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Local Lake Mary Resident, American Kenpo Instructor 6th Degree Professor Michael Friedman Hosts the Annual "The Gathering of the Masters"

Professor Mike Friedman hosted the "Gathering Of The Masters" Event. A combination of seminars, workshops, and information sessions with some of Kenpo Karate's highest ranking Masters and Elite Instructors. There were Black Belt Promotions from ranks 1st -10th Degree, and celebrities were on hand for an autograph and a meet and greet session as well.

Lake Mary, FL, November 13, 2018 --( The “Gathering of the Masters” is an annual event in which the “Masters” of the American Kenpo Karate system created by Grand Master Ed Parker come together to continue spreading the art and science of Kenpo Karate. The event took place October 26th through October 28th at Champion Karate located in Lake Mary, Florida.

Instructional seminars were held during the 3 day event offering something for all belts and ages. This year, the instructors included 10th Degree Grand Master Michael Pick, the youngest ever to receive a black belt personally from Mr. Parker the creator of American Kenpo, 10th Degree Master Rainer Schulte often referred to as the “Father of European American Kenpo Karate, 8th Degree Master Instructor Sean Kelley, 2016 Inductee to the "Kenpo Karate Hall of Fame" and President of the “Chinese Karate Federation” aka CKF, 6th Degree Professor Mike Friedman, owner/instructor of “Champion Karate,” 6th Degree Associate Professor Kevin Kuliga and 8th Degree Professor Terry Rich.

Special instructors also included AMA Guro Raffy Pambuan, the Senior Master of the Pambuan Arnis Phillipino system and 10th Degree Grand Master Bill “Superfoot” Wallace, the retired undefeated Professional Karate Association (PKA) Middleweight Champion.

Special highlights included:
A special appearance by 5th Degree David E. Stanley, the step brother of Elvis Presley. David was chosen to represent Elvis Presley in 2016 who was honored and inducted into the “Kenpo Karate Hall of Fame.” Elvis was an 8th Degree Black Belt prior to his untimely and unfortunate death.

David officially received his 5th Degree Black Belt during this event. David lived in Graceland from the age of four and toured with Elvis for many years as Elvis’s personal aide and body guard. David is a frequent guest on CNN and has appeared on 20/20, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning and Fox & Friends. David wrote, produced and directed the film “Protecting the King” in 2007 and is currently producing his next film, “William’s War.” He recently authored “My Brother Elvis: The Final Years.” This book as well as any of his other published work, was available to order from David directly during this event and each book was personally signed by him and mailed to your address of choice.

6th Degree Associate Professor Michael Friedman, the host of this year’s event and owner of “Champion Karate” and “Knockout Fitness” received his 6th Degree Black Belt during this event. Mr. Friedman said how very special this was, given that it was awarded to him in his own school in front of his students, family, friends and peers. Michael was a 2017 Inductee to the “Kenpo Karate Hall of Fame” and was honored by the Mayor and City of Lake Mary proclaiming a “Mike Friedman Champion Karate Day” on December 21, 2017. “Champion Karate” is located in a one of a kind newly built 11,000 sq. ft. facility called the “Lake Mary Arts & Fitness Center” on Rhinehart Road in Lake Mary, Florida. “Champion Karate” is a family oriented school, teaching the art of “American Kenpo,” and “Pambuan Arnis” through the many programs the school offers. It is a fully staffed, professional martial arts school, operating since 2003. In addition to the martial arts program, Michael expanded into the fitness industry seeing a real need for a program that could offer a great workout that also includes self defense built into the classes. The focus is both cardio and resistance training using everything from heavy bags, boxing gloves and 1st of its kind in Florida “Impact Wraps” (measuring power and speed), to Plyometric Boxes and weights to deliver a true full-body workout that is ever changing, challenging and fun.

Michael Friedman has been featured on CNN, as well as all major news outlets in the Orlando area for his work in Self Defense and School Safety. The school’s award-winning programs focus on Age Specific Martial Arts and Leadership Training for Children, as well as Street Combatives for adults. Recently, the school was voted the #1 Martial Arts School by the "Orlando A-List." He also a leader and mentor in the community volunteering time to such organizations as the “Guardian Angels,” “Stomp the Bullying” and the “Seniors Intervention Group” to name but a few.

Mr. Bill “Superfoot” Wallace captured virtually every major event on the tournament circuit and was also a dominant figure in the world of martial arts that Black Belt magazine named him to its Hall of Fame three times in seven years. It has been noted that “Superfoot” was one of the ten most deadly men in the world during his career. “Superfoot” brings a wealth of knowledge to this event with a BS in Physical Education and a Masters Degree in Kinesiology. “Superfoot” also was a special friend of Elvis Presley’s and appeared in various movies with Chuck Norris, John Belushi, Jackie Chan, and Mickey Rourke and continues to be involved in the entertainment industry. “Superfoot” was a special guest instructor during this event conducting kickboxing seminars and answering Q&A on sports injuries and overall health.

A special honor and tribute to one the Grand Masters also took place during this event. Master Rainer Schulte received his 10th Degree Black Belt, a distinction given to but a rare few in the art of Kenpo. His title is now Master and certainly well deserved and earned. Rainer has a very interesting background; one would say a movie should be made of his life. He dodged death as a child during a firefight in WWII. As an adult after making his way to the United States and a variety of odd jobs, he enlisted in the US Armed Forces. He worked for the US Dept of Foreign Service and Anti Terrorism in Europe, Pakistan, Afghanistan and other Middle Eastern countries. He was a diplomat and served with the State Department for over 20 years. He received his black belt in 1965 and was asked personally to spearhead bringing Parker American Kenpo to Europe. It is because of his tenacity, loyalty and belief in Kenpo (which he also states saved his life many times) that American Kenpo is now in Ireland, Scotland, England as well as others. Mr. Schulte still serves a member of the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers and International Chiefs of Police.

For more information on Champion Karate, visit
For more information about Knockout Fitness visit

Media contact:
Contact person: Lori Koivu, Director of Public Relations
Phone number: 407-435-5269
Email regarding “Gathering of the Masters” Event only or
Contact Information
Champion Karate
Mike Friedman

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