“The best sermon is a good example.”


 

OUR SENSEI

  • Founder and Chief Instructor
  • Isshinryu Hall of Fame Inductee
  • World Martial Arts Hall of Fame Inductee
  • World Karate Union Hall of Famer
  • Texas Martial Arts Hall of Famer
  • Action Martial Arts Magazine Hall of Famer
  • International Martial Arts Hall of Fame Inductee

SOKE ROBERT A. KRISTENSEN


GRAPEVINE

Soke Robert A. Kristensen founded Texas Isshinryu Karate Kai in 1991 after several years of training at the Jersey Judo Karate Kai under Shihan Dale Jenkins.  He also trained under Hanshi William H. Duessell and now trains under Master Toby Cooling.  Soke Kristensen served in the United States Navy in Reconnaissance Attack Squadron 6 and also served as shore patrol in Sasebo, Japan. He is a Vietnam Veteran.  He was a world champion competitor and Top 10 competitor in Texas for over ten years. In 2005 he was inducted into the prestigious Isshinryu Hall of Fame and currently serves as a Board Member.  Soke Kristensen is a Kudan (9th degree black belt), currently teaching eight classes each week at the Grapevine Main Dojo location.  He also holds black belts in Goju-ryu and Judo.

Kyoshi Maria Kristensen

  • Grapevine
  • Earned Sho-Dan 1994
  • Studied Goju-Ryu
  • Studied Tae Kwon Do
  • Isshinryu Hall of Fame             Inductee 2017

 

Renshi Susan Harris

  • Quinlan
  • Earned Sho-Dan in 1999
  • Registered Nurse
  • Top Competitor
  • Earned Sensei title in
  •          2005
  • World Champion

 

Renshi Tommy Thomas

  • Grapevine
  • Earned Sho-Dan in 2000
  • US Army Vietnam       
            Veteran
  • Awarded 2 Purple
             Hearts 
  •         Spirit of Isshinryu     
  •          Recipient

Shihan Tony Palos

  • Denton
  • Earned Sho-Dan
             August 10, 2002
  • Jazz Musician
  • Top Competitor
  • Instructor of the Year
  • Grand Champion

 

Shihan Tina Palos

  • Denton
  • Earned Sho-Dan March 
  •          30, 2003
  • Top Competitor
  • Jazz Musician
  • IHOF Instructor of the
  •         Year

Renshi Jeannie Rupp

  • Granbury
  • Began in Feb. 1996
  • Earned Sho-Dan March 
  •          30, 2003
  • Top Competitor
    Earned title of Sensei 
  •          August 2009

Sensei Steve Gellman, MD

  • Grapevine
  • Began training in 1993
  • Earned Sho-Dan March
  •         2003
  • Medical Doctor
  • Top Competitor
  • Earned title of Sensei 
  •          August 2013

Sensei Kyle Murray

  • Coppell
  • Began in 1997
  • Earned Sho-Dan April
  •         15, 2007
  • Top Competitor
    Baylor Graduate
  • Yon-Dan April 2017

 

Sensei Carol Gue

  • Grapevine
  • Began in 1998
  • Sho-Dan April 22, 2001
  • Began  at American
  •          Budo Kai in NJ
  •  

 

Sensei Michael Strickland

 

  • Denton
  • Began in 1993
  • Top Competitor
  • Earned Sho-Dan April 
  •         13, 2008
  • Earned Yon-Dan April
  •         15, 2018
  • IHOF Male Karate-ka of
  •          the year nominee

 

Sensei Mike Harper

 

  • Plano
  • Began in 1999
  • Top Competitor
  • Earned Sho-Dan April
  •         13, 2008
  • Earned title of Sensei 
  •          August 13, 2014

Sensei Mark Hendrix

  • Plano
  • Began training in August
  •          2001
  • Earned Sho-Dan April   
  •         13, 2008
  • Retired Engineering
  •          Manager

 

Sensei Laura Murray

  • Coppell
  • Earned Sho-Dan April
  •         13, 2008
  • Top Competitor
  • IHOF Outstanding
  •          Contribution Award
  • Earned title of Sensei
  •          December 12, 2015
  •  

