Nathan Batson - Renshi
The Senior Karate Instructor, and owner of the Tyler Karate Academy, Sensei Batson was among the first people in the US to be issued a Certified Instructors certificate from the Okinawa Shorinryu Matsumura Orthodox Karate & Kobudo Federation of Okinawa, Japan. He holds a Godan, or 5th degree black belt, in both traditional Shorinryu karate and Kobudo (the Okinawan art of weapons), as well as a Yondan, or 4th degree black belt, in the art of Tuite-Jitsu (joint manipulation, throws and holds), as well as being awarded the prestigious title of Renshi (polished instructor) through both John Shipes, Shihan and the Okinawa Shorinryu Matsumura Orthodoxed Karate & Kobudo Federation. Sensei Batson is also an Associate Instructor under Guro Ray Parra, in the arts of Kali/Silat and Jeet Kun Do, and holds kyu level ranks in several other arts such as Isshinryu Karate, Yawara Judo, and Dai No Shin Ju-Jitsu, as well as having studied Iaido, and Goju Ryu.
Mark Stevens - Dai Senpai
Mr. Stevens began his training in the early 70's when he started learning Judo and Ju-jitsu from his father, a decorated police officer who was unfortunatlly killed in the line of duty. In the early 80's Mr. Stevens began training in Shorinryu Kenshin Kan under Sensei Steve Warren at his dojo in Palestine, Texas. Sadly life took Mr. Stevens out of the dojo again shortly after receiving his 9th kyu in 1983, and it wasn't until January of 2008 that he again found himself in a gi. After joining the Tyler Karate Academy family, Mr. Stevens threw himself into the training, both his own and assisting with the kid's class, earning his Sandan as well as becoming a Certified Instructor in Matsumura Orthodox Karate in July of 2012.
Jessica Batson - Senpai
Mrs. Batson began her formal karate training in 2007, with the grand opening of the Tyler Karate Academy. Having trained with her husband Sensei Batson, Shihan John Shipes, and many other excellent instructors as well as traveling to Okinawa twice, and with very few classes taking place without her on the floor, she has quickly risen through the ranks, culminating with her earning her Sandan (3rd degree blackbelt) in December of 2011. "Miss Jessica" is an internationally Certified Instructor in Matsumura Seito karate and is the senior instructor for both the Aerobic Kickboxing and LiL' Dragon's classes.
Inactive or training elsewhere regularly
John Fleming - Senpai (currently the senior instructor at the Iron Dojo in Whiterock, Tx)
Mr. Fleming began his Shorinryu karate training at the OSAKI Dojo of Grand Prarie, under Sensei Bill Carroll, where he continued to train untill moving to Tyler, Texas in 2007. Unable to locate another OSAKI school nearby, Mr. Fleming made the switch to Matsumura Seito Shorinryu when he joined the ranks at the Tyler Karate Academy in 2008. Having proven his dedication time and time again, Mr. Fleming was invited to Okinawa in the Spring of 2010 where he spent time in intensive training with both Hanshi Fusei Kise and Kaicho Isao Kise before being promoted to ShoDan (blackbelt) at the Hombu Dojo in Okinawa, Japan. In December of 2011 Mr. Fleming was promoted to NiDan (2nd degree blackbelt) and started on the road to becoming a Certified Instructor in Matsumura Seito Karate. Senpai Fleming is a Certified Karate Instructor, having completed the certification process under John Shipes Hanshi in October of 2012.
Osbaldo Conde - Senpai (currently inactive)
Mr. Conde started his karate training under Sensei Batson during the Summer of 2005 at the Lone Star Karate Club in Athens, Texas. Beginning when he was just 13 years old, Mr. Conde has continued his training with both Sensei Batson and his instructor, John Shipes Shihan, and has since gone on to earn his Nidan (2nd degree blackbelt) before graduating high school. Affectionately known as "Mr. O" to the kids, he can be seen leading the classes when Sensei Batson travels to Okinawa, or around the U.S. for seminars.