Sensei Dave Butz
Rank: Yondan (4th Degree Black Belt) Received: 2003
Birth: 12-4-46 Washington,DC
Began training in Koei-Kan: 1983
Advice for new students: Train
Advice for advance students: Train
Greatest Martial lesson: Never give up
Favorite Martial saying: Every master has a master
Sensei Dave Keown
Rank: Yondan (4th Degree Black Belt)
Sensei Dan Fife
Rank: Yondan (4th Degree Black Belt) Received: Feb 2010
Occupation: Advance Manufacturing Die Engineer
Year began Koei-Kan Karate-Do: 1990
Brief Karate Background: After recovering for a shoulder injury that ended my dream of playing college football I decided to pursue a lifelong ambition of studying the martial arts. Coming from a wrestling background I wanted an art which include some grappling, but was also diversified enough to handle any situation that might occur. I found that art in Koei-Kan Karate-Do. As is the case with most beginning students my goal was to achieve the coveted rank of Black Belt. However, after achieving that goal I realized that there was still a lot that I needed to learn. Since then I have been on a journey in pursuit of not of some new rank or trophy because those come along the way, but rather in pursuit of the unattainable goal of mastery of the art.
Karate Accomplishments: 4th Place Green Belt Kumite 1992, 3rd Place Black Belt Kumite 1995, Heavyweight Champion Inaugural Frost Cup 1995, Lightweight Champion Frost Cup 2003, 2nd Place Black Belt Kumite 2003, 2nd Place Black Belt Bogu 2003, 3rd Place Black Belt Open Hand Kata 2004, 2nd Place Black Belt Heavy Weight Kumite 2004
Brief Personal Background: Happily married with three beautiful children.
Other Personal Accomplishments: B.S. in Economics, M.B.A. in Production / Operations Management, Certificate of Advance Language Studies in German, Certified Red X Journeyman
Advice for new students: Become a true student of the art and take advantage of every learning opportunity you can.
Advice for advance students: Teach! Not only does teaching allow you to share your knowledge and obtain a certain amount of immortality as the art lives on, but it will also point the way towards areas that require deeper study. Enjoy the journey.
Greatest Martial Lesson: It’s not the attainment of a new rank, but the pursuit of that rank that really matters.
Favorite Martial saying: Karate is more than just fighting, but never less.
Sensei James O’Kane
Rank: Yondan (4th Degree Black Belt) Received: 2010
Occupation: Global Closures Architect and Fellow – General Motors
Other Personal Accomplishments: MS Engineering Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1992 BS Electrical Engineering Oakland University 1984 Published Author of Numerous Technical Papers and Patent Holder
Advice for new students: Persevere, developing the training habit is a struggle for all karateka in the beginning. Once you have made training a part of your weekly routine, it will become more rewarding. Make a plan that has some flexibility to compensate for the ebb and flow of things that will compete with your training time. But get the training time in each week.
Advice for advance students: Seek to become a Budoka. Karate is more than learning to fight. Karate permeates your life as you strive to have the character built through martial arts practice shine through the person that you are. Daily acts of courage, kindness and integrity shines as a beacon for all who encounter you. Become a signpost for all that is good, not just your juniors in the dojo, but for all you come in contact with.
Favorite Martial saying: Isho or One Life A reminder in the sprit of the Samuria to do your best each day and to strive each day to make the world a better place.
Sensei Christian Benard
Rank: San-Dan (3rd Degree Black Belt) Received: May 2007
Occupation: Financial Planner
Year began Koei-Kan Karate-Do: 1993
Brief Karate Background: Wrestled in high school and started at the Utica Dojo after starting college
Karate Accomplishments: 2000 Bogu Champion, Kata, and Team Bogu, 1999 Second Place Bogu, 1 Kata, 1 Team Bogu, 1998 2 Kata, 1 Team Bogu, 1997 2 Kata, 1996 1 Kata, 1995 1 Kata
Other Personal Accomplishments: 2009 Detroit Marathon (3:54 minutes)
Advice for New Students: Stick to a disciplined schedule.
Advice for seasoned students: See above
Greatest Martial Lesson: It’s not the quantity of techniques it’s the quality
Favorite Martial Saying: Kukoro Nin Tai
Sensei Joe LaDuke
Rank: Sandan (3rd Degree Black Belt)
Sensei Mike Johannes
Rank: Sandan (3th Degree Black Belt) Received: 2010
Birth: 5-14-76 Macomb, MI
Began training in Koei-Kan: 1998
Brief Karate Background: I began my training after being introduced to the school by Jon Sauger, who was a form Butler Lacrosse Teammate of mine. I sensed immediately during my tour that Sensei Mason had great passion for his art. I soon found that it was contagious. I have been training ever since with one brief break due to an injury.
Brief Personal Background: I graduated from Butler University in 1998 with a Bachelors in Elementary Education. I taught 4th grade for 8 years before leaving teaching for sales. I married my wife Heidi in on July 17, 2003. My daughter Madison was born October 8, 2008.
Karate Accomplishments: National Champion in Bogu as a green belt; International Grand Champion Kumite and Bogu 2010
Occupation: Manager/Salesman for Detroit Lacrosse Company
Advice for new students: Get in the dojo as much as possible. The more you train the more you learn.
