As a ranking association for Black Belts in the world there is no rival or comparison. The World Martial Arts Ranking Association was founded and established by Grand Master 10th Degree J. Pat Burleson to give credibility and recognition for all legitimate Black Belts seeking an organization that will recognize men in our field with distinction and proper notoriety. Many members of the Karate community have not been informed as to the immensity of the status of Black Belt testing through the WMARA.
If you have done any study of the history of Martial Arts in the United States, you will know that all of the enhancements and improvements in instruction, equipment innovations and competitive events have been developed and improved in the United States since the introduction of the Martial Arts to our country since the 1950’s. The men who were instrumental in all of the progress in this activity are considered to be not only pioneers in the industry but as founders are highly respected and admired for their contributions. These men are in part, the reason that the WMARA exists. The endorsers of this program are indeed the most respected icons in the Martial Arts industry. Each one has given Master J. Pat Burleson permission to use their names and endorsement to the advancement of all Black Belt Rank as if they personally attended each testing event. Several of these icons are deceased and it will be impossible for anyone to obtain the approval of them from any other organization.
In alphabetical order, they are:
Steve Armstrong – Steve was a practitioner of Okinawan Isshin Ryu was an author of Isshin ryu Kata books and established Martial Arts instruction in his 1st Northwest United States karate school in 1960.
J.Pat Burleson – The 1st National Black Belt champion acquired in 1964 in Washington DC – Pat is the founder of the WMARA and had the vision to establish an organization remembering the icons of the martial arts in America and combining that with the opportunity for others to be a part of the history and receive the greatest benefits that can be acquired by so many in our industry.
Dr. Maung Gyi – A practitioner of Bando and Burmese Martial Arts – Dr. Gyi formed the American Bando Association and was the chef instructor of the USKA, He was the chief referee of the PKA in 1976 and other distinguished organizations. For the US and Europe he was chairman of the rules and regulations committee for Black Belt magazine, he promoted Bando free fighting and kickboxing championships in the United States.
Jim Harrison – A practitioner of Karate, Judo, Aiki Jutsu, and Kickboxing. Jim had exceptional success in law enforcement and ran a successful Martial Arts school in Kansas City and moved to Missoula, Montana where he continued to train the public. Jim was highly sought after for seminars and as a Karate competitor was the man that no one wanted to fight. He won numerous National Black Belt Championships, fought in the earliest kickboxing shows and his warrior spirit was reflected in his Bushidokan Dojo daily.
Gene LeBell – Boxing, wrestling, Karate, and Judo – Gene has authored 12 books and worked in Hollywood as a stunt coordinator in numerous movies and worked with Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris and others, He is and ex-champion in wrestling and Judo and is highly respected by martial artists all over the world.
Joe Lewis – Okinawan Shorin Ryu Karate and 1st US Kickboxer – He formed the Joe Lewis American Karate System in 1967. He was the 1st PKA Heavyweight World champion in Kickboxing established in 1974. Joe was a devastating fighter and won most of the top karate tournaments of the day numerous times.
Edmond Parker – Father of American Kenpo – Ed opened the 1st Kenpo dojo in 1956 in Pasadena, California and taught American Kenpo Karate which included influences from judo and several karate styles. An accomplished author, Ed hosted the 1st International Karate Championships in Long Beach, Ca. in 1964.
Jhoon Goo Rhee – Father of American Tae Kwon Do – He introduced TKD in 1956 in Texas. He was also an actor in several films and had an extensive presence in Washington, DC with several schools and a huge list of successful Black Belt competitors.
Allen Steen – American Karate – One of the top competing karate tournament pioneers of the “Blood and Guts” era of tournament karate, Mr. Steen established a karate business empire of schools in Dallas, Texas starting in 1962. Many of the elite martial arts competitors trace their origins to Allen Steen.
Mike Stone – Shorin Ryu Karate – Mike is the only undefeated icon of tournament karate competition. His insiights and views of life inspire everyone he comes in contact with.
Robert Trias – Father of American Martial Arts and founder of the USKA – Master Trias was an author and wrote the 1st rules and ran the 1st karate tournament in the US in 1955. He established the United States Karate Association in 1948.
Bob Wall – Okinawan Martial Arts, Tang Soo Do Karate, Jiu Jitsu – Bob was an actor with Bruce Lee in “Enter the Dragon” and a martial arts karate studio owner and friend of Chuck Norris, a black belt competitor, a real estate businessman, and an author of “Who’s who in the Martial Arts” in 1975.
Bill Wallace – Karate, Boxing, Undefeated Kickboxing Champion – Bill was known as “Superfoot” and is an undefeated PKA middleweight champion with a 23-0 record. He is highly sought after to give seminars all over the world. Bill is an actor in several films and is the author of three books.
The WMARA is headquartered in Oklahoma City by Grand Master 10th Degree Black Belt Jim Butin, but has an affiliate location in Azle, Texas at the Burleson Dojo which has been the major site for Black Belt Ranking, Black Belt Instructional Seminars, and Martial Arts Summer Camps. The Azle, Texas location features the top Black Belt officials in the WMARA and is affiliated with the Christian Soldiers Karate Program that is run and organized by Anna Burleson. This site proves to be a mecca for martial arts participation in the region and is soon to be enhanced to accommodate travel to the region with plans for cabins for rental and RV sites for traveling karate families wishing to take advantage of the many amenities in the area! Martial Art School Resources for success.
All martial artist should be aware of the importance of the World Martial Arts Ranking Association. The WMARA was founded to give credibility and recognition to all legitimate Black Belts seeking an organization that will recognize the top leaders in our field with distinction and proper notoriety at every belt level.
The highest certification in Martial Arts. A beautiful addition to your display wall.