The history on Isshinryu Karate is well documented all over the internet by many people who were instrumental in bringing it to the U.S.A. I'll try to give you as brief a history as possible on "my" history in Isshinryu.
My lineage to our founder - Tatsuo Shimabuku - like many others, is quite short. Clarence Ewing brought Isshinryu to Indianapolis after his training with Shimabuku Sensei. Many fine karateka ( student of karate ) came from Sensei Ewing's ranks, including John Lennox. Sensei Lennox was head instructor at the Mudokwan judo and karate school in Indianapolis for many,many years. Under Sensei Lennox, the Mudokwan's reputation for tough, very disciplined, well trained students became known throughout the Isshinryu community. Sensei Lennox, while at Mudokwan, promoted many fine students to black belt. One of those students was Stanley Mount. Sensei Mount excelled in Isshinryu, and has also promoted many great people to the rank of black belt.
I began my training with Sensei Mount in the late 80's in Martinsville, In. Not long after my promotion to sho-dan (1st degree black), my job forced me to move to Indianapolis, where I continued my training at the Mudokwan, under Sensei Lennox. What a thrill it was for me to train under my Sensei's Sensei ! I was very lucky and truly blessed to train under 2 Sensei's whose training and philosophy were so much alike......listen,learn, work hard, nothing is free, everything you get, you earn. The environment at the Mudokwan made everybody work extremely hard. With so many men and women at so many different levels of black belt, we were always pushing each other to do our absolute best each and every night. To say it was an awesome experience is an understatement!
In 1995, my job again forced me to move, 100 miles south of Indy, to Jeffersonville, In. After a year of training on my own, and making many trips back to Indy to train with my friends, I decided to start my own dojo. There were many martial arts schools in the Southern Indiana/ Louisville, Ky. area, but not one Isshinryu school. Our dojo has been open in this area since 1996. There have been many people come through our doors over the years, who have made everlasting impressions on me. I've made some great friendships and have wonderful students. Lance Johnson was a student for over 8 years before he became the first student I promoted to sho-dan in 2007. His job has forced him to move over an hour away, but we continue to train as often as possible. Cynthia Wood trained with me for over 5 years before her sho-dan promotion in 2009. Don Calvert trained for over 15 years in south-central Indiana and was awarded the rank of 3rd dan in 1991. He joined the military, was out of Isshinryu for a while, came back to southern Indiana, and found me and we've been training together for over six years now. Ian Tex has been training with me for over 10 years and was awarded his well deserved black belt in June 2013!!