Carl Martin was born in Detroit, Michigan. He commenced training in Isshinryu Karate in 1968 at the age of 15 under Sensei Willie Adams in Highland Park, Michigan. After attending Eastern Michigan University, Master Martin was promoted to Shodan by Master Adams in November 1978 in Detroit, Michigan and was promoted to Roku Dan on July 26, 1997 by the American Okinawan Karate Association (AOKA) in Springfield, Massachusetts. He received the rank of Nana Dan on September 17, 2003 from Master Willie Adams.
He has trained with notable martial artists such as Uezu, Master Steve Armstrong, Master Donald Bohan, Master George Iberl, Master Sherman Harrill, Master Joseph Lewis and in 1999 he traveled to Okinawa and trained with Master Angi Uezu and Master Tsuyoshi Uechi.
Master Martin moved from Detroit to the Philadelphia area in 1981 and established the Traditional Okinawan Karate Institute (TOKI) in 1983 in Norristown, Pennsylvania relocating the school to West Chester, Pennsylvania in 1990 where it currently resides. A satellite location was established at the Delco Training Gym in Woodlyn, Pennsylvania in 1994. Since that time, four additional locations have been established under the TOKI umbrella.
Master Martin is a member of the Isshin-Ryu Hall of Fame Board of Directors. He is a member of the Karate International Association International (KIAI), Regional Director for The Weapons Connection Society, a member of the Okinawa Isshin-Ryu Karate Kobudo Association (OIKKA), and the International Federation of Shinkendo. He previously served as a member of the Junior Board of Directors for the American Okinawan Karate Association (AOKA) and the AOKA Awards Committee.
He was inducted into the Pennsylvania Karate Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Okinawa Isshin-Ryu Karate Kobudo Association Hall of Fame in 2000. He has been awarded honors such as the prestigious AOKA Spirit of Isshin-Ryu Award and the AOKA Instructor of the Year Award.
Master Martin has expanded Isshin-Ryu Karate by teaching an Introduction to Martial Arts Course, which is a fully accredited college elective at Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania and Neumann College in Aston, Pennsylvania. He has dedicated many charitable hours of instructing martial arts classes to non-profit organizations such as the Chester County Family Academy, a Pennsylvania Charter School, where he instructs 1st and 2nd grade children as a part of a self-esteem program to assist in helping the students become accountable for themselves, the Police Athletic League of West Chester, PA, and the Chester County Salvation Army. He has conducted “Women’s Street Self-Defense” seminars in satellite locations including West Chester University, Widener University, Garnett Valley High School and the Jennersville YMCA.
Master Martin’s dedication to the martial arts has personally awarded him with several tournament Grand Championships in Kumite, Kata and Weapons. He has received awards and recognitions from many tournaments from Florida to Connecticut and as far west as California. He coached the 1989 Delaware Classics Youth Division Team Kata Champions, the 1998, 1999 & 2000 AOKA Kumite Grand Champion, the 2000 IHOF Kumite Grand Champion, the 2000 & 2001 OIKKA Hall of Fame Kumite Grand Champion and a Silver Medal Winner in the black belt heavy weight kumite division in the 2001 Traditional Okinawan Rengokai Karate-do/Kobudo World Championship in Atlanta, Georgia.
Master Martin is married to Peggy Martin. They have three children Salim Martin (Nidan), Bobby Young (Nidan) and Michelle Young (San Kyu); and, he is Vice Chairman of the Deacon Board of his church. His motto is “Working with today’s youth to make stronger adults for tomorrow” – “I can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me.