Sensei Spencer

Below is Sensei's summary of his journey:

My journey down the Shotokan path of enlightenment started in 1965 at Vandengberg Air Force Base in California, my goal then was to develop enough skill to protect myself.  However, when I received orders to ship to Vietnam at the age of 19, I felt I needed more skills than the combat training I received.  My first instructor was Sandan Sensei Ken Rogers
who promoted me to brown belt, and registered me in the Japan Karate Association (JKA).  During my 15 months in Vietnam, I visited JKA headquarters and had the opportunity to study under Mr. Masatoshi Nakayama, the chief instructor.  In 1968, I started teaching at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota as a Shodan with five students. During the period 1968 to 1976, I taught at  Ellsworth Air Force Base S.D, Kessler AFB, Miss, Norton AFB Cal, Maguire  AFB, N.J and Kinchelo AFB, Mi.   I was promoted through Yodan by Sensei's  Ken Rogers, Charles Lee and Del Sieto.  From 1976 to 1989, my school  was established in New Jersey.  In 1989, I moved to Stone Mountain Georgia. I gave my sons Spencer's  Shotokan School of Karate, and retired from teaching for 3 years.  In 1994, I started Spencer's Shotokan School of Karate South (non profit) with two students:  Cameron Coates, and Dwight Goodwin, currently, Sandan, and Nedan  respectively.  This class has produced Black belts Cameron, Sandan, Nedan's  Dwight Goodwin, and Cleon Davis, Shodan's, Foshie Bell, and Wayne Johnson, Green Belts Adrian Pursuant, and Chris Dillard.

Sensei Coates

Sensei Coates started martial arts as a teenager practicing taekwon do at the YMCA on Hope road in Kingston, Jamaica in 1986.  There he trained under Sabum nim Delroy McDowell  (1st dan) for two years in the ITF Taekwondo Federation (ITF) system and then one year in the American  Taekwondo Association (ATA) system to achieve the rank of red belt (1st deg black recommended).  Sensei Coates received a scholarship to the US Naval Academy in 1989 and joined the martial arts club there.  He became captain of the karate team his senior year and led them in victories over the US Air Force academy, West Point military academy and Catholic University.  At USNA he also trained under  Mr. John Critzos III (5th dan) in karate-do for one year and received the  purple belt rank.  After graduation, Sensei Coates started training under Sensei Charles Spencer (4th dan) in Shotokan Karate, he received his 1st deg black belt (shodan) in Shotokan in 1996.  Since then he has continued to train under Sensei Spencer and received his 3rd deg black belt (Sandan) in 2000.  Sensei Coates taught Shotokan for 2 years to graduate students at Georgia Instititute of Technology prior to teaching at Armstrong.  Sensei Coates believes one should never stop learning and therefore endeavors  to learn as much as possible about Shotokan karate as well as other martial arts.