McCall's karate started in 1972 with learning Shotokan Karate &
Judo under Paul Storm in
Charlotte NC. It was then in 1972 began I study Li ka Kung fu with
Mr. Joe Martin and Buddy Springs. Then in 1974 was able to take
the li ka-Kung fu Black Belt test with Mr. Martin & a Board of
Black Belts. After a three day exam with
the first event was fighting three full Contact Karate rounds
with a rated Heavy weight. I would be awarded my first Black
Sash. Then I would do 4 years of Material
in one day. I had to wait three months to finally get promoted to
1st Black Sash in Li-ka Kung fu.
I want to thank Sifu Joe
Martin for all the hours he put into helping me to become a
Black Sash in li ka Kung fu. I learn a lot about testing
yourself....when he would wrestle that bear and catch arrows. I
never got to wrestle the Bear, But, I did catch the arrows.
I will always be grateful and have much Respect for Mr. Joe
First Kung Fu
Sifu Sui taught Kung
Fu in Charlotte, North Carolina in the 1960s
while attending UNCC. He continued teaching
in Charlotte until 1969 when he move to
California. A few years later he moved to
Richmond, Canada, just south of Vancouver,
Sifu Sui came to the USA from Lima, Peru.
The Chinese began migrating to Lima over 150
years ago. To give you an idea of the
Chinese population, there 6000 Chinese
restaurants in Lima.
There were three "family" styles (Li, Choy
and Kam) plus praying mantis taught at the
school in Lima. Sifu Sui taught principles
mostly from the Li family style (Li Kun San
was Sifu Sui's teacher) and therefore used
the Li Ka name for everything he taught here
in the United States.
Grandmaster Martin began as a student of
Sifu Sui in 1966. After Sifu Sui left North
Carolina, Grandmaster Martin continued
studying Li Ka Kung Fu under Sifu Buddy
Springs starting in 1971.
San Demonstrating Iron Forearm
Joe Martin and Sifu
Alfredo Sui in Canada (1975)
The Science Behind Grounding
"Total Body Unity is Crucial"
June of 1975, Grandmaster Martin traveled to
Vancouver Canada to visit his Kungfu master,
Alfreado Sui. It was his hope that Master
Sui would test his new abilities and award
him a higher rank in the Li Ka Style of Kung
fu; the style Mr. Martin had learned from
him in the late 1960’s. He lived with Master
Sui for awhile, training and demonstrating
some of the newly developed techniques he
had acquired from a few other teachers
(Hobbs, Stover & Phipps). Since Ki La was a
predominantly southern style of Kung fu, it
had few kicks above the waist. The other
styles were predominantly northern styles
and therefore had many kicks, most of which
were never used in southern styles. Master
Sui was impressed with the additional kicks.
Dragon Kungfu Academy on E 7th Street,
During the stay in Canada (1975), Master Sui
introduced Mr. Martin to Tai Chi Push Hands
and to several teachers in the area who
taught Wing Chun (Chinese: 詠春; pinyin: Yǒng
chūn; literally "Eternal Spring"), also
romanized as Ving Tsun or
Although he never had formal training in
Wing Tsun, he was taught many of the secret
principles of that art and later
incorporated those into Esoma
At the end of his training in Canada, Mr.
Martin was awarded the Second Star Black
Sash in Li Ka Kungfu. At that time he
demonstrated to Master Sui his teaching
methods, including the newly developed forms
he wanted to add to the existing forms from
the Li Ka Kungfu style. Mater Sui was very
please with his developments and encouraged
him to continue to create from his
experience with other methods. Master Sui’s
advice was to stop calling what he was
teaching “Li Ka”. There were so many new
northern methods of Kung fu included, that
he felt it should have its own recognition.
I began my journey to
Black Belt under GM Jerry C. Piddington in 1974. That is a story in
itself to be told at a later time. I was promoted to
shodan after learning the AOSK taught by Mr. Piddington along
with Mr. Robert Trias USKA Blessings, what an honor. The rest is
the history of my Relationship with GMP. I work in Karate
schools and help him build and
teach with Mr. Piddington leading the way in Charlotte.
Hanshi made sure I train with the best Fighters on the Planet
and I would become the co-captain of the Charlotte War Hawks.
This was one of the first professional Black Belt Teams on the
Planet and we fought all the other teams and retire undefeated
as a Team in 1978. Hanshi went back to California to be with his
family. I would start a school in 1977 and to this day teach two or
four times a week. But, remember that I was going to college
this whole time working on my Engineering degree. I graduated in
1980 and would continue to fight and work till 1987. It was then
I started Denver Recreational Marine and to this day have built
a Full line Boat dealership in Denver NC. I sold my second love
in January 2017 and went on to work on my first love in life
outside God and my Family -KARATE and our Students.
