Ron Rogers, Hanshi

Grandmaster Ron Rogers began his martial arts training in 1961 with Franklin T. Booth. Booth Sensei was a 4th degree black belt in Kodokan Judo and a 2nd degree black belt in Shotokan Karate. Grandmaster Rogers trained with Booth Sensei from 1961 until Booth's transfer in 1964. Rogers Hanshi’s next instructor was Tamanaha Sensei in Okinawa. Rogers studied with him briefly in 1965 at Kadena Air Force Base. Finally, in 1971, Rogers Hanshi began training with Leo D. Wilson, Kancho. The instruction was in judo. Later, Wilson Kancho began teaching jujutsu and karate, as well as – much later – Eagle Claw Kung Fu. Originally, Wilson Kancho referred to his art as “Jujitsu/Karate,” making no distinction between the two. In Rogers Hanshi’s fifty-one years in the martial arts he has achieved rank in Jujutsu (Judan), Karate (also Judan), Judo/Yudo (9th dan), Aikido (7th) and 4th Level in Eagle Claw Kung Fu. He was also awarded the title of Master Official in Chikara Age Kai. When he became headmaster of Midori Yama Budokai, protocol gave him the distinction of “being beyond rank,” and he was entitled to promote up to 10th degree black belt in all MYB systems. Though technically permissible, he has always deferred promotions in all arts in which he had not received rank to those training in them. He also defers promotions to those who have received higher rank in those arts in which he held rank. He has studied boxing, wrestling (Free-style and Greco-Roman) and five styles of knife fighting. As a defensive tactics instructor for Lansing Correctional Facility, he has been certified in PPCT for law enforcement. In addition, he has been certified in the Monadnock Side-handle Baton System and the ASP baton system. Also, he has been certified as an instructor in the PSI side-handle, straight baton and collapsible baton systems. Other areas in which he is certified are as a chemical agents instructor and firearms instructor. He is also a certified Red Cross CPR and First Aid instructor, and has completed the Red Cross Instructor Candidate Course for CPR and First Aid. He graduated he University of North Alabama with a teaching degree and spent ten years in public and parochial schools. He began as a corrections officer for Kansas State Penitentiary (now Lansing Correctional Facility), retiring as a corrections counselor after twenty years of service. Rogers Hanshi was co-founder of Midori Yama Budokai and organized the requirements for judo, karate, jujutsu and aikido. As Technical Director (later National Technical Director), Rogers Hanshi compiled a cross reference of terminology from different schools, ensuring a common means of communication among styles. This was a 120 page self-published booklet. From 1976 until 1984, he kept records for all MYB promotions. In 1974, he was honored to receive the Presidential Sports Award for judo from President Richard M. Nixon. Three years later, in 1977, he received the Presidential Sports Award for karate from President Jimmy Carter. In 1980 he represented the United States Judo Association for the Midwest, and received recognition of Professor of Jujutsu in 1981 by Midori Yama Budokai. AAU recognized the title of Professor that same year. He developed a series of defensive tactics against a knife and a series of defenses for women trapped in restricted areas. Recently, on May 27, 2006, he has been awarded recognition in the World Head of Family Sokeship Council International Hall of Fame, during which, he was recognized as Soke of Midori Yama Budokai. At this same time he received 9th degree black belt in Yudo, the highest rank in Korea at the time. One of his proudest accomplishments was an award from MYB on 6-10-2006: “Midori Yama Budokai takes this opportunity to recognize the contributions of Ronald L. Rogers, Co-founder and Sensei in the martial arts for 45 years. Your insatiable quest for knowledge and your commitment has been a true inspiration to the students of MYB ‘on and off the mat.’” He was supported by his lovely wife, Garie Rogers, who has since passed away. There are three children and eight grandchildren, ranging in age from a few months to eighteen years of age.
Ken Baker, Hanshi

Baker Hanshi started his training in 1970 in the United States Marine Corps. He enrolled in a jujitsu class taught by Albert C. Church, Jr. After his tour in the service he returned home and enrolled in tae kwon do classes as well as an aikido class taught by Dr. Andrew Williamson. Over the years he had the opportunity and pleasure to train with Robert L. Taylor in tae kwon do, with Ron Rogers, Hanshi in karate, judo and jujutsu, with Leo D. Wilson, Kancho in Jujutsu and Eagle Claw Kung Fu, with Bill Marron, Hanshi, Dan Kennedy, Hanshi, and Larry Williams, Hanshi in Okinawan Kenpo, Okinawan Kobudo, and Hawaiin kempo. He currently is studying under Howard High sensei in Jinmukan kenjutsu and iaijutsu and under Grand Master Fred Lazo in Luzviminda Arnis. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of the Midori Yama Budokai.

