Protect Your Most Valuable Asset, Yourself and Those You Love

Do You Have Mama Bear Mode in You?

We all see a Lack of Respect in society today. Sometimes we look the other way, but:

99% of parents will never overlook an attack on their own child.

‘Mama Bear’ mode is Instant !

If we can do this for our child or spouse, shouldn’t we also do it for ourselves? A few skills is the answer.

Pacific Shaolin Kenpo, Academy

“Respect and Self-Respect are very Important skills to learn. Using Respect will always lead to personal Gain. But, Dis-Respect always leads to Loss”. ~John Kraft~

John Kraft, Sue Messenger, Cindy Kraft, Jenny Kraft, Bob Alexander, Ben Galeana, Pacific Shaolin Kenpo, 1995

Our School

Pacific Shaolin Kenpo, Aberdeen, Washington was founded by former classmates Sue Messenger and John Kraft and the full support of their Families. In 1993, Sue was a 3rd degree Shaolin Kenpo Black Belt with 16 years experience and John Kraft, a 3rd degree Shaolin Kenpo Black Belt with 23 years experience.

In 1994 our school was accepted into the ‘The International Shaolin Kenpo Association’. In 1995, Sue and John were both awarded 3rd degree Shaolin Kenpo Black Belts as instructors in good standing with the Association. .

To all of us, Joining the International Shaolin Kenpo Association meant the sky had just opened up and the Sunshine was on the way! Our ability to learn and grow was only limited by our own drive. We began our student – teacher relationship with San Francisco Martial Arts Legend, Great Grandmaster Ralph Castro. We were Honored to become the ‘1st Shaolin Kenpo School’ Sanctioned by ISKA in Washington State. Sue retired in about 2000.

Today, my Son and I and several of our Black Belts continue to be both student’s and teacher’s. Our personal education continues to expand. We are Blessed to train under some of the top Self Defense Teachers and programs offered today, both Nationally and Internationally.

This training includes: Personal Awareness safety training, Reading body language, and the Psychology of Self Defense.

Hands on training besides Shaolin Kenpo are: Basics in Kajukenbo with Master Sonny Pabuaya, C.O.B.R.A. Certification with Combat skills, Threat Detection & Active Shooter with Daniel Barretto, trainer of the Harris County Sherriffs Dept. in Houston, Tx, and world class Seminar Instructor, and Women’s Self Defense awareness and training with 10th Degree Grandmaster July Catro-Steinhorn.

Thanks to my friend Bill Hunter from B.C., a 6 or 7 time world champion, I train regularly with Jack Felton, or ‘Coach’. Jack is considered by Black Belt magazine as one of the greatest points fighters of all time. He has Titles in 3 Leagues. Many of his students are chosen for the US National Team and represent the USA Worldwide.

The Family at Pacific Shaolin Kenpo believe we learn from our students and that everyone has something to offer. We just need to listen to hear what they have to say. Remaining open allows us to learn and grow because everyone has something to teach.

“Respect and Self-Respect are very Important skills to learn. Using Respect will always lead to Gain. But, Dis-Respect always leads to Loss”. ~John Kraft~

John Kraft, Titles:
  • Northwest Representative to ‘The International Shaolin Kenpo Association’. Given to John by his Instructor, Ralph Castro. 2016
  • Sifu, or teacher.

It is an extraordinary Honor and taken seriously. I’m grateful to my teacher, Ralph Castro for the many good things he did for myself and my family. Our relationship grew and we eventually became dear ‘Friends’.

I treasure the time GGM shared with my Family and I on our visits to his home, his Seminars, and countless hours on phone conversations, he the teacher, I the student.

Loyal students of PSK continue to keep his legacy of Shaolin Kenpo alive by being involved and growing. Loyalty is everything in this world and our students deserve so much credit. Tried by Fire, many now have families of their own with children representing 2 and 3 generations of families in Washington State loyal to the Shaolin Kenpo family.

Our ‘bow of Respect’ to the High Ranking Black Belts in our style who remain Honest, and Loyal to our code. Gratitude to the Greater Martial Arts Community for your continued support and friendship.

Click the image to see full size.

Pacific Northwest Official Shaolin Kenpo (NOW)

About John Kraft

John Kraft is a student of Legendary Bay area Martial Arts Pioneer Ralph Castro. He is currently a 4th Degree Black Belt. At Ralph Castro’s passing in 2019, John became a student of his son Rob Castro. .


