1st Dan – Okinawan Shorinryu & Isshinryu Karatedo
Sensei Damon Feltman began studying under Kyoshi Bateman in January 2004 after taking several years off from training. He began his study of martial arts in Starkville, MS, in 1988 while in college. It was there that he saw the sign, “Once your naked feet enter a dojo, you have entered for life.” Only later did he learn how true that sign was.
After earning his Shodan in Isshin-Ryu in 1991, he graduated college and entered the Air Force. The Air Force took him to Colorado Springs, CO, where he was introduced to Sukunaihayashi Shorin-Ryu (a close relative of the Kobayashi Shorin-Ryu of Hanshi Nakazato) and continued his martial arts study under Kyoshi Terry Bryan. In October 1995 he again earned the rank of Shodan, and in 1996 the Air Force transferred him to Wyoming.
Not finding a school where he could continue his training, Sensei Damon took a short (7 1/2 – years) hiatus from karate. In late 2003, he was living in Birmingham, AL, and was getting ready to move once again – this time to Suffolk, VA. Since his oldest son, Austin, had started taking karate at an after-school program in Birmingham, Sensei Damon decided to renew his studies. After a few visits to the dojo, Kyoshi Bateman took Sensei Damon and Austin they have been training ever since.
The martial arts have taught Sensei Damon many things over the years. These nuggets of knowledge include:
– The essence of karate can be reduced to five things: respect, discipline, hard work, control, and the right attitude
– You never stop learning
– Never stop training
– Martial arts is great quality time with your kids
– Quality instruction comes at a price, but price alone does not equal quality instruction
The Air Force moved Sensei Damon once again in August 2006, this time to Warner Robins, GA. He still trains, and is in the process of converting his garage into a make-shift dojo.