Sanctioned by

The International Shaolin Kenpo Association (ISKA).

“Respect, Self-Respect and Discipline are taught in our curriculum. Whenever we learn to use Respect for others we Always gain something. But, whenever we use Dis-Respect we Always lose something. Learning Respect leads to Self-respect, where we learn to Accept ourselves, even with our own flaws.” ~John Kraft~

The Art of Shaolin Kenpo

Shaolin Kenpo Karate is both a Traditional Art, meaning it has Deep Roots in the past, going back to the 1300’s, and is also a Progressive Art, meaning it adapts to the current times. Shaolin Kenpo has been changing since its beginnings and will continue to adapt and change with the times.

Karate, which means ‘Open Hand’ is from Okinawa and Japan and our lineage comes from James Mitose, while Kenpo was created by Professor William Chow and dates back to the Shaolin Temple in China. While living in Hawaii in the 1940’s, Chow and Mitose blended the two systems into what would become Kenpo Karate. A few Distinguished and notable students of Chow and Mitose brought the Art to Mainland USA and eventually developed their own ‘systems or styles’. They are Adriano Emperado (Founder of KaJuKenBo: a Blend of 4 styles; Karate, Judo-Jujitsu, Kenpo, Chinese Boxing). The 2 Main Kenpo styles developed in the US are from Senior Grandmaster Ed Parker (Founder of American Kenpo) and Great Grandmaster Ralph Castro (Founder of Shaolin Kenpo). Great Grandmaster Ralph Castro’s Shaolin Kenpo is taught through training drills or basics, Forms (choreographic techniques) and light contact sparring. Does it work in today’s World? Yes, Shaolin Kenpo is offered and taught WorldWide for Personal Self-Defense to Men, Women, and Children. Progressive versions are taught and used for Police training and in many Special Forces Units.

Pacific Shaolin Kenpo  Est. 1993

Pacific Shaolin Kenpo, Aberdeen, Washington was founded by former classmates Sue Messenger, a 3rd degree Black belt with 16 years experience and John Kraft, a 3rd degree Black belt with 23 years experience. A successful venture began with the help of our families, students, their families and our friends and fellow Martial Artists.

In 1994, we were accepted into the ‘The International Shaolin Kenpo Association’. Sue and I were thrilled and Honored to be accepted into this Association and began our training under the Martial Arts Legend, Great Grandmaster Ralph Castro. We were very Humbled to become the ‘1st Shaolin Kenpo School’ Sanctioned by ISKA in Washington State.

Our strengths have been teaching Adult Women and Men, Young Adults and Childrens Classes in Streetwise Self defense and in Sport Competition.

We are resilient and change with the times. While we still offer a full range of Self Defense in Shaolin Kenpo, we also offer instruction in other ways through private lessons and smaller group settings.  Our Instructors are constantly learning and growing while keeping up with current trends.

In 2015, John Kraft was awarded the Title and Position of Northwest Representative to ‘The International Shaolin Kenpo Association’ by Great Grandmaster Ralph Castro. As Teacher and Student, our relationship continued to grow from instructor to student to ‘Friends’. I treasure the many hours GGM shared with my Family and I on our visits to his home, ‘Masters Seminars’ and countless hours on phone conversations.

Although my partner, Sue, has retired, Black Belt Students and I have kept Pacific Shaolin Kenpo Alive and we are growing and still going. It is these loyal students who deserve so much credit. Beginning in their youth, they now have families of their own with children who are learning. We have 2 and 3 generations of families in Washington State loyal to Shaolin Kenpo.

Pacific Shaolin kenpo wishes to express our gratitude to those High Ranking Black Belts in our style and also in the Greater Martial Arts Community for your continued support and friendship. Aloha and Blessings!

Click the image to see full size.

Pacific Northwest Official Shaolin Kenpo (NOW)

Shaolin Kenpo Family Tree

Click here for ISKA Tree

Ralph Castro

Maria Warwick

John Kraft

John Kraft Black Belts

John Kraft’s Black Belt Awards

  • Jennie Kraft, 1st Degree, May, 1996

  • Ben Galeana, May, 1996*
  • Cindy Kraft, Oct, 1996
  • Bob Alexander, Oct 1996*
  • Gabe Jacobus, Black/Brown, Nov, 1996
  • Jeremiah Jones, Dec, 2020

  • Jason Bodey, Sept, 2000
  • Brandon Bodey, Sept, 2000
  • Sam Kraft, Aug, 2015*
  • Dominic Keesler, Sept, 2020
  • Scott Morrow, Dec, 2020

*Sam Kraft’s 1st degree was shared with Clay Micheau, to help Clay gain his 3rd degree and onto the FamilyTree.
*Clay Micheau received his 4th degree by Great Grandmaster Ralph Castro at the request of John Kraft.
*Bob Alexander, promoted to 2nd degree by Great Grandmaster Ralph Castro at the request of John Kraft.
*Ben Galeana, promoted to 4th degree by Great Grandmaster Ralph Castro at the request of John Kraft.

