Justin Butler Hanshi and three students started Golden Eagle Shotokan in 1986. Justin has been studying Shotokan since 1982. He keeps the class count low in order to be able to give more attention to the students as they progress.
Justin Hanshi has studied Martial Arts since 1965 with various styles. He has also spent some time studying Tai Chi, and is a 3rd dan black belt in Hakkoryu jiu-jitsu, having studied under Dennis Pulumbo.
Shotokan has become a way of life, which Justin Hanshi continuously learns more about as he goes through life. In more recent years, Hanshi Justin has endeavored to bring out the jiu-jitsu techniques that are part of Shotokan, but not acknowledged by most dojos. Jiu-jitsu techniques appear in the majority of the katas of the Shotokan system.
His school is associated with the following organizations: HMAF, ISKA , ITKF and the WJKA.
Learning and passing on the nuances of this style have been very rewarding to Justin Hanshi by allowing him to see young people develop into responsible and caring adults. Once the students achieve Green belt level they are allowed to learn sword and bow techniques.
Physically disabled people are very welcome in class as Justin Hanshi is very adept at showing them how to work within their own physiology. Just because people consider you disabled doesn't mean that you are not capable of doing Martial Arts.
Justin is currently a Hanshi, 8th dan, in Shotokan and is still enjoying the art after all these years. All the students are taught self-defense and more importantly, awareness. Justin Hanshi feels it is very important to be able to first keep yourself from danger by anticipating it before it happens, thus avoiding a bad situation. He teaches self-defense with three basic rules:
~Keep it simple
~Do proper techniques
~Get away as soon as possible
Justin Hanshi thinks it is important that everyone learn some skills that can save their lives!
The Dojo will host a self-defense course twice a year that will give you the tools to save yourself if a bad situation arises.
Shihan Mike Sullivan began his Martial Arts Journey in 1978 with a couple of years studying Tae Kwan Do at a local recreation center in Aurora Colorado. After dabbling in some Judo and Tai Chi over the years he began the study of Shotokan Karate under Hanshi Justin Butler in 1993. Mike Shihan started classes with his youngest daughter as something they could do together. Mikes youngest daughter really wanted to learn Karate. After a couple of years she discovered that boys, friends and school “stuff” were a lot more fun than Karate. Mike however had discovered a hidden desire long buried and now awakened. What Mike discovered was true martial arts was not an easy thing to learn, and as a matter of fact was very humbling for a pretty good athlete. Being too stubborn to quit, Mike stayed on with Sensei Butler. The excuse was he needed the exercise; the reality was a love affair with the art of Shotokan had been started.
After stalling as long as Sensei Butler would allow he earned his Shodan (first degree) Black Belt in 2003. Mike became a member of the International San Ten Karate and San Ten Martial Arts Association in 2002. He was awarded his Instructor Certifications in 2004, with national certification in 2007. He was awarded the title “Sensei” by the Fraternal Order of Black Dragons in 2007.
Mike Sensei is now a Shihan (5th degree) black belt in Shotokan Karate and a Shihan in Ougon no washi San Ten Jujitsu. Mike has helped teach and has instructed classes for the Golden Eagle Shotokan Club for over 8 years now. The love affair with the martial arts is not over, and grew so strong to pass the art to others that Mike has joined with Justin Sensei in running part of the Golden Eagle Shotokan Club.
Mike has not lost interest in Tai Chi and has begun to pursue this ancient art in earnest. He also continues to travel to various seminars and training with Hanshi Butler to better serve the art of Karate, Jujitsu and their students. One of Mike Sensei’s mentors told him when he earned his black belt “now you can begin to learn” and this has now become a lifetime mission.