WUIKA Europe Kokoro Award. WUIKA Europe is proud to present our second recepient of the WUIKA Europe Kokoro Award.
John Ingram Sensei
Thank you for all of the motivation and encouragement you’ve given to Isshinryu and especially WUIKA members throughout the years. May you continue to inspire us for many years to come.
John L. Ingram IV was born September 16, 1956 in Pensacola Florida. He started karate in the summer of 1974 as a teenager, under Sensei Jim Canter. Jim Canter was a student of Master Willie Adams. John got a good foundation under Sensei Canter, especially in kumite.
John first met Master Harold Mitchum in 1981 when he traveled to Georgia with Sensei Canter. In 1986, John was invited to a seminar with Sensei Mitchum in Cartersville Georgia; his sensei had since retired and left the club to John. Being without a Sensei he accepted the invitation. This visit would change his outlook on karate forever. Master Mitchum’s deep understanding of kata and more importantly bunkai gave him a new understanding of kata. This meeting was the start of a new and exciting relationship that will be cherished forever!
During the late 70’s and early 80’s John competed on the open karate circuit where he consistently was ranked in the top I0 by Karate Illustrated magazine. In the mid 80’s John decided he wanted to try kickboxing. He hooked up with world rated fighter Mike Hollobaugh along with world class trainer Bill Slinker. He loved the challenge of kickboxing. He spent the next 10 years competing and training others to kickbox. During that time he trained with the sports best sucl1 as World champions Richard Hill, Jerry “The Sting” Clarke, and Jim Graden. He did exhibition bouts with Bill “Superfoot” Wallace and Jerry Clarke. John won the Florida State Light Middle Weight Title and later the Middle Weight State Title and was picked to be a member of the U.S. Kickboxing team to compete in Germany.
In 1998 John was inducted into the Florida Martial Arts Hall of Fame. John feels his greatest accomplishments are that of his students. His students have won countless NASKA and AAU National Championships. Hrs daughter Sheri Angwin was a 2 time AAU National champion and a member of the AAU U.S. team which traveled to Scotland for the World Championships where she won a bronze medal. His wife of 30 years, Cindy was named NASKA Rookie of the year in 1989 after winning the U.S. Open and Diamond Nationals and taking 2nd in the Battle of Atlanta in woman’s Black Belt Kumite all in the same year. She has won countless championships before her retirement win in 1997 at the lsshinryu World Karate Championships in New York where she won the masters division in Kata (male and female mixed). John is currently the President of the United lsshinryu Karate Association. He was chosen for the Harold Mitchum Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004 which was a very proud moment in his life. John and his wife Cindy are still teaching karate at their dojo which is now owned by their daughter Sheri. John is active working out and training the Ingram’s competition team as well as assisting Master Harold Mitchum in seminars around the country.
The Ingram dojo competes regularly out of mainstream lsshin-Ryu in AAU tournaments. They have taken their students to Japan to compete. In 2003, lsshin-Ryu students won gold medals in Kala, Weapons, and Kumite with traditional lsshin-Ryu forms and training in competition that is dominated by Shotokan and Shito-Ryu styles.
Master Harold Mitchum considers him to be a terrific all around lsshin-Ryu karate-ka, and an outstanding teacher and ambassador for lsshin-Ryu. John orchestrated the video tape and DVD presentations of lsshin-Ryu Kala performed by Master Mitchum (the time, organization of the project, preparation of his students, and the historical value of the filming).
For years the United Isshinryu Karate Association (U.I.K.A.) has made it a mission to keep the true Isshinryu as taught by Master Tatsuo Shimabuku alive. Senseis John and Cindy Ingram (FL) and Sensei Dan Holloway (MI) have spent decades under the guidance of Master Harold Mitchum. As Master Mitchum’s senior students they have dedicated their lives to Isshinryu, to continue the dream that was begun by Master Shimabuku on Okinawa. It’s with great excitement that the United Isshinryu Karate Association announces a new endeavor, one that will bring about a union between Okinawa, Europe, and North America. The World United Isshinryu Karate Association (W.U.I.K.A.) which will serve as a platform for Isshinryu practitioners to train under regional directors, is forming as a worldwide effort to unite serious Isshinryu students from many regions around the globe. Isshinryu’s first generation advisory board; consisting of Tokumura Kensho Sensei, John Bartusevics Sensei, Tom Lewis Sensei, and Bill Blond Sensei, have given their full support and backing to the idea of a World United Isshirnyu Karate Association and approve of the pursuit to unite Isshinryu practitioners the world over. This new organization, the W.U.I.K.A., will seek to continue spreading Isshinryu to those who share in the desire to keep Master Shimabuku’s Isshinryu alive. Sensei John Ingram will lead as the director of the North American region with Sensei Dan Holloway as the region’s president, incorporating the United Isshinryu Karate Association under the heading of the newly formed W.U.I.K.A.. Sensei Lars Andersen of Denmark (Europe’s Joshinkan Orginazation) will lead the W.U.I.K.A. European region, and has begun the process of merging with the new orginization and plans to continue in ongoing efforts to train and share Isshinryu Karate with Isshinryu practitioners in Europe. Isshinryu students in each of the represented regions will be able to gain membership, attend training seminars and symposiums, and stay connected with others who share their love for Isshinryu. It is a great time for Isshinryu, and the W.U.I.K.A. is excited about this new journey.