What Others Are Saying About Karate

     An UPKUDO fighter is unique in that he or she does not measure his or her success by the trophies they have won or the name they have made for themselves. They are martial artists who are also skilled fighters. When they compete, they compete as martial artists, not as many sport karate practitioners do. The latter often disregard the arts for the sport itself. Our fighters are champions in every sense. They understand that they only lose if they allow their opponent to take their spirit. In their heart, regardless of the number of times they may win or lose in points, they are champions. This mentality is a direct reflection of the UPKUDO philosophy. Positive input is Positive output.
     UPKUDO continues to distinguish itself from other styles by its method of building champions. Grand Master Gary Lee Baker’s training philosophy set this system apart from others in existence today. We are taught that a teacher need not break down a student’s body physically, instilling fear and pain, in order to make them strong. Rather, a teacher need only change the thinking of a student in order to make them a champion. Students in UPKUDO are built up rather than broken down and, as a consequence, emerge from the fire of training confident, mentally tough, physically stronger, humble, kind, loving, and deadly in the ring. They emerge as champions.
     In the art of UPKUDO fighters are built with a solid foundation on the belief that God has given us the talent we possess and we put forth the effort. The training is not easy. It is often strenuous and always challenging. As Grand Master Baker and Master Anne has taught us, "To become a champion you must think like a champion, train like a champion, learn to go past pain and never, ever give up." The art of UPKUDO builds champions, not only in the ring but inside the hearts of its members. As we train, learn, and grow, we develop the heart of a champion, the spirit of a warrior and a positive attitude.
Maria Harbin
     I still remember and tell people about the time Grandmaster tapped me with a hook kick and I folded up and went down dazed. The awesome thing was that I did not see it coming and it was just a light tap from his heel. I will never forget that.
Lee Head Black Belt
     Every time I tested Master Anne was always there. There is a lot I can say but cant remember right away. But I do remember the jumping spinning SK and to never give up. Never say No, I cant do that". She doesn't believe you cant do something.
Kyra Welsh Red Belt 3rd Degree
     Ever since I was 2 years old to becoming a black belt and still trying to become a Sensei, Master Anne has been teaching me. I want to become just like her.
Sensei Brittney Roddenberry
Master Anne,
     The lessons learned as your student at Alpha remain with me a long time. When I began the school, your initial push was for me to forgo my timidity and for me to re-embrace the responsibilities and gifting of leadership. Although I was aware of my timid, non-confrontational nature and entered the challenge of karate with that growth in mind, I had no intention of taking any leadership role. But you persisted and drove me to recognize the gift's God placed within me and to actively use them. Master Anne, you drove me to use more than just friendly persuasiveness to deal with challenges to authority, but to face those challenges head on with determination and self-confidence.
     Many of the philosophical and behavioral lessons I learned as your student continue to impact my work as a church youth staff member. I have an increased awareness of security, self-confidence, courage, the paradoxical need for self-reliance and the need for community, and respect.
Sincerely, Paul Stonecipher, Kelegion Kai
Program Specialist III, Office of Student Financial Assistance, Florida Department of Education
Youth Staff Member, Access Youth Church, Freedom Church First Assembly
     One paragraph is not enough to even begin to tell how much Master Anne has taught me, in and out of the Dojo. She is the most passionate person about her karate and her students than anyone I have ever known. With every class she pulled the very best out of all of us . Never settling for or allowing us to settle for our second best. And I love that about her. Also the knowledge that she has is amazing. Whenever you ask her a question about anything in class, the answer was right there. Her reputation and record of training championship fighters is second to none. Although I have not been there for some time I still remember a lot she has taught me. I will always carry the training and knowledge with me the rest of my life. She is one of the finest people I have ever had the pleasure to meet.
Thank you, Shannon Hines, Black Belt
     I believe you once told me, "All is fair in love and war; if you can't make love, make war." You also taught me years ago that there are three kinds of people that come into my life. Those that come into my life for a reason, for a season, and for a lifetime. It has become even more clear over the years and quite a bit so very recently. You can't make everyone everything that you want to make them be, but you do have to take them as they are in the way that they come into your life. For a reason, a season or a lifetime -- it's important to recognize the purpose they serve and to learn something from them. Thanks again for all the advice over the years. I still hear your voice in my head from time to time with the things that you've said.