 

Sensei Glenn Gibbs

 

 

  • Grapevine
  • Earned Sho-Dan April
  •         13, 2008
  • Began in April 2002
  • Studied Shotokan
  • Earned title of Sensei in
  •          2017
  •  

 

Sensei Margaret Myers

  • Los Colinas
  • Began in May 2002
  • Earned Sho-Dan on April
  •         13, 2008
  • Earned title of Sensei
  •          August 2014
  • Top Competitor

 

Sensei Jennifer Weiderker

  • Flower Mound
  • Began in 2003
  • Top Competitor
  • Studied Goju-Ryu
  • Karate-ka of the Year
  •  

 

Sensei Tracy Dickey

  • East Plano
  • Began in June 2003
  • Sho-Dan March 29, 2009
  • IHOF Female Karate-ka
  •          of the year
  • Top Competitor
  •  

Sensei Charles Blommaert

  • Frisco
  • Trained in Shorin-Ryu
  • Sho-Dan April 10, 2016
  • North Texas graduate
  • Earned title of Sensei in
  •         2017
  • Law Enforcement
  •          Officer

Sensei Luke Hutchinson

  • East Plano
  • Earned Sho-Dan April 
  •         10, 2011
  •  
  •  

 

Sensei Taylor Blommaert

  • Frisco
  • Began training at New
  •         Jersey Judo Karate
  •         Academy in 2001
  • Sho-Dan April 10, 2011
  • Sensei-April 16, 2018
  • Top Competitor

 

Sensei Joey Marcella

  • Decatur
  • Began in Sep. 2004
  • He & son were first
  •          Father/Son combo to
  •          earn Sho-Dan
  • Top Competitor
  •  

 

Sensei Jovi Espinosa

  • Los Colinas
  • Sho-Dan April 15, 2012
  • Top Competitor
  • Senior Karate-ka of
  •          2009 & 2011
  • First Filipino Black Belt
  •          in TIKK history

 

Sensei Erick R. Soto

  • Nevada
  • Began training under
  •          Sensei Chuck Maynard
  •          in 2006
  • Sho-Dan April 15, 2012
  • Head Instructor at
  •          Nevada Isshinryu Karate
  •          Kai

 

Sensei Dianne Van Winkle

  • Grapevine
  • Began in May 2005
  • Senior Karate-ka of
  •          2011
  • Sho-Dan April 15, 2012
  • Top Competitor
  •  

 

Sensei Dan Bamper

  • Moore, OK & Grapevine
  • Began in 1995
  • Sho-Dan Feb. 13, 2003
  • Top Competitor
  • Co-Owner Integrity
  •          Martial Arts
  • Also trains in Tae Kwon
  •          Do

 

Sensei Kelli Marcella

  • Decatur
  • Sho-Dan Dec. 1, 2012
  • Began training on Feb.
  •          14, 2007
  • IHOF Female Karate-ka
  •          of the year
  • Earned title of Sensei
  •          April 7, 2019

 

Sensei Steve Kroll

  • Grapevine
  • Began training in
  •         January 2002
  • Earned Sho-Dan August
  •          28, 2010

 

Sensei Jim Wallander

  • Grapevine
  • Began in 2002
  • Both sons participated
  •          in karate
  • Earned Sho-Dan on April
  •          15, 2012

 

Sensei Dan Melendez

  • Plano
  • Began training in 2001
  • Sho-Dan Dec 1, 2012
  • Scuba Diver
  • Chemical Dependency
  •          Counselor
  • Certified Recovery
  •          Coach

 

Sensei Albert Solares

  • East Plano
  • Began training in
  •          February 2009
  • Top Competitor
  • Co-Instructor at East
  •          Plano Dojo
  •  

 

Sensei Lee Stafki

  • Denton
  • US Army Veteran
  • Purple Heart Recipient
  • Served in Afghanistan
  • Began in 1987
  • Sho-Dan May 1993
  •  

 

Who’s Next

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