Our Founder

Our school was founded in 1979 by Grandmaster James R. Garrison. Mr. Garrison is truly a “once-in-a-generation” martial artist whose love of training and commitment to excellence has taken him around the globe, seeking out the best teachers and learning each art direct from its source. In addition, his gift for developing people and his passion for budo has impacted countless students and fellow instructors for more than 50 years.

Judo was Mr. Garrison’s original martial art and he began his training at age 13. In 1964, he moved to Portland, Oregon to train in Judo and Jujitsu with Mr. Robert Dewar of the Samurai Dojo. In 1966 he was drafted by the Navy and during his tours in Vietnam, he was able to train in Japan receiving his 1st DAN in 1967 and his 2nd DAN in 1969. Over the years, Mr. Garrison also trained under the personal direction of Mr. Walter Todd, 8th Dan and Grandmaster Chung, 9th DAN & head coach of the Korean Olympic Judo team.

Mr. Garrison began his Aikido training in 1964 with Mr. Onishi at the Samurai Dojo and resumed it again in 1966 under the direction of Mr. Harita in Japan. In 1969, he began training with Professor Walter Todd who trained directly with Ueshiba, who personally signed Mr. Todd’s first and second degree Aikido black belt certificates. It was during this time that Mr. Garrison began training with Koichi Tohei. This training with Tohei Shihan continued until 1974.

Mr. Garrison’s involvement with TaeKwonDo begain early in 1966, when he trained with Grandmaster Jhoon Rhee. Earning his TaeKwonDo black belt, Mr. Garrison continued his training with the elite Korean Tiger Division while he was in Vietnam. His training became more intense after he became a student of Grandmaster Kim. Mr. Garrison made many trips to Korea with Mr. Kim in order to train with many Korean TaeKwonDo masters. Among others, Mr. Garrison traveled with Mr. Lee Moo Ho, 6-time Korean TaeKwonDo forms and fighting champion.

Mr. Garrison was first introduced to Hapkido from Brong Yu. Over a 25 year period, Mr. Kim would arrange numerous trips to Asia for Mr. Garrison so that he could train with a variety of Hapkido masters. While in Korea, Mr. Garrison trained in the fundamentals of Chung Do Kwan and their influence on Hapkido. In China, Mr. Garrison was introduced to the meditative and healing powers of Hapkido. In Japan, Mr. Garrison was trained in the harder style and focus of the Jujitsu components of Hapkido.

Now living in Roseburg with his wife, Mrs. Shonene Garrison (6th Dan), Mr. Garrison actively trains competitive field trial dogs and continues to share his knowledge of the true meaning of traditional martial arts training through his writing. In addition, Mr. Garrison remains active as President of the World Oriental Martial Arts Federation (WOMAF), an organization dedicated to the preservation and promulgation of traditional Japanese and Korean martial arts.

Mr. Garrison holds the following advanced black belts: 9th Dan Hapkido, 8th Dan Jujitsu, 7th Dan TaeKwonDo, 7th Dan Judo, 6th Dan Aikido.