He presently holds the following ranks: Karate (10th), Eagle Claw kung fu (9th Hi-Master), Jujutsu (9th), Aikido (9th), Kobudo (9th), Tae Kwon Do (9th), Hapkido (8th), Okinawan Kenpo (3rd), Aiki-Jujutsu (2nd), Luzviminda Arnis (2nd) and Judo (1st).

Larry Williams, Hanshi

They say there is nothing like The Garden on a fight night. We are talking about Madison Square Gardens, the world’s most famous arena located in Manhattan in New York. Many have fought in the world’s most famous ring and we are proud to present our own MYB Hanshi Larry Williams as one of those who fought about 20 fights in the Gardens against some of the world’s greatest including Victor Moore, Louis Delgado, Howard Jackson, and Thomas La Puppit, to name a few. He continued his professional career fighting across the nation with other great fighters such as Chuck Norris, Jim Harrison and Joe Lewis. Hanshi Williams is shown below with a 1st place trophy with Thomas La Puppit at Madison Square Gardens.
Larry Leon Williams was born on September 4, 1938 in Monett, Missouri. He was one of seven children born to James and Irene Williams who raised their children in Independence, Missouri. He began his marital arts by accident. At age 15 years old he joined a Judo Class being taught at the high school gymnasium by Richard Yenni. This was just the beginning for the 6’ 2” tall 9th grader’s martial arts training. He would continue his long martial arts career becoming a professional fighter. At age 18 he was drafted in the Army and served in Okinawa and Vietnam. On May 26, 1959 he married Caroline Hubbard, his childhood friend and neighbor in Independence.
With his first assignment in Okinawa he continued his training in a karate class taught by Master Nishiyama then on to Vietnam where he trained with Robert Henderson in Shorin-Ryu. Upon returning to the United States in the early 1960’s his professional career began.
He began fighting with fellow competitors such as Chuck Norris as seen in the next photo at the Ed Parker’s Long Beach Nationals in the mid 1960s. This was one of Chuck Norris’s first fights and Hanshi Williams won! In his professional fighting career, Hanshi Williams won 88 professional fights, 74 of which were knockouts and the others by decision. He lost only two fights and that was to Joe Lewis. The United States Karate Association USKA organized and maintains documentation of these fights. Hanshi Williams has received black belt ranks in several styles, which includes Matsubayashi Shorin-Ryu, Shotokan Karate, Pai Lim Kung Fu, Okinawan Kenpo Kobudo, Jujitsu and Eagle Claw.
His experiences in the ring were what Pat Burleson stated was the “period of competition justifiably called the "Blood-'n'-Guts Era" of American martial arts. Although the rules stated certain grounds for disqualification most competitors and officials alike ignored them. Fighters were constantly kicked out of the rings. Broken bones and the drawing of blood were common place in the rings.” From his beginning fight with Chuck Norris to his last professional fight with Monster Man Everett in 1981 there are many stories yet untold. He won his last fight with Monster Man Everett but suffered major head injuries that would not let him continue in the professional ring. So from that day forward Hanshi Williams utilizes the martial arts teaching regarding training, attitude, and tenacity to show his students how to turn their individual lives and their martial arts training into success.
Ruth Wilson, Kyoshi

Jack Allbritten, Hanshi

Allbritten Hanshi got his first taste of martial arts as a boy, studying boxing and then karate in Birmingham AL. He later continued to expand those experiences while serving in the US Navy, especially during his service in the Korean War era. After earning his first black belt while in the Navy, Hanshi returned to Birmingham, where he enrolled his two sons in Shotokan. Then transferring to Huntsville opened up a whole new martial arts world, when he was introduced to Grandmaster Leo Wilson, Shihan and his dojo on the top of Green Mountain. Here he found a martial arts family in the growing organization Midori Yama Budokai, where he took a leadership role and became the organization’s staunchest supporter over the years. He remained close friends with Wilson Shihan until the grandmaster’s death. After a move to Kansas, the Allbritten family continued to learn martial arts, this time karate with Roger Carpenter. Then back to Green Mountain to pick up the friendships and training of the MYB family. Eventually there came another move, this time to Winder GA, where the family of martial artists opened a dojo, teaching and promoting in the arts of Shin Nagare Karate and Shin Shin Jujitsu, through MYB. While continuing their martial arts learning and training, both sons became regular competitors. One of Jack Hanshi’s favorite tricks was to load the sons’ fighting gear into the trunk of the car, head out to “watch” some fights in Atlanta, then tell them they are actually there to fight! All three Allbrittens received their 10th dan ranks through MYB.
Carole Ivie, Professor