Matt Sexton Black Belt
     My favorite teaching from you is the following quote you said to me: "We are all imperfect-yet we can be great". Also, when you taught me to order my priorities as God, Family, Career/School, UPKUDO you helped me to make a lot of tough decisions.
Lance Van Lewen 3rd Green, Web master for UPKUDO.com
Master Anne,      It’s difficult to write this in one paragraph as you do so much for so many, especially me. You are the inspiration that has eliminated fear; the positive aspiration that has driven away negativity; the stronghold of Godliness and faith; and the mere example of an exemplary leader. You not only lead through example, but you empower visitors, students and parents to accomplish fitness goals beyond their imagination. Through your many techniques & demonstrations, you instill confidence; through your constructive correction, you promote positive attitudes, mindsets, and perfection; through your character, you set the example to exemplify what Upkudo represents, both within the walls of Alpha & within the communities you serve. You are all that and so much more Masteranne!
Mrs. Gerald, mother of Ganine and Geremy (green belts)
"Planning BEYOND today."
     I can tell you that almost 4 years later, I can still remember those words. Four years ago, I found myself in a place where I was disgruntled and upset because I FELT that I wasn't appreciated and I was FEELING mad because I didn't think my job really saw what I was worth. OF course, in the midst of anger and frustration, I called the one person who I believed would understand my pain, my Master!! Of course, she patiently let me vent and scream out all of my anger and frustration and when I finally got to a point where she had heard enough, like a surgeon, she cut me apart. She forced me to remove all of the emotions from my arguments. She showed me that my FEELINGS weren't the root of my problem and neither was my job. She showed me that my true problem was that I had not PLANNED BEYOND THAT DAY! I had put so much faith, effort, and complete trust in my future with my job that I hadn't planned for the possibility of anything beyond that job. She showed me that just like a white belt who continues to train to attain higher levels of learning and proficiency in their art, as a professional, it's important that I continue to strive to attain higher levels of learning and proficiency in my career. As a Sensei, I strive to become a Renshi. If I become a Renshi, I will strive to become a Master. IF I become a Master, I will strive to become a Grand Master. The one thing Master showed me was that as a Martial Artist, you never settle on believing that you've grown as far as you can grow. My frustration with my job was because I didn't PLAN BEYOND THAT DAY to grow greater than I had become. I wouldn't own my own law firm today if it were not for those words she said to me that day (which I still hold close to my heart).
Sensei Anthony Reeves, 2nd degree black belt, Attorney for the UPKUDO Federation
     Master Anne took a shy, withdrawn three year old named Zac Leonard under her wing when he showed interest if karate. Over the years with love, understanding, and devotion, she has guided this young man of 10 now to the heights of completing his test for third degree red belt and has instilled a determination in Zac to continue upward for his black belt. Zac has come out of his shell and is actually beginning to help instruct younger students in their advancement. She has not only taught Zac karate skills, but the skills to become an outstanding citizen. He has used restraint from physical contact and continues to use the ability to defuse potential serious situations without violence or physical contact. In her wisdom she has also shown me how to control my temperament when around Zac and others without loosing my composure.
Master Anne has my families’ undying gratitude and respect.
Garry Leonard, Grand Father of Zach Leonard Red Belt and Kickboxer
     There are so many things I would love to share about Master Anne Radke. It goes back to when my most precious possession was in K4 at Evangel Christian Academy. Kenzie started attending her karate classes after school as an activity, age 4. When Kenzie went to kindergarten, she also went to the real dojo and started to attend daily afterschool with Master Anne and her team of instructors. That activity has now become a vital part of her life.
     Kenzie has been with her for going on 7 years. Master Anne has seen her blossom from a little toddler into a young woman who just completed testing for her own black belt. Along the way, Master Anne has been a solid rock in our lives. From teaching my daughter self respect, how to behave and treat others, and expectations of the honor of wearing a belt from Upkudo to being loving, compassion and tender, Master Anne has been there to help her develop all the way.
     Personally, she has been there for me through many good and bad times. When I was struggling several years ago with turning 30, she was there to talk with me and advise me on things which helped me pull myself together. Many things I think about daily!
     When my husband was unfaithful and then kicked me out of my own home, it was Master Anne and the dojo family that brought me comfort and made me feel I had a place in this world. When he later committed suicide, Master Anne and her dojo family yet again were there for me and Kenzie to help us through each day, to focus on moving forward and to help us heal properly along the way.
