Where: Anderson Area YMCA – 201 E Reed Rd, Anderson, SC, 29621

When: Sept 30, 2023 – Doors open at 9:00 AM – Workout at 10:00 AM

Cost: Early Bird $50 Until September 8th | $60 Cash Price at the door. (An atm is onsite)

Click Here to Register: https://www.usikaevents.com/

Your Instructors

Grandmaster Frank Black

In a 1981 tryout with the NFL’s New England Patriots Black sustained an injury. That injury made him drop out of Tae Kwon Do where he achieved the rank of Brown Belt.
By a stroke of luck Black would meet Future Isshinryu Grand Master Ed McGrath and delve back into the Martial Arts.
The rough and tumble style of this former Bodyguard/ Bouncer was ineffective as GM McGrath’s methodology focused on speed and creating imbalance during kumite…


Over the coming years Black went on to become one of GM McGrath’s top students and would open his own dojo, Frank Black’s School of Isshinryu in 1988.
The School would turn out several Kumite Champions and Grand Champions on the Northeast tournament circuit.
His most notable Black Belts, Jim Pase, Lee Snyder, Mike Costa, Doug McBride and Frank Montalbano continue to teach, Pase and McBride currently run Black’s two satellite schools, American Isshinryu Academy of NY on Long Island and Doug McBrides School of Isshinryu, Grotoes, VA.
Black continues to teach seminars for law enforcement including the Counties of Suffolk and Nassau, the NYPD and Riverhead Township where he has black belts in each these four agencies.
He continues to teach and give seminars on the East Coast depicting the McGrath/ Nagle fighting style.
-He was inducted into the Don Nagle’s AOKA Hall of Fame as a Master Instructor in 2000 and recognized for outstanding loyalty in 2007.
-Former Trustee for American Isshinryu Inc.
-Founding Member of Essence of Isshinryu and Current President
        ⁃       Last promotion by GM McGrath was 8th Dan in 2006
        ⁃       Was Elevated to 9th Dan by Don Nagle’s AOKA and American Isshinryu Inc. and Essence of Isshinryu in 2020.
        ⁃       Recognized as 9th Dan by Order of Isshinryu, Gary Alexander’s IAMA and the USIKA.
        ⁃       Currently Black and his Fiancé Melissa have an extended family of four Children and One Grandchild and live in Smithtown NY
        ⁃       For more info go to Facebook @essenceofisshinryu

Grandmaster Kurt Kline

Grandmaster Kurt Kline is a 9th degree blackbelt, ran a dojo for over 30 years, served as the President of the Order of Isshinryu for over 10 years, and currently teaches and trains at various schools and runs an intense Friday-night in-person/zoom training session


Kurt started his martial arts career when he was 10 in the American Kenpo system. At the age of 14, Kurt was introduced to Isshinryu. He started his training at the hombu dojo (located in Elkton, MD) under Grandmaster Toby Cooling.

Kurt was the smallest student in the dojo at a time when there were no junior ranks nor weight classes. In addition to karate, he wrestled for his high school varsity wrestling team for four years, and was captain each of his junior and senior year.

Kurt earned the rank of sho-dan in June, 1990. Kurt competed in most of the local tournaments, earning a reputation in the ring. While in college, he continued to train at the hombu dojo, while also starting his first dojo on campus in 1991. During his college years, he started to train full contact with Sensei Juan Lopez. It was during this time when it all “clicked.”

In 1995, Kurt attended the Eastern Shore Criminal Justice Academy, after which he served as a certified police officer in Ocean City, MD, from 1995 – 1997.

Kurt has travelled extensively teaching Isshinryu – from Puerto Rico to Australia. He has trained defensive tactics to several law enforcement agencies, as well as conducted numerous seminars throughout the U.S.

In October, 2017, Kurt was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to the Dojo Award at Don Nagle’s AOKA 60th Anniversary Hall of Fame Ceremony. In 2019, he was inducted into the Isshinryu Hall of Fame. In May, 2023, he was awarded Grandmaster Instructor of the Year by the World Head of Family Sokeship Council.

Kurt earned a B.A. and M.B.A. with a concentration in finance from the University of Delaware. He later earned a J.D., cum laude, from the Delaware Law School, and a Masters in Law in Taxation from the Villanova University School of Law. Kurt is an attorney, practicing in the areas of corporate and business law.


