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Preserving the Traditional Martial Arts

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GREGORY T JOHNSON - Chairman (1997-2020)

One of the founding members and Chairman of the National Martial Arts Association Hanshi Greg Johnson began his martial arts journey in Chicago, IL in August 1963 with Senpai Steve Hayward in Goju-Ryu Karatedo. Later that year he began Kyokushin Karatedo with the late Sensei Charles V. Gruzanski, 5th degree blackbelt, and one of Kancho Mas Oyama's first caucasian students.

Hanshi Johnson was awarded 1st degree blackbelt in Kyokushin Karatedo in November 1966 and he has continued in this karate style to this day.

Throughout his martial arts career, Hanshi Johnson has been a steadfast Kyokushin Karatedo practitioner. He has attended nearly every one of Richard P. Baillargeon's NKJU summer camps since 1982 in order to increase his knowledge and expertise in karatedo. Among those with whom he has trained are: Richard P. Baillargeon, William K. Knoblock, Tola Lewis and Bill Wallace.

Hanshi Johnson is extremely proud of his students and the Southwest Academy of Karate is now the oldest in the Chicagoland area.

Sadly Hanshi Greg Johnson passed away on February 27th 2020. He will be profoundly missed by friends, family and all his students past and present.

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Hanshi Greg Johnson

Among Hanshi Johnson's notable achievements are:

Mar 1967Opened the Southwest Academy of Kyokushinkai Karate
Apr 1971Ranked 2nd degree blackbelt by Kyokushinkai IKO
Apr 1972Branch Chief/Certified Instructor Kyokushinkai IKO
Oct 1972Training seminar with Kancho Mas Oyama, Shihan T. Nakamura & Shihan Y. Oyama in NY
Nov 19733rd degree blackbelt Kyokushin Karatedo, U.S. Kyokushin Association
1974-1977Police officer & Instructor for Chicago Police Academy, taught defensive tactics to 3,000 recruits
Nov 1978Visited the Kyokushinkai Honbu, met Kancho Mas Oyama & Honbu instructors
Mar 1981Joined the National Karate JiuJitsu Union & began training with Soke Richard P. Baillargeon
Jul 1982Promoted to 4th degree blackbelt by Soke Baillargeon
Nov 1994Promoted to 5th degree blackbelt by NKJU-I
Jul 1995Promoted to 6th degree blackbelt by NKJU-I
Oct 1997Formed the NMAA with Sergio DeCasien, Lemuel Stroud, Alan S. Gardner & Clayton Tucker
Oct 1997Promoted to 7th degree blackbelt & designated as NMAA Chairman
Jul 1999Promoted to 8th degree blackbelt by NMAA & titled as Hanshi
May 2017Inducted into the Illinois Martial Arts Hall of Fame


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