``There's no secret to martial arts. It's just a lot of hard work.``
Founder of Ingram’s Karate, John Ingram began learning martial arts in 1974. Throughout the late 70’s and 80’s, Sensei Ingram was consistently ranked a top 10 competitor by Karate Illustrated magazine. In the late 80’s, Sensei Ingram entered into kickboxing. Over the next decade, he trained and competed with world-class champions, earning numerous titles and a spot on the U.S. Kickboxing team.
Sensei Ingram is an inductee in the Florida Martial Arts Hall of Fame, President of the United Isshinryu Karate Assoc., and an inductee in the Isshinryu Hall of Fame. While his personal accomplishments are many, Sensei Ingram has always held that his student’s accomplishments are his greatest achievement. The Ingram dojo’s students have earned championship wins at state, national, and numerous international and world competitions.
``Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results.``
In the mid-70’s Sensei Ingram was in Junior HS. She would walk home from school and pass a recently opened karate dojo. Little did she know that her future husband was training inside. She met John as a Junior in High School, and they were married in 1977. Intrigued by his passion for martial arts, she began training with him.
In a sport that was dominated almost exclusively by men, Sensei Ingram rose rapidly through the ranks. She holds numerous state and national titles as well as the IWKA World Championship title in the master Kata division. She has been studying Isshinryu karate for over 35 years, has been inducted into the Florida Martial Arts Hall of Fame, as well as the Isshinryu Hall of Fame, and has been an AAU Karate team coach since 1999. Her passion for teaching and sharing her knowledge of martial arts to others is reflected in the overwhelming success of the many students she has trained throughout the years.
``Being a martial artist is more than kicking and punching. It's about who you are.``
John and Cindy’s oldest daughter, Sheri Ingram Angwin now runs Ingram’s Karate center along with life long Ingram’s student and instructor Jennifer Davenport. Sensei Sheri has been practicing Isshinryu Karate since 1982 and is currently a 7th degree black belt. Sensei Sheri competed on the U.S. fighting team who defeated England in 1993. She took 3rd place in the Isshinryu World Championships in Kata in 1997. Sheri won the GOLD medal at the 2000 AAU National Karate Championships.More recently, she was chosen to be on the U.S. team to compete at the World Championships in Scotland. The team was comprised of the top 5 women and 9 men from all over the United States. Sensei Sheri then went on to win the GOLD medal in fighting at the 2001 National Championships in New Orleans – making it the second year in a row as the National Champion in the Women’s Lightweight Division! Sensei Sheri is Florida’s Regional AAU Referee.
Sensei Sheri was also named the 2005 Sensei of the year by the U.I.K.A. Sensei Sheri is currently the chief instructor at the Tampa dojo.
``Karate has always been something I consider to be less like something that I do and more like something that I am. It's a part of me, and the life lessons I have learned from karate run true and deep.``
Jennifer Davenport is a 7th degree black belt who has been studying Isshinryu since 1984. She has won Florida State championships in sport karate. She also won second place in the 1997 Isshinryu Grand Nationals held in New York. She took the gold medal at the Okinawan World Championships in 2001. Jennifer was the U.I.K.A. instructor of the year in 2004. She won National titles in both 2008 and 2010. Jennifer is a certified coach and referee for the AAU. She has been instructing at Ingram’s Professional Karate Center since 1990 and loves working with children. Sensei Jennifer is currently the chief instructor at the New Port Richey dojo.
``I've been with Ingram's Karate since I was 9. I hope that one day students will tell me that their experience at Ingram's meant as much to them as it has to me.``
Sensei Shelby has been practicing Isshin-ryu karate with Ingram’s since she was nine. She is currently a third degree belt. She studied under Sensei Sheri Ingram at the Dunedin Satellite location, where she has become the Head Instructor.
Sensei Shelby actively competes in AAU Karate tournaments, holding a National Champion title and is the Florida State Champion for 2 years running. She has recently been invited to be a member of the U.S. Karate team.