  • 1970, 11th grade, began Tae-Kwon do, Bryan, Texas.
  • 1978, Began in Ralph Castro’s Kenpo Karate, Aberdeen, Wa.
  • 1993, Awarded 1st Degree Black Belt Kenpo Karate by Maria Warwick.
  • 1993, Co-founded Pacific Shaolin Kenpo with 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.
  • Became ‘NBL’ Center Referee.
  • 1995 and 1996, Earned invitations to the Super Grands, Nationals and World Championships.
  • 1996, Tied 2 Current World Champions in regular time, Lost in overtime.
  • 1996, 1997, Ranked #4 by Sport Karate International ‘SKI’ in the Pacific Northwest Region.
  • 2015, Awarded Northwest Representative to The International Shaolin Kenpo Association,’ ISKA’, by Great Grandmaster Ralph Castro.
  • 2015, 16, 17, 18, Attended Masters Training Seminars in San Francisco.
  • 2016, Awarded a 4th Degree Black Belt.
  • 2018, Attended GGM Ralph and Pat Castro’s 65th Wedding Anniversary.
  • 2019, Memorial for Ralph Castro. 1 of 3 families invited to the Castro family private Memorial.
  • 2021, Founded The ‘Northwest Shaolin Kenpo Association’ as a legally register ‘non-profit’ in Washington State.
  • 2021, Northwest Shaolin Kenpo Association, or ‘NWSKA’. Moved forward with new strategies to reach local, National and International community to bring healthy and positive change.
  • 2022, With ‘Unity’ as a goal, and the help of our International Partners, we have achieved some success bringing Branches of Chinese, Japanese, Hawaiian and American Arts towards a new beginning and with connections under One Tree. Rebuilding our tree and finding our roots from the past has led to a new awareness that we are all Family.
  • 2023, The Shaolin Kenpo Family tree is currently being updated, bringing many broken branches into focus as 1 tree. Those without a home can now find one. Under the guidance and direction of GGM Rob Castro, and a hard working group of Professionals, a fresh breath is now with the Shaolin Kenpo Family. The Old is meeting the New. How exciting as we rebuild together for a bright new future in the upcoming 2023/2024.

John’s journey in martial arts began in High School in 1970 in the ‘Karate Club’ at Allen Military Academy in Bryan, Texas as a student of Tae-Kwon-do. Later, 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.

In 1993, the Kraft and Messenger Families opened Pacific Shaolin Kenpo in Aberdeen, Wa. At that time, Ralph Castro became John’s primary Instructor.

John believes his greatest accomplishments were the many friends and students gained from these years. Helping a student make it to a Black Belt legitimately is not an easy job, years of training and dedication are required by both the student and the teacher.

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 2 Current World Champions: 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 and Getting into the Ring with current 5 time World Champion Bill Hunter, tying in regular time, losing in overtime.

John’s take on the matches; ” These were great athletes, great fighters and veterans of the fight game. It was an experience I will never forget. I gained the skills to step into a ring with a Champions and I lost to the very Best”.

John earned 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.

What is Shaolin Kenpo?

Shaolin Kenpo Karate is a Traditional Art, meaning it has Deep Roots in the past, going back to the Shaolin Temples in China in the 1300’s and has a rich history with 22 Generations of Great Grandmasters in the Japanese Temples in Kenpo/Kempo in Japan. The Chinese and Japanese arts were blended in Hawaii, and through this blending, the students of these Chinese, Japanese and Hawaiian Masters traveled to all almost every country in the world including the USA. Shaolin Kenpo is a Progressive Art, meaning it adapts and changes to the current times, and it is continuously growing.

Ralph Castro’s Shaolin Kenpo Family Tree

Rank is Sanctioned by
The International Shaolin Kenpo Association (ISKA)

Click here for ISKA Tree

Ralph Castro

Maria Warwick

John Kraft

John Kraft’s Black Belt Awards

  • Jennie Kraft, 1996.

    2nd degree, 2017.

  • *Ben Galeana, 1996

  • Cindy Kraft, 1996

  • *Bob Alexander, 1996

  • Gabe Jacobus, 1998

  • Tom Mull, 1998

  • Ralph Delaney, 1999

  • Jason Bodey, 1999

  • Brandon Bodey, 1999

  • * Sam Kraft, 2015

    2nd degree, 2017

  • Dominic Keesler, Sept, 2020
  • Jeremiah Jones, Dec 2020

  • Scott Morrow, Dec, 2020

*Sam Kraft’s 1st degree was shared with Clay Micheau, as a co-signer to help Clay gain his 3rd degree.
*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.

Title: Great Grandmaster Rob Castro

Rob Castro’s training in martial Arts began at the age of 5, under 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 advanced together, 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).

Rob Castro’s story would be incomplete without including his Brother and Sisters. They have spent a lifetime in service to the
community, specializing in their fields. Each
of the ‘Magnificent 7’ have proven themselves to be involved in educating and improving the local community as team players.

There have been many Bruce Lee moments for Rob and his family. In 1964, one of 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 an advanced form called ‘Galloping Horse’, a dance his father created. This can be viewed on ‘Northwest Shaolin Kenpo Association Youtube channel’.

Tom Bleecker, co-author of ‘DRAGON, the Bruce Lee Story’ mentions Rob ‘as an 8 year old bringing the crowd to its feet with resounding applaud. Paraphrased and shared with full permission by Mr. Bleecker.

Rob is Kind, Easily approachable, and loves to teach, sharing his knowledge and experience. At his Fathers passing in 2019, Rob Castro assumed the role of Head of the Shaolin Kenpo Family. To schedule a Seminar with Rob, contact John Kraft at 360-470-2208 or leave a note on our comments.

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.