Saturday, March 01, 2008

BBM's Most Admired

You may have wondered about the link and banner on the sidebar - it's promoting Black Belt Mama's Admired Martial Artists Month series. Well, that month is March, 2008, so head over there this month for more about:

Hanshi Heilman on March 3

Mr. Heilman has been a student of the arts since 1961. He holds ranks of 9th Dan in Karate, 9th Dan in Kobudo and 3rd Dan in Ju-Jitsu. He has been awarded his Hanshi (Grand Master Teacher) License in Karate & Kobudo and his Renshi (Teachers) License in Ju-Jitsu. He is Founder and President of the International Karate Kobudo Federation, President and Director of the Okinawa Kenpo Karate Kobudo Union, Founding Member and Vice President of the Union of Martial Arts Federations, and a past Board Member of Master Odo's Okinawa Kenpo Karate Kobudo Federation, and serves as a Board Member of four other traditional martial arts organizations.

Sandan Apsokardu-March 10th

Matthew Apsokardu has been a student of the martial arts for 12 years and has acquired the rank of 3rd Dan Okinawa Kenpo Karate, 3rd Dan Okinawa Kenpo Kobudo.  He has also studied Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Kenjutsu for 3 years.  Matthew has participated in various martial art/self-defense demonstrations and has taught for 7 years.

Kyoshi Heilman-March 17th

Mrs. Heilman is co-founder of the HKA, has been a student since 1968 and holds ranks of 8th Dan in Karate and 8th Dan in Kobudo. She has also been awarded her Kyoshi License making her one of the highest ranked women in the world and the highest in the Okinawa Kenpo system.

Kyoshi Hayes-March 24th

Major Hayes' teaching credentials as well as his red and white obi were personally awarded to him by his instructor, Grandmaster Eizo Shimabukuro of Okinawa. Bill Hayes is one of the most senior and well-known of the Grandmaster’s students and has dedicated much of his life to the study, preservation, and development of Okinawan martial arts. Major Hayes has appeared on the cover of OFFICIAL KARATE magazine and is listed in the Encyclopedia of Martial Arts (Martial Arts: Traditions, History, People). He has also appeared in England’s FIGHTING ARTS INTERNATIONAL and Norway’s SVARTE BELTE (BLACK BELT). He has demonstrated Okinawan Karate and weaponry on several television programs and is featured in the 1994 video GREAT KARATE INSPIRATIONS.

Bill Hayes has been inducted into both the Karate Masters' Hall of Fame and the American-Okinawan Karate Association Hall of Fame.  He is a charter member of the Marine Martial Arts Federation and is the recipient of both the NAACP's Roy Wilkins' Meritorious Service Award and the Marine Corps League's Distinguished Service Award, which were bestowed upon him as a result of his martial arts expertise.

Major Hayes is currently the Director of the Okinawan Shorin-ryu Karate-do Research Society and is one of the United States Marine Corps' three Subject Matter Experts on Close Combat, having been instrumental in the development of the Corps' new and highly touted Marine Corps Martial Arts Program.  He is an International Executive Distributor with the Pharmanex nutrition product company and strives to improve the connection between good health and good martial skills.  He lives, trains, and teaches in Stafford County, VA.

There will be more. I will try to link to, and give my impressions of the interviews and articles as time permits. Meanwhile, head over to Black Belt Mama for more.

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