Instructors

Kyoshi Don Studebaker

Master Instructor Kyoshi Don Studebaker

Kyoshi Studebaker has had 37 years of experience in the Martial Arts, in many different styles. He started his study of the martial arts in 1969 in Tae Kwon Do. He trained for 2 years then changed styles to Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do, under Sensei Hank Murphy. Traveling weekly to Flint, MI, from his home in Midland, MI. and training with friends during the week, Kyoshi Studebaker achieved his first Dan on Oct. 1st, 1976. By competing in tournaments every weekend, other competitors had taken notice and invited Kyoshi to train with them.

His training expanded into Ike Shin Do, Bushido Kwan where he obtained his 2nd Dan on Feb. 2, 1978. He was invited to train in Tae Kwan Do, and on July 26th 1980, he obtained his 3rd Dan Black Belt. Training continued in Tae Kwon Do in Saginaw, MI during the week, and on weekends he traveled to Grand Rapids, MI to train in Okinawan Shorin Ryu, where he obtained a 3rd Dan Black Belt on Dec. 1st. 1980. Still competing heavily in the tournament circuit, he also started competing full contact kickboxing and was invited to train in Jiu-Jitsu Kai, along with Sensei Steve Reynolds in Toronto, Canada. Commuting back and forth with Sensei Reynolds, he received a 1st Dan in Jiu-Jitsu Kai Feb. 27th. 1982, and in Okinawan Shorin Ryu he obtained his 4th Dan on September 17th. 1982. Retiring from kickboxing and tournament competition in 1984, Kyoshi Studebaker concentrated on his training and his school, The Midland Martial Arts Academy, which was later changed to Sidekicks Karate Club. He later received his 5th Dan on Dec of 1989. On Feb. 13th of 1994, he received his 6th Dan. With this promotion, Sensei Yamashita gave him the “Honorary” title of Shihan Studebaker. On Sept. 30th of 2006, he received his 7th Dan and the title of Kyoshi from Sensei Tadashi Yamashita

Shihan Whittaker

Head Instructor Shihan Michelle Whittaker

Michelle began her martial arts career in 1994. With much effort and extensive training from Shihan Studebaker and Sensei Yamashita, she earned 1st Dan Black Belt, October 24, 1999. With 3 1/2 more years of training and teaching, on March 15, 2003 Sensei Yamashita promoted her to 2nd Dan Black Belt. And after another 3 1/2 years, on September 30, 2006, she received her 3rd Dan. Her teaching style is fun but in a disciplined manner. All that she asks of her students is attention, respect, and to follow instructions to the best of their ability. Safety is always a priority.

Training with Sensei Whittaker consists of the original Yamashita International Shorin Ryu curriculum along with Shihan Studebaker’s additional areas of expert teachings.” She actively encourages students to participate in Sensei Yamashita’s seminars and local annual tournaments. Shihan Studebaker and Sensei Whittaker’s students always take home top honors from the tournaments.“I am willing to teach those who are willing to learn. My goal is to make those better prepared than they expect to be.”

Sensei Michael Roof (2nd Dan)

Junior Blackbelt – June 2008
Successfully tested for Adult Blackbelt Shodan – May 8th 2010

Tested for 2nd degree – January 18th 2014

Brothers David and Michael are the first Junior Black Belts in the Budokan Karate Program

Michael

David

Sensei David Roof (2nd Dan)

Junior Blackbelt – June 2008
Successfully tested for Adult Blackbelt Shodan – May 8th 2010

Tested for 2nd degree – January 18th 2014

Brothers David and Michael are the first Junior Black Belts in the Budokan Karate Program


Sensei Robert Noggle (2nd Dan)

Rob began training in Yamashita Kobayashi Shorin-ryu in 2006 and earned his shodan in May 2010.  During high school and college, he trained in the Matsubayashi branch of Shorin-Ryu, and earned a brown belt (san-kyu) in 1989. During college, he also earned a green belt in Isshin-ryu and took introductory courses in Tai Chi and Western Boxing.  He is a philosophy professor at Central Michigan University.

Tested for 2nd degree – January 18th 2014

Robert