Danny R. 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 Martin. Osu!!

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, Canada.

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.


Li Kum San Demonstrating Iron Forearm


Joe Martin and Sifu Alfredo Sui in Canada (1975)

 

 

 

 

The Science Behind Grounding

 


 

 

"Total Body Unity is Crucial"

In 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 1960s. 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.


The Silver Dragon Kungfu Academy on E 7th Street, Charlotte, NC
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 "Wing Tsun". 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 Kungfu.
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 Suis 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 48 years old 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 (Kicking Horse). 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 Grandmaster 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 last 45 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

The American Freestyle Karate can be divided into four categories of the martial arts:  traditional art form called kata, self-defense techniques called goshin waza, the art of weaponry called kobudo, and sport karate sparring called kumiteThese different facets of the AFSK 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.

The American 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 Shuri-Ryu, Shorei-ryu, Shorin-ryu, and Goju-ryu.  In February 2000, this tradition was acknowledged when Mr. Piddington was declared Headmaster of American Shorei/Shorin Karate by 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 divisions.  

The McCall's American Freestyle Shorei*Shorin Karatedo- Goshin Waza (realistic techniques against strikes and grabs) evolve from a variety of Okinawan, Japanese, Chinese, and Korean styles such as Shuri-ryu, Shotokan, Jiu-Jitsu, Kenpo, and Hapkido.  These self-defense waza are designed to be effective against an opponent from outside, to inside, to on-the-ground ranges.

McCall's American Freestyle Shorei*Shorin 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.

McCalls American Freestyle Shorei*Shorin 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 karate competition.

The AFSK is not just a fighting system of self-defense, 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 absolutely necessary.

The best self-defense is no defense!

The AFSK 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

*Musashi  nine principles for strategic Living

*Five Life Skills......

* McCall's Code of Conduct

I 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,

I have the ability to change my life.

 

 

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:

  1. Technique emphasis (more kicks than punches and that sort of thing)
  2. Instructor's preference (he's a big guy and likes punches more, etc.)
  3. The culture it came from (Japan, Korea, China, etc.)

First let's Review the cultural aspect.

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 kick-oriented art.

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.

AMERICAN - 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.

FREESTYLE - 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 overcome fear.

Weapons are included in our karate teaching. The whole idea is to be prepared for whatever an opponent may do.

McCall's American Freestyle Shorei*Shorin Karatedo 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!!

KARATE - 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 journey.

We have taken an Oriental art and have molded it to our culture, coming up with an American martial art. "McCall's American Freestyle Shorei*Shorin Karatedo " & "Tradition Mix martial Arts" was Founded by Danny R. McCall.

 

McCall's American Freestyle Shorei*Shorin Karatedo

 Kata

 LEFT PIVOT FORM - (Yellow Belt)

LEFT PIVOT FORM - (Yellow Belt w/Stripe) (17 seconds or less)

RIGHT PIVOT FORM - (Gold Belt)

RIGHT PIVOT FORM - (Gold Belt w/Stripe) (17 seconds or less)

H-PATTERN I - (Orange Belt)

H-PATTERN w/BO - (Orange Belt w/Stripe)

H-PATTERN II - (Green Belt)

H-PATTERN w/NUNCHAKUS - (Green Belt w/Stripe)

SISTER FORM - (Blue Belt)

SISTER w/SAI - (Blue Belt w/Stripe)

H-PATTERN III - (Purple Belt)

SASU BO KANDO - (Purple Belt w/Stripe)           

LION FORM - (Red Belt)

SAMURAI SWORD - (Red Belt)

BROTHER FORM - (Red Belt w/Stripe)

BROTHER w/TONFA - (Red Belt w/Stripe)

SWIFT LIKE THE DEER - (Brown Belt)

BROTHER w/Kama - (Brown Belt)  

SAN-CHIN - (Brown Belt w/Stripe)                                

ROYON BO YONDON - (Brown Belt w/Stripe)

SIDE PATTERN I - (Black Belt)

SHIHAN w/BO - (Black Belt)

 

 

Hanshi Respect!

*Revere your Art

* Respect the lesson

* Live a life with Honorable Virtues

* Teach the highest standards

*May your regrets be few and smiles be often

READ ABOUT KARATE RANK SYSTEM NAMES?

 

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