     I know that there have been many times when I felt all alone, but I knew I had her there on MY SIDE encouraging me with love and pushing me to seek my own strength and bravery. I have learned by watching her that people can be purely good, can care for others with no reservations, sacrifice to an extreme degree to bring something to others. I look at her and she radiates and glows with love….yet she is the last person I would ever want to cross.
     My daughter and I have been through some rough times together which she has been there for us both. We have had times where we have butt heads and Master Anne has taken control of the situation and made things very clear to my daughter when I felt there was no way to get through. I have counted on “I’m going to let Master Anne know” as a defense when my daughter misbehaves, then quickly straightens herself out. I’ve seen my child and I both grow into confidence women, strong women, and women with a family and sisterhood outside of the norm.
     Master Anne is a blessing, an angel in our presence. Everyone who gets to know her respects her and admires her and loves her. She has pushed us to sweat and almost faint in class, and picked us right back up and held us in her arms. And after a trillion kicks, jabs and punches I feel very confident in defending myself if that time comes. That security is priceless. I have learned so much about kickboxing, karate and fitness, while learning about respect, honor, drive and ambition…..and love! Abby (kickboxer) and Kenzie Kilbourn (3rd Red Belt)
Master Anne taught me to whom much is given much is required. She also taught me never doubt yourself! These are things I will use not only in karate but also when I’m doing a job. Master Anne is really encouraging when she teaches me. She’s a GREAT TEACHER!
Isaac Bell, Yellow Belt
     Master Anne and the Upkudo family have made a tremendous difference in my son’s life. He has learned that he possess strengths way beyond his mental capacity, that he can do anything if he tries, and being a part of the Upkudo family is an honor that should be carried anywhere in life. Damond and the family are very appreciative towards Master Anne and the UPKUDO family.
Treveka Smith Regulatory Specialist III, Mother of DJ
     Well there is soo much that Master Anne has said that has stuck in my mind during the years of her teaching me. Its hard to just pick one. Besides the techniques be explained and taught and practiced in much detail, I would have to say on a mental side of things it would be, "You control them, don't let them control you". This not only applying to kata and sparring and self defense and teaching kids. But also in everyday life. You have to be in control of your actions, your emotions and your efforts.
     Okay so there is one more thing she said "You have to EARN respect, you just don't get it". Again applying this in the class, the sparring ring and in everyday life. I definitely feel from her teaching that, I do all I can to earn RESPECT.
     I just love her and her heart filled passion for teaching all she has learned. She is my role model.
Renshi Lisa, 3rd degree black belt
     I agree with Mr. Hinson that a few lines are not enough. To be asked to choose only one lesson which Master Anne has patiently taught us, I’m certain is very difficult for everyone. Her wisdom and teaching have transformed thinking, hearts, bodies and lives.
     However since I must choose one ....
     Perhaps the most powerful lesson Master Anne has taught me is to take my negative thinking and transform it into positive thinking. Over the years of being so blessed and proud to call myself her student I did not realize that she was teaching me to transform my mind and thought process daily. As Grand Master Gary Lee Baker once said in a seminar, “To teach a student you must first train their mind.” Master Anne trained my mind and suddenly so many things in my life changed dramatically, in particular my negative views towards myself and my body. Before I became her student I used words such as ugly, slow, non athletic and timid to describe myself. I hated my body and abused food. As Master Anne taught me to change my negative thinking I slowly began to see myself in a different light. I began to see myself as “Able,” “Strong” “Fast,” and “Intelligent.” I began to like myself. She saw in me the potential to be a strong woman and martial artist. She had faith in me and sacrificed her time, wisdom and energy tremendously to teach me in so many ways to think positive. My respect for her knowledge and wisdom never left room for questioning or doubt. What Master Anne taught me to see through positive thinking is who I am as a woman and martial artist and who I have the potential to become. I have learned to love myself and my body.
     Come what may, the power of positive thinking Master Anne has taught me leave no doubt in my mind that I both CAN and WILL continue to “Upwardly Increase and Improve” until I become the strong woman and martial artist that I am meant to be.
THANK YOU Master Anne Radke.
