Master Gene Buxton
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