8th Dan, Phil Koeppel’s Karate, Illinois
In 1968 I walked into Phil Koeppel Karate on Main St at Sheridan in Peoria, IL at 20 yrs old. In 1969 I left for Basic training and AIT at Ft Bennington, Ga. When I came back home on leave Sensei had moved upstairs over the Madison Theater downtown Peo. When I finished and came back early 1970 it was the “ Infamous “ dojo on Knoxville Ave The training there was grueling and rewarding as well. In 1982 I started traveling with Sensei doing seminars and major competitions thru the 80’s ; 90’s ; 2000’s… I was the traveling Uki.
I traveled Europe 21 times England, Ireland, Romania (3) I filled in for Sensei judging at the Okinawa World Championships in 2009 Then I was off to Taiwan. Thru all my travels with him I met and trained with numerous Great 1st generation Masters… Kimo Wall Sensei ; James Logue Sensei & Oyarzun Sensei; Sherman Harrel Sensei , (Rip) The Great Doug Perry Sensei and Bill Hayes Sensei. ALL TRUE MASTERS .
In 2008 went meet Kimo Sensei in Memphis to meet and train with Sifu Liu , and continued to train with Sifu up until the “ plandemic “. I was so fortunate to have Kimo Sensei several times as my house guest at the farm. And Mr Liu would stay with me every year that he came to the states. Amazingly training was day and night no matter where we were at.
All my years traveling with Sensei, I was his “crumb grabber”. Collecting techniques and what knowledge I could from them all. Karate has so much to offer in life…if one is willing to live with an open mind…And that is what we should strive for and teach. I was always a selfish student collecting and training for myself and cared less about patches or rank. As Kimo always said “Train Hard -Train Often”.