Your Student for Life,
Maria Harbin , Black Belt
     Master Anne has taught me during my training that you should not let physical limitations hinder you. So whether it is in karate or life, when you face a challenge while being limited physically, to continue on and push through until you either overcome the challenge or learn the lesson that is before you and that as long as you learn the lesson you haven’t failed. She has also taught me that just because you are limited physically, you are not limited to learn mentally or spiritually and a true black belt is trained in all these aspects.
     That as a teacher, you are not just a karate teacher, but a teacher of life and that your students will always look to you for guidance and advice. She has also taught me that even though they may look to you for advice, that it is not your place to give them the answer but to listen and share with them your knowledge and wisdom so that they may take that information and process it and then reach the decision that they must come to in order to overcome the challenge.
     One of the greatest lessons that I have learned from Master Anne is that you should always be proud of who/what you are because each and every one is special in our own unique way. Master Anne has molded me to become a great warrior woman not just in martial arts but life in general as well. She has taught me that you do not let other people’s emotions and actions dictate yours.
     There are so many lessons that I have learned (and am continuing to learn) during my training with Master Anne, but it seems that at the current stage of my training, these are the ones that are having the most impact at this time. The wisdom and knowledge that Master Anne shares with us is so plentiful that sometimes you have to store it in your brain and wait for the light bulb moment, because you may not have understood what she meant at the time, but once the light bulb comes on it all starts making sense.
Sensei Debbie Tully, 2nd Degree Black Belt
     Master Anne,
     First, I would like to say that I’m honored you would even ask for such a favor and congratulations.
     With that said, the first time we spoke I felt you understood my daughter’s needs and her stage in life. Also, I felt confident she would receive the best care and love under the guidance of you and your instructors. It is obvious, your philosophies are bestowed within each of them and your students. For Charlene, this has been proven over and over again, for her life in general is improving daily.
     So after a while of taking Charlene to her classes, I decided to join your kickboxing class. Hoping some of it would rub off on me. The level of energy and confidence you bring to your classes is inspiring and oh, so very tiring. But with your smiling face and strong dedication, I really enjoy killing myself. And yes, I stand taller, breath better, and weigh a little else.
     I have always been fascinated with Karate and considered it an art in itself. So with your encouragement, I also joined Karate. Your classes contain all the energy and dedication within your kickboxing class. You believe in every one of your students, for you praise their strengths and encourage where their weak. The level of awareness and focus is very strong with you, for every class I have felt it. And with that, I become more the same. When I leave class, I want to learn more and to perfect what you have just taught me. Master Anne, you have always embraced us with love and made us feel at ease immediately but one can also feel the power within you and the respect you deserve and yet, demand.
     It’s only been 4 months since we first walked into your dojo, and you have already impacted our lives in many ways. I believe people come into our lives for reasons, and I’m grateful God has allowed you in our lives. You are giving back to me something I had lost many years ago. Thank you. I guess some of it is rubbing off. I’m an artist by heart and profession. A true student of the arts seeks out the right instructor, or the student will never learn how to see.
Sincerely, Erica Helton, white belt
     Master Anne,
     There are so many things that you have taught me and said to me that has impacted my life. In testing and in class you have told me not to be the best but be my best. Because if i try to be the best then I could mess up but I could never go wrong being the best I could be. Something you have taught me is that I need to get my kicks up higher, make my punches harder. Because of what you teach me I can use it in everyday life to better myself and do my best at everything I do.
Love, Kayla Bishop-Green Belt
     When I first started talking to Master Anne, it was about my two children joining karate. After we spoke a few times, it seemed as though we had known each other forever. Master Anne is someone that I am confident will continue to grow and teach my family. One of the first times we were in the dojo, my son touched something on her desk and she looked at him and said that is mine, not yours, I don't touch your stuff and you don't touch my stuff unless you have permission. Instant respect!!
     Master Anne has always led by example in my eyes! She is positive in her reinforcement to all aspects of our family's life. Master Anne has always shown respect and therefore will always receive respect from me. She has taught me that while life is full of battles, there are some we can help ourselves with by staying healthy, learning self defense, and arming ourselves with the mental ability to stay positive. There is not a day that I don't see her that she does not have a smile on her face. Master Anne is an awesome teacher and I think anyone should be proud to be taught by her!!