Favorite Martial saying: Koei-Kan Karate-Do is much more than fighting but never less!
Rank: Nidan (2nd Degree Black Belt) Received: Feb 2010
Occupation: Manager, Bio-medical Instruments
Year began Koei-Kan Karate-Do: 1996
Brief Karate Background: Began training as a young boy at the age of 10 in Tang Soo Do. Trained until the age of 13. First discoved Koei-kan from reading Sensei Jack Sabat’s book “Street Fighting”. Was recommended by a former instructor from my childhood to check out the Koei-kan dojo. The rest is history!
Karate Accomplishments: 2008 – 1st place Bogu champion, 2nd Place weapons,2nd place free sparring, 4th place kata. 2011 – 1st place weapons, 2nd place kata. 2012 – 2nd place bogu, 1st place free sparring, 1st place weapons, 2nd place kata.
Advice for new students: Train! If you get knocked-down, get back up!
Advice for advance students: Train, then train some more!
Greatest Martial Lesson: A true karate dojo is a microcosm life. What is learned there can be applied to all life experiences.
Favorite Martial saying: Die tomorrow.
Rank: Nidan (2nd Degree Black Belt) Recieved:
Birth: July 7th, 1968
Occupation: Computer Administrator Compuware/ Medic US Army
Year began Koei-Kan Karate-Do: 1988
Brief Karate Background: Koei-Kan all the way
Rank: Shodan Date (1st Degree Black Belt) Received: February 2010
Began training in Koei-Kan: 2005
Karate Accomplishments: 2011 2nd place Bogu, 3rd place Kumite, 4th place kata 2012 3rd place Kumite, 4th place kata, 4th place weapons
Advice for new students: The hard way is the best way. Never give up, continue to train hard and regularly. The journey is difficult but rewarding.
Advice for seasoned students: If you reached your goal in Karate, don’t stop. Continue training hard, Karate is a peakless mountain.
Favorite Martial Saying: Nana korobi ya oki. Seven time down eight times up.
Rank: Shodan (1st Degree Black Belt) Received: Feb 2010
Occupation: CPA, Tax
Began training in Koei-Kan: 2008
Brief Karate Background: I decided to join Koei-Kan I became interested in the Koei-Kan system after watching my husband’s (then boyfriend’s) brown belt test. While a bit nerve wracking, based on my past exercise experiences, I felt I had the coordination, and would enjoy the aerobic activity. While the system definitely delivers a great work-out, what I did not expect was the bond you achieve with fellow dojo-members, and the strong sense of accomplishment you earn as you learn to fight and advance through the ranks. It really becomes exciting as you gain experience and are able to land moves on people who are bigger and faster than you through the use of technique.
Karate Accomplishments: Green Belt All-Around Grand-Champion, Tai-Kai 2009 Gold medalist Women’s Black Belt Bogu – Tai-Kai 2011, Silver medalist Women’s Black Belt Kumite – Tai-Kai 2011, Silver medalist Women’s Black Belt Kumite – Tai-Kai 2012, Silver medalist Women’s Black Belt Bogu – Tai-Kai 2012
Advice for new students: Fighting can be frustrating at first, but believe me, your Sensei and dojo members are there to help you reach your full potential. Don’t be afraid to get out there and give it your best.
Also keep in mind that this is a journey, and it’s not an easy one. If it was, as Sensei often says, “everyone would do it.” While not easy, it’s a very rewarding journey – one that often times students finds helps them outside of the dojo (hence the “Do” in Karate-”Do” meaning path or way). For example, I find myself handling stressful situations more calmly and thoughtfully, and I have more confidence in certain situations. It’s very exciting to see new student progress and the sense of pride and confidence they achieve.
Advice for seasoned students: Advice for seasoned students: Remember that with everything, there will be highs and lows to your training. There were be times when you will feel that your progress has slowed. If you keep going and give it your all, you will improve! The key is to fight through the low times.
Also remember that fighting with people less experienced, in addition to those more experienced than you, is important. This will allow you to try out different combinations without feeling as pressured. It will also get your dojo mates involved, strengthening the bond in the dojo and making it a more enjoyable place to grow.
Greatest Martial Lesson: If you’re smaller or slower than those you fight, be the dolphin (versus the shark). Move in and out, and circle to the outside of your opponent. And set up your kicks! Especially those from your back leg – otherwise black belts will see them coming from a mile away.
Favorite Martial saying: Saru mo ki kara ochiru, “even monkeys fall out of trees”
Rank: Shodan (1st Degree Black Belt) Received: 1998
Occupation: Financial Advisor
Year began Koei-Kan Karate-Do: 1980
Brief Karate Background: Only Koei-Kan
Karate Accomplishments: Every belt I made was an accomplishment. Everything I learned also
Other Personal Accomplishments: Taking over the family firm and increasing the size five fold.
Advice for New Students: Listen to your Sensei and older students. Train with all you have. Give 110%
Advice for seasoned students: Never lose the spark that got you started. Understand that the more you know learn, the less you know. That there is always something new to learn.
Greatest Martial Lesson: You can never tell who you are dealing with just by looking at them
Favorite Martial Saying: It is acceptable for the body to fail, but it is never acceptable for the mind to give up