My Karate comes with over 42 years with training
with some of the best Martial Artist on the Planet. It was
Grandmaster Jerry C. Piddington that has made sure I have met
and train with the best Martial Artist on the Planet. I am so
grateful that our Love of the arts is just as strong today as it
was 45 years ago. No only is my Instructor but he is my
Best Friend and the Godfather to my Grandchild Maverik Daniel McCall
Hanshi Piddington has been involved in all my life events to
include my Daughters Wedding. We have been there and done that, he
show me the way. I will always follow the way of the warrior and
walk alone with God and the Bible. I also have been Greatly
influence by Funakoshi 20 Principles of Karate & Musashi 21 Life
Principles and the way of walking Alone.
Karate has been
taught in the United States since 1946, when
Robert A. Trias, known as the father of American
Karate, opened the first karate school in Phoenix, Arizona. Two
years later, Mr. Trias founded the United States Karate
Association (USKA), the first karate organization in America, with
almost every early top karate instructor in its membership.
My Chief & head Instructor for the
off an on for the last 42 years was
Hanshi Jerry C. Piddington
was declared the Headmaster and
founder of the American Open Style Karate
on May 2,
1972 under the USKA sanctified charter,
established by Mr. Trias, which was internationally ratified on
May 30, 1975. The American Open Style Karate is a blend of styles
acquired from many pioneers of modern day karate. The mechanical
principles, technical aspects, and psychological elements are
based on ancient arts of hand-to-hand combat.
Kara - Empty + Te - Hand = Empty Hand
American Freestyle Karate (which I developed in 1977)
divided into four categories of the martial arts:
traditional art form
self-defense techniques called
goshin waza, the art of weaponry called kobudo, and
sport karate sparring called
kumite. These different facets of the
allow students to focus on one or more areas of their individual
interest. I have always made sure our students understood
the difference between sport and combat. He who hesitates
mediates horizon. Do not stop till you win or they are Down.
Freestyle Shorei*Shorin Karatedo, Kata, the most formal of karate exercises (ancient weapons and
empty-hand) were created by Hanshi Piddington under the influence
of Okinawan styles of karatedo such as
Goju-ryu. In February 2000, this tradition was acknowledged
Mr. Piddington was declared Headmaster of American Shorei/Shorin
Hanshi John Pachivas, Grandmaster of Shuri-ryu Karatedo. The American Open Kata are
essential to a good mental and physical foundation of karatedo
basics. These kata are designed to compete with today's
tournament competition in the open and traditional form
Freestyle Shorei*Shorin Karatedo-
(realistic techniques against strikes and grabs) evolve from a
variety of Okinawan, Japanese, Chinese, and Korean styles such as
and Hapkido. These self-defense waza are designed to be effective
against an opponent from outside, to inside, to on-the-ground
Freestyle Karatedo- Kobudo consists of
ancient weaponry such as the bo and jo staff, oar, escrima,
nunchaku, sai, kama, and katana sword. Many of these weapons are
practiced at the Yudansha (black belt) level.
Freestyle Karatedo-- Kumite Techniques
(traditional kumite, point karate, full contact karate,
kickboxing, and Muay Thai boxing) come from many world champions. These sport karate sparring techniques are used in
reactionary drills and sparring, to condition students for sport
is not just a fighting system of self-defense (live time drills), physical fitness,
and competition. It is a true art, which stresses
character building, by instilling traditional values of
discipline, responsibility, confidence, humility, courtesy, and
respect. In return, the karate-ka will overcome their fears and
weaknesses, learning to avoid or walk away from a physical
confrontation, if possible, but defend themselves or others, if
The best self-defense is no defense!
is a way of discipline, not a religion. The spiritual aspects are
based on Christian biblical principles. Plus those from the PAST!!
*All students must
learn Funaskoshi's 20 Karate Principles and
principles for strategic Living
* McCall's Code of
am what I am because I choose to be. It is my choice to
decide the direction of my life. To hold any other
person or thing, responsible for who and what I am
is to cloud the truth. Knowing this to be true,
have the ability to change my
HOW DID IT START??
Since there are
so many different styles of martial arts, let alone
karate, I felt that an explanation of what the type
of karate do we practice at American Freestyle
Karate Club ?
