCIATION WERE I HAVE LEARNT WESTERN BOXING AND THE FILIPINO MARTIAL ARTS JON NOT ONLY TRAINS IN PHYSICAL SELF DEFENCE AND OFFENSIVE COUNTER ACTIONS BUT ALSO IN MIND CONTROL AND MENTAL AWARENESS I WOULD STRONGLY RECOMMEND JON AS AN INSTRUCTOR IN LIFE’S PHYSICAL AND MENTAL CHALLENGES AS HE HAS HELPED ME IN MY BUSINESS AND PERSONAL LIFE."
CORPORATE CLIENT FROM DELARUE PLC
"JON, IS AN EXTREMELY TALENTED, DEDICATED AND WELL-DISCIPLINED INSTRUCTOR. HE HAS BEEN INSTRUCTING MYSELF AND MY DAUGHTERS IN MARTIAL ARTS FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS. WE ALL THOROUGHLY ENJOY THE TRAINING AND TEACHING METHODS EMPLOYED BY JON AND CONTINUES TO ENRICH US IN ALL ASPECTS OF OUR LIVES."
STUDENT ON THE CORE COMBAT PROGRAM
"I TRAINED UNDER JON AT HIS KARATE CLUB FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS, ONLY LEAVING WHEN I MOVED AWAY FROM THE AREA. I HAVE TRAINED SINCE IN A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT PLACES, NONE OF WHICH CAME CLOSE IN COMBINING EXPERT KNOWLEDGE AND INSTRUCTION WITH A PERSONABLE AND RELAXED TEACHING STYLE THAT WAS ADAPTABLE TO EACH STUDENT’S LEARNING STYLE WITHOUT EVER COMPROMISING ON CHALLENGES OR STANDARDS. BUT THE PRACTICAL SIDE OF THE MARTIAL ARTS, THOUGH VALUABLE AND ENJOYABLE AS TAUGHT BY JON, WERE SURPASSED BY THE TRAINING AND EDUCATION JON PROVIDED, STILL WITH ME TODAY, IN MENTAL RESILIENCE, DETERMINATION, AND COMMITTMENT. THE MARTIAL ARTS WERE THE MEDIUM IN WHICH JON TRAINED THESE SKILLS, BUT THEY ARE NOT LIMITED TO USE IN THAT MEDIUM. JON HAS A KNACK OF IDENTIFYING THE STRENGTHS IN AN INDVIDUAL OR AN IDEA AND TURNING IT INTO A SUCCESSFUL PACKAGE THROUGH THE RIGHT COMBINATION OF MOTIVATION AND CHALLENGE. I CAN’T RECOMMEND THE KARATE CLUB HIGHLY ENOUGH – BUT BE PREPARED TO WORK HARD AND BE CHALLENGED AND THE SKILLS LEARNED ARE APPLICABLE TO MUCH MORE THAN JUST THE MARTIAL ARTS"
GRADUATE OF THE KJA
Dave has been training for over 25 years since 1988, starting out with Tang Soo Do and Hapkido in high school, to Tae Kwon Do, Arnis and Jujitsu in college, and eventually to Okinawan Kempo with Torite Jutsu, and also JKD and Krav Maga.
Having moved around (and starting over at a new school/academy, sometimes in a new art) roughly every 4 years, I was never in one place long enough to earn Black Belt in a given system/school. It wasn't until I settled down in Hamilton NJ and trained consistently ever since with GMs Stinger, Muncy, Moneymaker, Morales and the rest of the DSI crew.
So whenever anyone asks me how long it took me to get a Black Belt, I always reply "almost 20 years" which is the truth! Students often get a kick out of that story, and I make sure I tell them that a Black Belt is a White Belt that never quit, as I'm living proof.
Notable Instructors, Training Partners from 1987-2001 : Grandmaster Mark Kline - Kali-Arnis and Jujitsu; Professors Wally Jay and Leon Jay - Small Circle Jujitsu; Grandmaster George Dillman - Ryukyu Kempo and Kyusho Jitsu; Grandmaster Jiho Choi - Tae Kwon Do; Grandmaster Y.B. Choi - Tae Kwon Do
Notable Instructors, Training Partners and Seminars 2002 – Present: Grandmasters Rick Moneymaker and Tom Muncy – Co-founders of Torite Jutsu; Sifu Bob Jones – J.K.D. Art of the Blade, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu; Dean Lister - Brazilian Jujitsu; Grandmaster Chris Stinger, Sensei Earl Simkunas, Master Tony Adreanidis – Hamilton Martial Arts; Manny Sosa - Krav Maga; Grandmaster Doug Pierre - Kali Arnis; Master Buddy Morrison - Firearms; Grandmaster Ron Van Browning - MMA and Self Defense; DSI Masters & GrandMasters Rusty McMains, Michael Patrick, Wayne Adams, Bill Adams, Alex Ormaza, Gary O’Neil, Ken Miksch, Jon Riley, David Hansford, Mike Ciraco, Ian Waite, Luis Morales, Frank & Michelle Aneese, Scott Mercer, Joe Aldridge, Sharon Barna, Tobe Hewitt, Phil Peplinski
Ranks & Certifications:
- 4th Dan Okinawan Kenpo
- 4th Dan Torite Jutsu
- Certified Instructor DSI