Sergeant Major (R) Denny J. Langford is career United States Army Special Forces Soldier (Green Beret) and Martial Artist. He began his Martial Arts training in 1984 at the age of 12, in the Kyokushin style of Karate, under Shihan David Boyles and Darrel Wilson….


Sergeant Major Langford attained the rank of Brown Belt in this style before he joined the United States Army as an Infantry Scout Sniper.

Sergeant Major (R) Langford was then assigned to 2/9th Infantry Regiment (Scouts), 7th Infantry Division, Ft. Ord, CA and Ft. Lewis, WA, as a Sniper Team Leader. His follow-on assignment included the 1/503rd Infantry Regiment (Scouts), 2nd Infantry Division, Camp Casey, Korea as a Sniper Squad Leader. While stationed at Camp Casey, Sergeant Major (R) Langford trained daily in the art of Tae Kwon Do under the tutelage of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Rangers. Sergeant Major Langford was then stationed with the 3/325th Airborne Combat Team (ABCT) Scouts, Vicenza, Italy as the Senior Scout.

Sergeant Major Langford (R) graduated the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC) in August 1997 and was the awarded the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) 18E. He was then assigned to B Co., 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) as a Special Forces Senior Communications Sergeant. During his time in 3rd Special Forces Group (A), Sergeant Major (R) Langford served numerous tours in Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Mali, Nigeria, Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq. While in this assignment, Sergeant Major Langford (R) attended U.S. Army Ranger School, in which he was trained in the Ranger Hand-to-Hand Combat Program. In August 2003, he was assigned as a Small Group Instructor at the United States Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School NCO Academy. After his assignment to USAJFKSWCS, Sergeant Major Langford (R) was assigned to C Co., 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (A) as the Team Sergeant for Operational Detachment (ODA) 331, where he held that position for 36 months, serving a tour in Afghanistan and a tour in Pakistan.

It was during his tour in Pakistan, that Sergeant Major Langford (R) met his Sensei and mentor, Professor Ernie Cates. Sergeant Major Langford (R) began training in the art of Neko Ryu GoshinJitsu and quickly realized that he had discovered his “DO” or “the way”. In his subsequent assignment as the First Sergeant of the Combined Joint Special Operations Task

Force-Afghanistan (CJOSTF-A), and upon receiving permission to teach the art of Neko Ryu-Goshin-Jitsu and Kodokan Judo from Professor Cates, Sergeant Major Langford (R) built a dojo on the CJSOTF-A compound, Bagram, Afghanistan. He named the dojo The Hall of Heroes. During his time as Sensei of the Dojo, and running combat operations simultaneously, Sergeant Major Langford (R) taught for a year straight the art of Neko Ryu Goshin-Jitsu and Kodokan Judo. His students included not only U.S. Special Forces Soldiers (Green Berets) and their support Soldiers, but the Korean Tier One Special Forces; Navy SEALS: Bagram Detention Facility Military Police and contractors; Afghani Commando’s and Other Government Agency (OGA) contractors. It was during this year long tour, that Sergeant Major Langford (R) started developing a program for melding Neko Ryu Goshin-Jitsu, Kodokan Judo and Escrima, with the Military’s hand-to-hand combat programs. For his work at the Hall of Heroes Dojo, Sergeant Major Langford (R) was awarded the Special Forces Hand-to-Hand Combat Instructor of the Year from the International Association of Martial Artists (I.A.MA.) Hall of Fame and Awards, and the Joint Commendation and Joint Achievement Medals from the U.S. Army. Sergeant Major Langford (R) was also awarded the honorary rank of Shodan in Tae Kwon Do, from the Command Sergeant Major of the Korean Special Forces during their Korean Veterans Day Celebration.

Sergeant Major Langford (R) then attended the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy, Fort Bliss, TX where he graduated on the Commandants List. While in school, Sergeant Major Langford taught as a primary instructor at Hayashi’s Martial Arts in El Paso, TX. While there, Sergeant Major Langford coached his students to 3 x Gold, 5 x Silver, 1 x Bronze at the New Mexico State Games in 2013 and 2 x Gold, 1 x Bronze at the Junior Olympics, Irving, TX 2013. Sergeant Major (R) Langford also served as the Head Instructor and Coach for the Sergeant’s Major Academy Judo/JuJitsu Team.

