12 years old.  We trained once a week, our instructor was transferred to another part of the
country, we lost our teacher.

Following this loss I entered high school and began a wrestling career, losing only 4 matches
in the four years I wrestled. I can thank judo for a lot of my wrestling success and later on when
I took up motorcycling the judo experience really paid off for me. I began enduros, flat tracking
and hill climbing and I have to say with all the falls, flips and crashes, without the knowledge of
break falling I would not be alive today.

After high school, I was drafted to fly border patrol in Berlin. Returning in 1968, I continued my
career in wrestling as a hands-on assistant coach for my former high school.

It wasn't till I just turned 45 that because other girls at school were picking on our daughter the
three of us decided to start karate. I came full circle in my life and I was back to the martial arts.
We were training with Grandmaster Al Smith at the Red Dragon Karate School.

Throughout my training in the martial arts, I have taken every opportunity to attend and
participate in numerous seminars. Master Iberl taught us Bando, Shihan Larry Isaac's taught
seminars on weapons and Kata, I have taken classes in Lake Placid, NY and Nashville, Tenn.
Even during vacations, I never leave my martial arts training behind.  I have also taken
numerous seminars with Grand Master Kise, Master Frank Williams, Sifu Lewis, Mike Stone,
Stephen Jimerfield, Bill Wallace, Master N. Morgan Woods, Master George Epps, Grandmaster
Gary Alexander, Don Wilson, Soke  Mike DePasquale, Master Doug Perry, Kaicho Robert
Morton, Sensei Charles Garrett, and Dr. Ash. I have received certifications in Tuite from Master
Frank Williams, and look forward to participating, when available, his next level of classes.
April 1, 2016 presented with Life membership with International Okinawan Budo-Kai

May 1, 2005 I received the rank of Renshi, teaching certificate, from Shihan Frank Williams.  
January 15, 2006 the rank of Shodan in Jujitsu from Soke Michael DePasquale. June 1, 2006
Rank of Godan,  5th degree black belt from Shihan Frank Williams.  July 16, 2009 rank of
Ni-dan from Yoshimatsu Akamine.  June 1, 2011 6th degree (rokudan) black belt rank from,
May 2015 I was presented with 7th degree, Nanadan by Shihan Frank WIlliams, UMAA

I have always been a competitor throughout every aspect of my life, and the martial arts have
been no different. I began competing as an orange belt and still compete in the
senior/executive divisions today accumulating some 500 trophies.

Awards I received: 9-14-01 IAMA Outstanding Male Competitor from Shihan Gary Alexander,
6-29-02 WKU Male Competitor of the Year from Sensei Frank Tasetano,  January 2004 Action
M.A. Excellence in the Teaching of  Martial arts from Master Alan Goldberg.  2005 Bushido
Award from Soke Michael DePasquale. 10-21-06 AMAA Male Shorin ryu Instructor of the Year
from Master Jesse Bowen. 9-29-07 UMAA Master Weapons Instructor of the Year from Shihan
Frank Williams. 6-28-08 WKU School of the Year from Sensei Frank Tasetano. 9-5-09 UMAA
Bronze Life Achievement Award from Shihan Frank WIlliams. 11-14-09 IFOJJ Shoto Award from
Soke Michael DePasquale. 11-21-09 IAMA Matsumura Shorin ryu Master of the Year from
Shihan Gary Alexander. May 21, 2011"Legends of the Martial Arts" hall of fame, I was awarded
Male Matsumura Shorin Ryu instructor of the year.
November 17, 2012 IAMA Matsurmura Seito Hozon Kai Sensei of the year for 2012
May 21, 2016 awarded Who's who in the international  hall of fame by Shihan GJ Torres

Trained in Okinawa with our instructor Yoshimatsu Akamine Sensei, July-August 2006, July
2009 and July-August 2010, July & August 2011,May 2012, July & August 2013 ,  I was given the
title of Kyoshi from Akamine Sensei on Tuesday August 3, 2010.  July 20, 2014 Akamine
Sensei presented me with Shihan memkyo.

I am now at the point in my life, where I am very thankful to God that I have my health and that I
am still able to pass on what I have learned over the years from many of today's great masters
to those dedicated students beginning their long journey, or to young black belts who are still
eager to learn. My journey is far from over. I have too much to learn yet, and for me to continue
to help feed the young minds and bodies of future martial artists I must continue to learn
myself. As a result of my desire to continue and grow, and light the spark in many of today's
children, adolescents, and adults in the community that want to reap the many benefits of
martial arts training, my wife and I purchased and renovated a building to become the only
martial arts dojo in Alpha, New Jersey I look forward to guiding many more students to follow
the right path in the martial arts and in life, hoping they continue to become better than I can
ever be. This is my new goal. My wife and I would have not undertaken this enormous project,
at this stage in our lives, had we not felt in our hearts and souls, that this is what we are
destined to be teachers of martial arts and life skills. The talents our students demonstrate are
evidence that what they are learning is changing their lives for the better.
My Journey in the Martial Arts
Sensei Gary J. Melick 7th degree Black Belt
Student of Yoshimatsu Akamine Sensei of Okinawa
Akamine Sensei in
Okinawa, 2006
1100 East Blvd., Alpha, New Jersey 08865-4421
phone: 908-387-1100  cell: 908-319-7294
e-mail: goldendragonkarate@verizon.net