Uechi-Ryu Karate-Do


Donald B. Joyner

HACHI-DAN SHIHAN (Eighth Degree Black Belt, Master Instructor)
Shihan Certification #139 by the Okinawa Karate-Do Association

BORN: April 2, 1957
OCCUPATION: Business Owner, Karate Instructor

DOJO: Don Joyner Professional Karate Schools
3320 NE 37th Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL. 33308

Don Kick Bag

Sensei Don Joyner began his Okinawan Karate training in 1972 at the Kalamazoo YMCA under Black-Belts Steve Fuller and Bill Keith of the Okinawan Karate Club of Kalamazoo, MI.
Then his formal training has been under James Thompson, 9th Degree Black Belt, Shihan Hanshi Master Instructor of the Okinawan Karate Academy, in Kalamazoo, MI.

Over the years, Sensei Donald Joyner has trained at summer camps in such places as Florida, California, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Massachusetts, Canada, and Okinawa, with such renowned people as Dan Inosanto, Tadashi Yamashita, Grand Master Uechi Kañei (10th Dan), and Randy Williams (Senior Instructor of Wing Chung in Singapore).

On April 24, 1977, Sensei Donald Joyner was promoted to Shodan, First Degree Black Belt, Uechi-Ryu Karate-Do Soke Shubukan Certification # 1177, by NAUKA through Sensei Walter Mattson upon the recommendation of Sensei Bill Keith.

On April 22, 1979, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Sensei Donald Joyner was promoted to Nidan, 2nd Degree Black Belt, Uechi-Ryu Karate-Do Soke Shubukan Certification # 599, by Shihan James Thompson and a Board of Examiners, which included Sensei Bill Keith.

On June 1st, 1981, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Sensei Joyner was promoted to 3rd Degree Black Belt, Uechi-Ryu Soke Shubukan Certification # 260, by Shihan James Thompson and a Board of Examiners, which included Shihan Toshiyuki Itokazu testing Sanchin kata.

On May 15, 1983, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Sensei Donald Joyner was promoted to 4th Degree Black Belt, Uechi-Ryu Karate-Do Soke Shubukan Certification # 163, by Grand Master James Thompson Kyudan Hanshi and President of Uechi-Ryu Kokusai Kyokai.

In August 1984, Sensei Joyner attended the Uechi-Ryu Karate-Do Summer Camp training in Boston, Thompson Island, Massachusetts, where he met Grand Master Kañei Uechi and studied Wu-Shu Tiger and Crane forms under two Wu-Shu masters from Red China.

On August 1st, 1989, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Sensei Joyner was promoted to 5th Degree Black Belt, Uechi-Ryu Soke Shubukan Certification # 169, by Grand Master James Thompson Kyudan Hanshi and President of Uechi-Ryu Kokusai Kyokai.

In August 1989, (for the past 7 years) Sensei Joyner had hosted the Battle of the Great Lakes Open Karate Championship in Kalamazoo, Michigan as one of the youngest Godan. In December of 1990, Sensei Joyner and Sensei Mark E. Stewart held a seminar at a grand opening of the Multi-cultural Martial Arts Association in Kenoga Park, California. Guests included Ted Wong, who was a senior student of Bruce Lee in the 1960′s, Ted Lakai Lakai, and Louie Campos of the Jeet Kune DoTM System.

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Sensei Joyner is listed in “Who’s Who in Martial Arts” for 1985-1986. He has also been featured in Karate Illustrated Magazine along with Sensei Mark E. Stewart. In 1988, he competed in the Tough-man Contest at Wings’ Stadium in Kalamazoo. In 1989, he competed in the Uechi-Ryu National Karate Championship in Antioch, California and took 2nd place. In l990 he competed again in Antioch and took 1st place in the Middle Weight division and runner-up to the Grand Champion. Also in 1989, he received Michigan’s first gold medal for Black-Belt AAU Karate in the Middle Weight division. He attended this competition with Sensei Al Doorlag, also a gold medalist and a member of the U.S.-AAU Karate team in 1989 and l990. In l990, he trained for and competed in the Southeast National Uechi-Ryu Karate Do Championship in Tampa, Florida with Sensei Ric Martin.

Sensei Joyner was owner-operator of Joyner’s Professional Karate School in Grand Rapids, Michigan, from 1991 to 2002, when he trained many students that became his Yudansha, Legacy of Black Belt student. During that period, he also trained several Junior Olympics participants who won trophies in national tournaments. He also hosted seminars with the late Sensei Sherman Harrill (Isshin-ryu system).