"Karate" is a term made
up of two Japanese words, "kara" and "te" meaning
"empty hand". It is one kind of self defense system
from one country, Japan. Many countries have their
own self defense systems and some of them have many
systems. For example, China has over 450 systems of
Kung Fu. That's not counting the weapons arts and
wrestling they also have. Japan has over 200 types
of karate. So what is American Freestyle Karate? It
is an American type of karate. I'll explain.
While watching the
Olympics in 1974, they said "Freestyle ", "an event
that in swimming and they do what every it takes to
swim across the pool ? I thought, YEA! I want
to teach Freestyle Karate which will be what ever it
takes to defeat the opponent and teach the way of
walking alone, and strategies, plus character training . Having a Black
sash in Li ka Kung Fu and a Black Belt in Shotokan
Karate and Tae kwon do and American Open Style
Karate and Okinawa Karate at that time I took the
best techniques we had at that time and used them to
win tournaments and defend myself in life and deadly
street fights. These
are the best of the best and will work if you apply
with confidence. We
also know you will like some moves better than
others, so choose the best ones for yourself and
master the secrets those techniques. Make yourself
the best in a FEW.
Most styles of karate
differ because of the following reasons:
- Technique emphasis (more kicks than punches
and that sort of thing)
- Instructor's preference (he's a big guy and
likes punches more, etc.)
- The culture it came from (Japan, Korea,
First let's Review the
The Japanese martial arts
were governed by its principal weapon, the sword .
Sword fights usually lasted one or two exchanges.
Having study the Book of Five Rings and Appling the
strategies of fighting. Since the sword is just an
extension of the hand, those strategies apply to
hand & foot techniques and theories to the mental
portion of fighting, example is the "Glaze" . That has influenced the Japanese viewpoint so that
they emphasize the "one punch kill" coming from the
one cut kill.
This also came out of
Okinawa where they were taken over and ruled by the
Japanese. Only the Japanese were allowed weapons so
the Okinawa's had to develop a martial art that
could overcome someone who had a weapon and who wore
armor. They only had one chance so they developed
their fists to be as hard as stone so they could
break through the armor and kill their attacker.
Thus you would see the Tomoe on the shield of the
Okinawa warriors which we use to inspire our
students to earn the Tomoe.
In Korea, it is an insult
to punch someone in the face, but totally okay to
kick them there. This has given rise to a
You can see how the
culture that an art comes from tends to stylize the
art, effective within their area of expertise, but
vulnerable outside it. A kicker will be in trouble
if a wrestler gets inside of their kick and a
boxer's jab can frustrate a one punch artist.
In the U.S., We take what
works and apply it. We are not bound by a cultural
tradition, that is to say, doing it a certain way
because that was the way it's been done for years.
This idea was the beginning of American Freestyle
Karate. Now let's take a look at the title itself.
- I am an American teaching in America. I speak the
language and understand the Christian culture.
Although the Oriental values are more popularized,
the American Christian culture has many of the same
values; truth, hard work, respect, honesty, loyalty,
honor, and working together with others. These are
what we teach to our students, all good American
History and Christian values.
- This implies an inclusiveness of all the
possibilities in the Martial arts. If you can only
kick, you will be in trouble if a wrestler gets you
on the ground. There are limitations in an only one
or two way approach. American Freestyle Karate
includes punching, kicking, joint locking, grappling
moves as well as long range to close in fighting. In
short, any kind of possible fight situation you
might find yourself in is covered in our program.
The mind-spirit-body is also taught by AFKC as
without confidence you are defeated, thus we test
the human spirit with secrets to teach you how to
Weapons are included in
our karate teaching. The whole idea is to be
prepared for whatever an opponent may do.
is not a "take the best from each style" approach.
It's just one of being prepared to do battle. Plus
have respect and Character....You are what you are
because you choose to be!!
This is a term that is generally understood by all
Americans that means an unarmed martial art. Also,
it is the art that I studied. If I had studied
taekwondo (Korean style) or kung fu (Chinese style),
it could've ended being up named American Freestyle
Karate Kung Fu ... but it isn't.
This gives you the basic
viewpoint behind the name of the kind of karate that
we do. That it is an American style shows that the
evolution of it has continued.
When you study the
history of martial arts you will find that it
originated in India, spread up through China into
Korea and Okinawa, then into Japan. This is
basically the path of the art that has ended up as
karate. From there it was exported out to the
western world. Ours is one of the last legs of that
We have taken an Oriental
art and have molded it to our culture, coming up
with an American martial art. "McCall's
" & "Tradition Mix martial Arts" was
Founded by Danny R. McCall.