Professor Carole Ivie entered the world of martial arts in 1974, as a single parent of two, when she signed up her son for classes at the Winder Karate dojo in Georgia, owned and operated by the Allbritten family, Jack, Greg, and Jeff. Soon, mother, son, and daughter were working out together. Now, some thirty-three years later, Prof. Ivie can still be found in the dojo, her own or anybody else’s.
The Allbritten family taught Shin Nagare Karate and Shin Shin Jujitsu, and promoted in both those arts through the Midori Yama Budokai. Prof. Ivie continued with the Allbrittens, and subsequently taught in their school, until the dojo closed, some twenty-plus years later. It was during these years that she was introduced to MYB and its founder, Grandmaster Leo D. Wilson, Shihan, through the special summer clinics that were held on top of Green Mountain, Alabama, at the home and dojo of Wilson Shihan.
Originally, those clinics were held only for black belt instructors, to foster their learning and enhance their abilities, to be better instructors and leaders. Later, the black belts kept asking to bring favorite students, so that eventually the annual event was opened to all members. Although the clinics are no longer held on Green Mountain, and Grandmaster Wilson has since passed away, the organization thrives, and the legacy lives on.
During those early years as a martial arts student in the Allbritten dojo, Prof. Ivie also studied Judo with Larry Balkins Sensei in Conyers, Boxing and Kickboxing and Jujitsu with Gary Brown Sensei in Athens, and Aikido with Don Hunt Sensei in Athens, all in Georgia. A voracious appetite for reading and research has supplemented what she has learned in dojos, at seminars, and in clinics.
Along the way, Prof Ivie owned and operated her own dojo, the MYB Center for Martial Arts in Lavonia, Georgia, for seven years, and now teaches Jujitsu at the YMCA in Winder. In 1999 she finished a four-year-long project of writing and producing in book form the memoirs of Grandmaster Wilson, titled A Life in Motion, through which Wilson Shihan was able to pass down some of his life experiences, his martial arts knowledge, and his philosophies and scientific theories of motion. Later, in 2006, she finished a three-year project, working with Ron Rogers Hanshi to produce a second book of Grandmaster Wilson’s teachings, called Searching for Nine. Copies of both books can still be purchased through MYB Hombu. Prof. Ivie currently hold Hachidan in Jujitsu, Rokudan in Karate, and Shodan in Judo, first level Eagle Claw Kung Fu, Nidan in Yudo as well as professorship with MYB. Her philosophy of life: “Get over yourself and get out there. If you’re not learning, you’re not living.”
Laura Lang, Kyoshi

Laura Lang started her martial arts training with Professor Stan Mattson in 1987. That training intensified when Shihan Ron Alo and family moved to the area in 1988. She was promoted to Shodan in October of 1989 in Alo Kenpo Karate. Professor Mattson always encouraged his students to expand their martial arts knowledge and arranged travel and training opportunities for them. Laura was introduced to and trained with many top ranking instructors around the country including Ken Baker Hanshi, Dan Kennedy Hanshi, Bill Marron Hanshi, Roger Greene Hanshi, Larry Williams Hanshi, and Eduardo Rodriquez Sensei. In 1993 Professor Mattson decided to start teaching more of what Shihan Alo taught in the 1960s and early 70s before Alo Kenpo was developed. He wanted to retain more of the concepts originally taught by Professor Chow and restructured the criteria to focus more on self defense. He formed Cobra Karaho Kempo and Aiki Jujitsu and shortly thereafter he and his organization joined the Midori Yama Budokai. Laura Lang continued to study with Professor Mattson as well as other instructors whenever travel would permit and has earned rank in Jujitsu, traditional Okinawan weapons, Arnis DeMano and Eagle Claw Kung Fu in addition to her Hawaiian Kempo certification. Prior to his death on September 18, 2001, Professor Stan Mattson designated Sensei Lang to be his Karaho Kempo successor after conferring with Professor Marron and Rodriquez who were her Hawaiian Kempo seniors, In February 2006, the MYB awarded her the rank of 6th degree black belt and the title of Kyoshi.