Lonnie Workman was born October 30, 1948 in Mebane, North Carolina, where he has lived most all of his life. He graduated from Eastern Alamance High School in June 1967 and joined the U.S. Navy in July 1967. His martial arts training began in San Diego, California, in November 1967 under MM1 Scott.
While in the Navy he traveled extensively around the world and served in Da Nang, Viet Nam earning a bronze star in 1971. After his discharge in September of 1971, he continued to study various styles of martial arts including instruction from Master Hamilton Perkins.
In August of 1980 he discovered Isshin-Ryu Karate and found a deep appreciation for its effectiveness. Dedicated to the lifelong endeavor of perfecting the techniques found in Isshinryu Karate, he trained under Master Carl Mangione until 1986 when he met Master Joel Chandler. Training with Master Chandler seven days a week, Lonnie became one of Master Chandlers most dedicated students.
Some of his past credits include 1991 USKA NC State Grand Champion, 1991 USKA National Champion, 1995 Isshinryu Hall of Fame Male Instructor of the Year, 1997 induction into the World Head of Sokeship Council International Hall of Fame Instructor of the Year, and 1999 induction into the World Karate Union Hall of Fame as the Most Dedicated Martial Artist of the Year.
He has promoted karate tournaments in North Carolina and Louisiana. He travels nationally giving seminars, primarily, on Isshinryu Kata. He is a published writer of martial arts articles and the kata model in the book “Isshinryu Karate-History and Kata” by Joel Chandler. He is presently the Senior Vice President of the Tatsuo-Kan Society and the owner of the Mebane Isshinryu School of Karate in Mebane, North Carolina. His steadfast devotion to Isshinryu Karate has earned him the respect of many Isshinryu Karate martial artists and organizations.