     I sit and watch a lot of classes that my kids are in and now my daughter is in Master Anne's karate class. Even under the other instructors, I know that she is still teaching those instructors on a daily basis and being there for them both physically and mentally and it amazes me. Master Anne is not easy on them, yet she is not super hard on them. At the end of each class, students still love her. That takes a special person. Get your kicks up, battle cry louder, faster, sharper...... are often heard......and we come back for more and more!
Melissa Bishop
Kickboxer and mother of two Green belts

     Back in July 2006 I had been given the opportunity to meet Renshi Anne through Mr.Jeremy Whatley. I had recently had major back surgery and was given a second chance at being able to exercise and live life. At first I was feeling down about almost being paralyzed during an accident. Once I met Renshi Anne I had realized that she was sincere in her spirit and what I could learn from her. she has become one of the most important people in my life. As I began my venture into UPKUDO, Renshi at the time had given me a bit of advise about life and second chances. Since her very first lesson to me I have realized that she is not only a great Master in the martial arts, she is very angelic to me and she keeps my spirit shining brighter every day.
     The following phrases have been taught to me by my Master, my mother, my friend, Master Anne Radke. I have not only been able to use them to better my abilities in the arts but most importantly in life. She has touched my spirit and soul with her life lessons and I will forever follow her guidance.
1. The best people to know in life are those who have met adversity and passed through it. (how true)
2. Everyone has a past. Don't allow the someone's past to determine their future.
3. If you do not look at your target, you will not hit your target. (this holds true with life's goals as well)
4. Believe in yourself!! If you do not have confidence, you have nothing.
5. It takes the same amount of energy to love or hate someone as it does to hurt or heal them.
6. What makes a champion is being able to win and lose graciously
7. Respect everyone!!!
     These are only a few that I can remember off the top of my head. But all 7 of these are the rules in which I live my life daily. Master Anne is a true inspiration to me and a main artery of my heart. I love her. She is and always will be my Master, my mother, my friend. And I am honored.
Sincerely, Mr. Brandon Keefer, Kelegion Kai Red , (always green)
Master Anne,
     I have always said that God sent me to UPKUDO for you to help shape me into the woman He wanted me to be. Learning UPKUDO is my training ground for life sent by God. One of my biggest fears has always been that I am not "good enough". At times I have been afraid to try things because if I "fail", it will prove that I am not "good enough". You have taught me that not trying or giving up is the failure. If I "loose" but learn a lesson then I have not failed because I have gained the lesson. I have knowledge that I did not have before.
     UPKUDO is about improving your-self. You have taught me to strive to do my best- give 110%- get back up and try again- do it over and over. You have taught me to look at my own growth and completed goals rather than to compare myself to others. It takes 1,000 techniques to throw 1 good technique so work hard and stay focused in order to reach those goals!
     You have taught me to never give up. Quitters never win and winners never quit. How I practice is how I will perform in the ring and in life. A weakness in my body shows a weakness in my mind- lack of focus or balance for example. Each technique deserves its own attention. All of these lessons for the ring are lessons for my life. If I can't focus on each task at hand or if I don't think "one little thing" is important enough to deserve my attention in the ring- that kind of thinking is also true in my work, in my spiritual life and in my family life.
     You have taught me it is important to think and live positively. What I focus on affects how I react and view things. It is draining to be negative and angry! As the Bible says"... whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things." (Phil 4:8).
     You have helped me to see that I am unique and valued. I am reminded of Psalms 139:13 "For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother's womb." God created me just as I am. You teach me with your actions. You choose to make a difference- you choose to care. That has made a difference in my life. I am still a work in progress, but that is what life is all about! I always want to stay green and grow. I want to be like my teacher. I want to make a difference in this world too.
     I know I wrote a bit more than a paragraph, but you have definitely made in impact on my life.
I love you. Sensei Liz
     Master Anne taught me the beginning of Phase 3. But mostly she taught me how to suck it up and be tough. She also taught me to not gossip.
Kayla Craft, Red Belt 1st degree
     Every time I tested Master Anne was always there. There is a lot I can say but cant remember right away. But I do remember the jumping spinning SK and to never give up. Never say No, I cant do that". She doesn't believe you cant do something.
Kyra Welsh Red Belt 3rd Degree
     Ever since I was 2 years old to becoming a black belt and still trying to become a Sensei, Master Anne has been teaching me. I want to become just like her.
Brittney Roddenberry