Sergeant Major Langford (R) then served as the Company Sergeant Major for SFOD-H, 4th Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), for 36 months and currently works as an Independent Contractor (IC) for various U.S. Government agencies. In 2017, Sergeant Major (R) Langford was honored by the World Head of Family and Sokeship Council with the title of Soke (Martial Arts Head of Family) and the rank of Grandmaster within his martial arts family. Sergeant Major Langford (R) continues to teach and mentor current and former Soldiers in Hand-to-Hand Combat within two dojos’ in the 3rd Special Forces Group compound. As a hobby, he also puts his Martial Arts skills to use at home, first, as a formerly licensed Fugitive Recovery Agent for the State of North Carolina, and as a licensed Executive Protection/Close Protection Agent under his company, Bushido Concepts, LLC. Sergeant Major Langford continually conducts seminars and training for missionaries deploying overseas, local churches, the Virginia State Police and Charlotte SWAT officers and their families.

Sergeant Major (R) Langford’s military schools include: Airborne School, Combat Lifesavers Course, U.S. Army Sniper School, NBC Officer/NCO Course, Primary Leadership Development Course, Master Fitness Trainer Course, Special Forces Assessment and Selection, Advanced International Morse Code, Basic Non Commissioned Officer Course, Special Forces Communication Sergeant Course, DLI French, Military Freefall Parachutist, Static-Line Jumpmaster Course, Military Freefall Jumpmaster, Advanced Non Commissioned Officer Course (Honor Graduate), Special Forces Operations and Intelligence Course, SERE Level III, Peacetime Government Hostage Detention Course, Instructor Training Course, Small Group Instructor Training Course, and the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy (Commandant’s List).

Sergeant Major (R) Langford’s military awards are: LOM, BSM (3), DMSM (3), MSM (3), JCOM, ARCOM (3)(V for Valor), JSAM, AAM (4), AGCM (5), NDSM (2), KDSM, AFEM, ACM (4 stars), ICM (2 Stars)(Arrowhead), GWTEM, GWTSM, HSM, AFSM, NOPDR (4), ASR, OSR (2), NATOMDL (2), Military Outstanding Volunteer Medal, Army Superior Unit Award, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Korean Presidential Unit Citation, Special Forces Tab, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Master Parachutists Badge, Military Freefall Jumpmaster Badge.

Sergeant Major Langford’s foreign awards include: Kenyan Parachutist Wings, Romanian Parachutists Wings, Irish Parachutist Wings, Latvian Freefall Parachutist Wings, Chilean Freefall Parachutists Wings, Thai Freefall Parachutists Wings, Dutch Freefall Wings, and German Military Freefall Wings in Gold.

Sergeant Major (R) Langford’s military hand-to-hand combat training and martial arts training include:


Sento Mushin (Judan, 10th Degree)

Awarded the title’s SOKE and Grandmaster by the World Head of Family and Sokeship Council


Neko Ryu Goshin-Jitsu (Yondan, 5th Degree)

Awarded by Professor Ernie Cates and Grandmaster Moose Cates


Kodokan Judo (Nidan, 2nd Degree)

Awarded by Professor Ernie Cates and Grandmaster Moose Cates


Kyokushin Karate (Nikyu)

Awarded by Shihan David Boyles


Tae Kwon Do (Honorary Shodan)

Camp Casey, Korea under ROK Rangers


Ranger Hand-to-Hand Combat Program

U.S. Army Ranger School, Ft. Benning, GA


Linear Infighting Neural Override Engagement (LINE)

Under Marine (RET) Ron DonVito, Fayetteville, NC


Modern Army Combatives Program (MACP)

3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) Fort Bragg, NC


Special Operation Combatives Program (SOCP)

3rd Special Forces Group (A) Combatives Committee


Filipino Martial Arts (Escrima)

Under Grandmaster Steve Wolk (Denver, CO), Guro Greg Allen (El Paso, TX)

Command Sergeant Major Dave Lafountain (Fayetteville, NC)

Past Events