Great Grandmaster Rob Castro

Rob Castro’s training in martial Arts began at the age of 5, under the guidance of his father Great Grandmaster Ralph Castro, the Creator of Shaolin Kenpo and Founder of the International Shaolin Kenpo Association. Rob trained alongside his siblings Rafael “Boss” Castro, and 5 sisters; April, May, June, July and Mia. The Children all advanced together, and each has achieved very impressive accomplishments in Martial Arts. In their competition years, they were known as “Ralph Castro’s Magnificent 7” (Rob, ‘Boss’, April, May, June, July and Mia Castro).

Great Grandmaster Rob Castro’s story would be incomplete without including his Brother and Sisters. Of these, 4 have achieved the Status of Grandmaster, 2 are Professors. 3 have made careers teaching and Sharing Shaolin Kenpo. They have spent a lifetime in service to the
community, specializing in Children’s education and Women’s self Defense. They work with local Law Enforcement and Continuing Leadership Education. They have been in Martials Arts Movies, and have current Self Defense shows running on Art Camacho’s El Rey Network. Each
of the ‘Magnificent 7’ have proven themselves to be involved in educating and improving the local community as team players.

In 1964, the 1st International Karate Championships were held in Long Beach, California, This tournament was made famous when Bruce Lee demonstrated his 1 and 3 inch punch on a young Joe Lewis. Already a veteran at 8 years old, Rob performed ‘Galloping Horse’, for the first time, a dance his father created.

Throughout his 50+ years in the Martial Arts he has won hundreds of awards in Forms as well as Sparring competitions. He has taught seminars around the world with his Father. Rob is still active and continues teaching in 2021. At his Fathers passing in 2019, Rob Castro assumed the role of the leader of the Shaolin Kenpo Family. He has recently been promoted to Great Grandmaster.

About John Kraft

At the passing of our Beloved founder, Ralph Castro, John Is Honored and Humbled to be a student and friend of Great Grandmaster Rob Castro. Pacific Shaolin Kenpo, and its Instructors express our Sincere Gratitude to Rob Castro for helping this journey be a continued success.

1970, Began Karate in Tae-Kwon do, Bryan, Texas.
1978, Began in Kenpo Karate, Aberdeen, Wa.
1991, 1st Degree Black Belt, Kenpo Karate by Maria Warwick.
1993, Founded Pacific Shaolin Kenpo with co-partner Sue Messenger
1994, Accepted as a student of Professor Ralph Castro.
1994, Pacific Shaolin Kenpo Accepted into the International Shaolin Kenpo Association.
1994, promoted to 3rd Degree Black Belt.
1990 thru 1998, Sport Competition Years
1995, Presidential Sports Award
1995 and 1996, Earned invitations to the Super Grands, Nationals and World Championships.
1996, 1997, Became ranked at #4 by Sport Karate International in the Pacific Northwest Region.
2015, Awarded Northwest Representative to The International Shaolin Kenpo Association,’ ISKA’, by Great Grandmaster Ralph Castro.
2016, Awarded a 4th Degree Black Belt.
2017; The Northwest Shaolin Kenpo Association formed under the direction of Great Grandmaster and Mrs Pat Castro.
2017 to Present, John is President of The Northwest Shaolin Kenpo Association, ‘NWSKA’.
2021, Founded The Northwest Shaolin Kenpo Association as a ‘non-profit’ in Washington State.
2021, Moving forward with new strategies to reach the community in healthy ways.

John’s journey into martial arts began in High School in 1970 in the ‘Karate Club’ at Allen Military Academy in Bryan, Texas in 1970 as a student of Tae-Kwon-do. In 1978 he was introduced to Ralph Castro’s Kenpo Karate and became a student of Maria Warwick at Aberdeen Kenpo Karate, Aberdeen, Wa. John began teaching in the 80’s and began his Competition Years in 1990. With his friend and former classmate Sue Messenger, and the full support of Family and Instructors, the Kraft and Messenger Families opened Pacific Shaolin Kenpo in Aberdeen, Wa. in 1993. At that time, Ralph Castro became John’s primary Instructor.

John believes his greatest accomplishments and fondest memories were the many friends and students gained from these years. Some of John’s accomplishments were being Ranked #4 in the Pacific Northwest Region by Sport Karate International, ‘NBL’ and ‘ISKA’ , in Point Fighting in 1996 and 1997. That Region included; Washington, Oregon, Idaho, British Columbia and a portion of Montana. A highlight in October of 1996 was getting into the Ring with a Current 3 time World Champion, Mark Hicks, tying in regular time 1 to 1, only to lose in overtime with a final score of 2-1. Also, earning a  Presidential Sports award in 1995, and earning Invitations to 2 Super Grand Nationals and World Championships in the years 1996 and 1997. Many Students of Pacific Shaolin Kenpo won Top Awards at Local and Nationally Rated Competitions.

Tribute to the Warwick Family

Known and loved by many in California and Washington State. A Pioneer in Martial Arts, an example of how Women could also become Leaders in the Martial Arts Community. She was tough, strong and respected as a teacher. Rick and Maria Warwick established the first Kenpo Karate School in Aberdeen, Wa. in 1969. The school Aberdeen Kenpo Karate (1969 – 1983) produced many competent Black Belts, some have become World Champions.