Her commitment to teaching martial arts and gaining greater mastery is reflected in her desire to share the teachings she has learned over the years with her students. She focuses upon providing them with the same transformational experience that Isshinryu karate has had in her life.
``I love teaching the skills I have learned over the years to the next generation of World Champions!``
Yvar Bajala began training in Isshinryu karate when he was 8 years old. As a young man, he already has an impressive list of accomplishments to his name. In 2010 he traveled to Italy and won a bronze and silver medal in the WKC World Championships. He’s held the title of National Champion in both 2010 and 2011. In 2013, he traveled to Australia and became the WKC World Champion. He is currently an AAU Karate Florida/National referee.
Sensei Bajala has an infectious enthusiasm for teaching the skills he has learned over the years, and is thrilled to know that he is taking part in training the next generation of world champions in the same dojo that he grew up in.
``Sharing my passion for karate,seeing the students grow and learn everyday, and knowing I had a small part in their journey makes me love my job even more.``
At age 15, Sensei Frank has already become an invaluable part our staff of instructors. His dedication, hard work and obvious love for the art of Isshinryu karate led him to receiving his black belt at the young age of 11.
It was not long after this accomplishment that he was asked to join the staff of instructors at Ingrams. Already, Sensei Frank has been a member of the USA Karate team, medaling in team kumite at the WUKF World Championships.
While Sensei Frank actively competes and continues to add to his list of personal accomplishments, he strongly feels that his greatest accomplishments take place each day inside the dojo, which he refers to as, “my second home.” He’s always listed the accomplishments of his students above his own.
``My mission in teaching is to spread the passion for karate and to fuel others to love karate as much as I do!``
Sensei Johnsen has been studying Isshinryu karate for nearly a decade. At age 15, she is a 2-time AAU National Champion and medalist at 2014 WUKF World Championships in Poland for Kata.
While still an active competitor, Sensei Johnsen takes her greatest sense of accomplishment from teaching her students. If asked, she’ll tell you that she is fueled in her personal efforts by the positive response of the students in her classes. It’s knowing that their drive and determination are ignited by her teaching that keep her reaching for the next level and deeper mastery of martial arts.
“I enjoy helping kids focus and learn self-discipline and seeing them succeed. I was very impulsive and unfocused as a child and karate really helped me. I enjoy being able to pass along what I have learned.”
Austin Stone is a 3rd degree black belt in Isshinryu karate, which he received in 2013. He has been training at Ingram’s Karate Center for 15 years. He is both an instructor at the Carrollwood location and is an AAU Karate Coach and Karate Referee.
Austin has earned countless number of gold, silver, and bronze medals throughout his competition career. Most notably, he has been AAU Florida State Champion , National Champion, Jr. Olympic Champion and World Champion. He has been a part of the USA National Karate Team on four occasions, including travel to Italy, Australia and Germany.
Austin credits Ingram’s and karate for providing him with the discipline skills that he needed to maintain a strong focus during his youth and childhood. When he’s teaching, he knows that there are kids who struggled like he did, and he’s always looking to help them develop the life skills that represent a true martial artist.
``The genuine and caring atmosphere at Ingram's inspires me to help teach the next generation of students to be better than I am, and to help them reach their goals...``
Aaron Vetter is a 3rd degree black belt. He has been training since the age of 7. His prowess in martial arts has placed in on the world stage, competing and winning on the international level in both Germany and Budapest. He is also a national medalist, and currently holds the Florida State Champion Title
His focus in the dojo with his pupils is to provide them the same level of enthusiasm, encouragement and guidance that he has received over the years at Ingram’s Karate. He strives to teach his students that they can accomplish anything that they set their mind to.
When asked why he called his style the one-heart way, Master Shimabuku responded, ``Because, all things begin with one.``
``She holds her left hand open and right hand closed, exhibiting peace and strength at once.``