In 1993, Sensei Joyner was ranked number 1 for Form and number 1 Fighting in the Michigan Karate Circuit. He was number 1 on the Michigan Karate Association sparring circuit for at least 5 straight years in the early to mid-1990′s.

In 1994, Sensei Joyner won the Karate Grand Champion in the AAU Regional Gold Coast Championship in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

On July 9th, 1995, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Sensei Joyner was promoted to 6th Degree Black Belt, Okinawa Karate-Do Association [Oki-Ku-Kai] Certification #82, by Grand Master James Thompson Kyudan Hanshi and President of Uechi-Ryu Kokusai Kyokai.

On January 8th, 2002, in Quincy, Massachusetts, Sensei Joyner was promoted to Kyoshi 7th Degree Black Belt, Shohei-Ryu Certification #64, by Grand Master Walter Mattson, Judan Hanshi in Oki-Ku-Kai (Okinawa Karate-Do Association) Uechi-Ryu Karate-Do.

On November 21, 2008, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sensei Joyner was promoted to Kyoshi 8th Degree Black Belt, Certification #8006, by Grand Master Shinyu Gushi, Judan Hanshi and President of Ryukokaku Uechi-Ryu Karate-Do.

Sensei Donald Joyner presented a seminar involving his interpretation of Kata, Energy Strikes, and Close range fighting skills on Wednesday, the 9th of February 2011, at the WinterFest 2011 by Sensei George Mattson in Mount Dora, Florida.

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During October 2011, Sensei Joyner accompanied Richard, Miles, Amanda, and Al Bennett to the Uchinanchu Taikai festival in Okinawa, Japan where he connected again with Uechi-Ryu Masters participating in the Budokan hosted demonstrations. He also participated in the photo shoot at Zakimi Castle for Bennetts Karate LLC. At that time Sensei Joyner also trained with Hanshi Senaga and Hanshi Shinjo with the Bennetts.

Sensei Donald Joyner presented his seminar entitled, Kata, Energy Strikes, and Close range fighting skills on Saturday, January 28th, 2012, at the Bennetts Karate dojo, 515 Briggs St., Erie, CO., during the Colorado Winter Camp 2012 by Shihan Richard Bennett.

During June 2012, Sensei Joyner accompanied Richard and Al Bennett to the World Cup Tournament in Buenos Aires, Argentina where he participated as a Judge for the competition. He also he connected again with Uechi-Ryu Masters participating in the events including Shihan Kyoshi Gustavo Gondra and Hanshi 10th Degree Black Belt Grand Master Shinyu Gushi.

For the past several years, in addition to regularly attending classes in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Sensei Joyner has been training with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Champions in Florida.

8°dan on 11-21-08 Uechi-Ryu Ryukokaku Certification #8006, in Buenos Aires, Argentina,
Kyoshi 11-21-08 Uechi-Ryu Ryukokaku Certification #8006
7°dan on 1-8-2002 Okinawa Karate-Do Association [Oki-Ku-Kai], 7 dan cert’ # 64,
Shohei-Ryu by Walter Mattson in Quincy, Massachusetts
6°dan on 7-9-1995 Okinawa Karate-Do Association [Oki-Ku-Kai], 6 dan cert’ # 82,
by James Thompson in Kalamazoo, Michigan
5°dan on August 1st, 1989 Uechi-Ryu Soke Shubukan, Godan cert’ # 169,
by James Thompson in Kalamazoo, Michigan
4°dan on 5/15/1983 Uechi-Ryu Soke Shubukan, Yondan cert’ # 163,
by James Thompson in Kalamazoo, Michigan
3°dan on 6/1/1981 Uechi-Ryu Soke Shubukan, Sandan cert’ # 260, by James Thompson
in Kalamazoo, Michigan with Shihan Toshiyuki Itokazu on Board of Examiners
2°dan in 4/22/1979 Uechi-Ryu Soke Shubukan, Nidan cert’ # 599,
by James Thompson in Kalamazoo, Michigan
1°dan on 4/24/1977 Uechi-Ryu Soke Shubukan, Shodan cert’ # 1177,
by Bill Keith and NAUKA through Walter Mattson
He began his Okinawan Karate training in 1972