Master Jerry Smith Shichi-dan (7th degree black belt) began his study of Martial Arts in Ranger, Texas under Sensei Jerry Carbone where he earned his first Black Belt in Goju-Ryu Karate. In 1974, he began studying Isshin-ryu under the supervision of Sensei James Maples in Tazewell, Tennessee. After Sensei Maple’s untimely death, Master Smith sought out Sensei Maple’s teacher, Master Harold Long, and started studying with Master Long at the Knoxville/West Town dojo in 1978.
Master Smith studied with Master Long until Master Long’s death in 1998. Master Smith advises anyone interested in the study of karate to find a “Ryu” style of karate to study and train in. Master Smith believes the Ryu styles of karate are better training and have more self-defense techniques and applications.
During his competitive years, Mr. Smith won the East Coast Isshin-ryu Karate Championships, the Harold Long Invitational, the Grand National Karate Championships, the North American Karate State Championship, and the Cumberland Mountain Karate Championships.
Master Smith’s awards include:
• In 1991 awarded the Isshin-ryu Hall of Fame Male Karate-Ka of the Year.
• 1997 Master Smith was inducted into the World Karate Union Hall of Fame
• The World Head of Family Sokeship Council International Hall of Fame.
• 1998, Master Smith was inducted into the Martial Arts Master Pioneers and
Legends Hall of Fame
• 2001 I.H.O.F. Male Instructor of the Year
Master Smith was promoted to Roku-Dan on September 3, 1998 by Master Long, and he was promoted to his current rank of Shichi-Dan on June 6, 2003 by the I.I.K.A.
Mr. Smith has been the rock of Isshin-ryu in Claiborne County for many years. He has traveled extensively in Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia teaching self-defense classes to Law Enforcement Officers. He has also taught Women’s Self-Defense classes as well as Karate to under-privileged children in the community. Master Smith currently lives in Tazewell, Tennessee and teaches at Dogwood Gym on Mondays and Thursday and at a Church in Tazewell on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Master Smith is a favorite guest instructor and seminar presenter at dojos around Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia. He is well known for his efficient, effective and often brutal self-defense techniques.