Lonnie McCoy

5th Degree Black Belt

In the early 1970s, martial arts movies were all the rage and most young men, including me, wanted to do the amazing feats portrayed on film. It was not uncommon for an ambitious martial arts teacher or actor to visit our high school and put on a demonstration in hopes of building a following or to increase ticket sales at the theater. I was hooked, and over the next few years tried several different arts including judo, shotokan, taekwondo and others.

In 1985, I moved to Richmond, KY were I was introduced to Senior Master Bob Green who became my teacher and a very dear friend. I am forever grateful for the introduction and the friendships that followed. Master Bob welcomed me into his class and I was amazed at the things I saw the upper ranks doing. I knew right away Shaolin-Do was what I had been searching for. In 1990, I was granted my black belt by Grandmaster Sin Thé and in 2000, with Master Bob's blessing, I asked elder master Bill Leonard for permission to continue my training under him. Thankfully, I was welcomed and my training has continued.

Let me say up front that I have never met a more hard-core, persistent individual in my life. Elder Master Leonard truly loves the art of Shaolin-Do and it is obvious when attending his classes that he cares about those wanting to follow the same path. He will get you in shape and help you discover new depths you never realized were possible. There is no substitute for a master and the knowledge that is available.

In years past, several of my family and friends have joined the Sin Thé Karate School and their lives have been enriched for their efforts. My son, Mason, began his training with Senior Master Bob Green, and like me, was welcomed by Elder Master Leonard and now he, too, is a black belt.

I cannot find the words to properly express the feeling you have when you look across the dojo and see someone you love learning to defend themselves, knowing that some day it very well may save their life, the life of a loved one, or even your own. The bond that grows between a father and son as we have fun discovering the multiple facets Shaolin-Do has to offer is undoubtedly one of the best feelings in the world. Suffice to say that I am very proud of Mason, and confident in the skills he has gained under the guidance of Master Leonard, as well as other masters and higher ranking black belts that are always willing to help. It is not uncommon to watch Mason spar with adults and successfully defend himself, even though he is just a teenager. The skills he has obtained will be with him for a lifetime. That means a lot to a parent since we will always worry about our children and it doesn't hurt to have him constantly motivating me to achieve more in order to keep up with him.

So if you, your family, or your friends have tried other martial arts and deep down inside you know something is a little lacking, or if you have never tried martial arts and you want to get in shape, relieve stress, live a longer, fuller life, or you are looking for a new hobby, Shaolin-Do very well may be what you've been looking for. But you'll never know unless you give it a try. Good luck in your training, I hope to see you in the dojo.

Click here to read all of our testimonials.