The Authentic Martial Arts story began on August 1, 1980 when the karate school (dojo) was first opened on Missouri Avenue in Largo, Florida. That is when Ric Martin, then a third degree Blackbelt with seven years of karate training, first began his career as a professional martial arts instructor. His Sensei was the great Master Toshiyuki Itokazu (Tosh), from Okinawa, Japan. Master Itokazu was the ultimate martial arts mentor. He completely dedicated his life to his students and instructors. Sensei Itokazu and Ric Martin shared a special relationship in which Master Itokazu vowed to teach all he knew of martial arts to Mr. Martin, who was his senior student and instructor.
By December of 1981 Master Itokazu had prepared Mr. Martin for the greatest competitive challenge of his life; to be the first American to travel to Okinawa, Japan to compete in The All Okinawa Karate Championship Series. This was the beginning of a thirteen year quest to become the first American to win the World Championship Title. The journey to the top required more dedication and discipline than he ever had imagined. Eight times he flew to Okinawa at his own expense to compete for the world title. From 1981 to 1990 he fought his way to a top four finalist finish three times; 1982 (3rd), 1986(3rd), and 1989 (2nd).
His World Championship victory was finally realized on December 11, 1994. Upon his retirement from international competition he had competed in The All Okinawa Championship Series more than any other competitor in the world, with one exception, seven-time World Champion, Master Nobuhiro Higa. Master Martin also had more top four finishes than any other American competitor in history. Only one other non-Asian competitor had a more impressive competitive record; three-time World Champion, Master Karl Ayliffe from Australia. Master Ric Martin still holds the record for having the longest competitive career in the prestigious All Okinawan Karate Championship Series; thirteen years.
Master Ric Martin, currently an Eighth Degree Blackbelt, with over 35 years of martial arts experience continues to follow the teachings of his Sensei, Master Itokazu. Master Martin completely dedicates his life to his family, and his martial instructors and students. Authentic Martial Arts International is both a unique and exceptional martial arts organization. Master’s from around the world can be found visiting Authentic MartialArts International academies from time-to-time, where they enthusiastically share their martial arts wisdom and expertise. Authentic Martial Arts International is one of the premier martial arts training organizations in the world.
Catastrophic Fire Destroys Largo Dojo
On August 16, 2009 a catastrophic fire left a once beautiful martial arts school in ruins. Read the full story. Click here...
On June 10, 2010 students celebrate the Re-Grand Opening of their new and improved martial arts school. Read the full story.Click here...
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