John’s Journey in Martial Arts
John’s Journey began in High School in 1970 in the ‘Karate Club’ at the Allen Military Academy in Bryan, Texas, being 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 learning how to teach in the 80’s and began his Competition Years in 1990.
In 1993, the Kraft and Messenger Families opened Pacific Shaolin Kenpo in Aberdeen, Washington. 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.
John feels Blessed that his family and both Children, son Sam and daughter Jenny were involved with this sport as they were growing up and is proud of their accomplishments both then and now. They were instrumental in every aspect of our schools development and overall success.
“I can not say I was the Best, but I can say I tried my Best and had fun doing it. I loved everything I learned from being in the ring, and learned more from my losses than the wins, each loss becoming a stepping stone to future wins”.
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 came in October of 1996 when my name was called to step 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 competition and 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 Champions”.
John earned a Presidential Sports award in 1995, and through competition, Earned Invitations to 2 Super Grand Nationals and World Championships in the years 1996 and 1997.
Many Students of Pacific Shaolin Kenpo also won Top Awards at Local and Nationally Rated Competitions.
“I am so proud of each of these students who were brave enough to step into that ring”.