John L. Ingram IV was born September 16, 1956 in Pensacola Florida. He started karate in the summer of 1974 as a teenager, under Sensei Jim Canter. Jim Canter was a student of Master Willie Adams. John got a good foundation under Sensei Canter, especially in kumite.
John first met Master Harold Mitchum in 1981 when he traveled to Georgia with Sensei Canter. In 1986, John was invited to a seminar with Sensei Mitchum in Cartersville Georgia, his sensei had since retired and left the club to John. Being without a Sensei he accepted the invitation. This visit would change his outlook on karate forever. Master Mitchum's deep understanding of kata and more importantly bunkai gave him a new understanding of kata. This meeting was the start of a new and exciting relationship that will be cherished forever!
During the late 70's and early 80's John competed on the open karate circuit where he consistently was ranked in the top 10 by Karate Illustrated magazine. In the mid 80's John decided he wanted to try kickboxing. He hooked up with world rated fighter Mike Hollobaugh along with world class trainer Bill Slinker. He loved the challenge of kickboxing. He spent the next 10 years competing and training others to kickbox. During that time he trained with the sports best such as World champions Richard Hill, Jerry "The Sting" Clarke, and Jim Graden. He did exhibition bouts with Bill "Superfoot" Wallace and Jerry Clarke. John won the Florida State Light Middle Weight Title and later the Middle Weight State Title and was picked to be a member of the U.S. Kickboxing team to compete in Germany.
In 1998 John was inducted into the Florida Martial Arts Hall of Fame. John feels his greatest accomplishments are that of his students. His students have won countless NASKA and AAU National Championships. His daughter Sheri Angwin was a 2 time AAU National champion and a member of the AAU U.S. team which traveled to Scotland for the World Championships where she won a bronze medal.
His wife of 30 years, Cindy was named NASKA Rookie of the year in 1989 after winning the U.S. Open and Diamond Nationals and taking 2nd in the Battle of Atlanta in woman's Black Belt Kumite all in the same year. She has won countless championships before her retirement win in 1997 at the Isshinryu World Karate Championships in New York where she won the masters division in Kata ( male and female mixed).
John is currently the President of the United Isshinryu Karate Association. He was chosen for the Harold Mitchum Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004 which was a very proud moment in his life. John and his wife Cindy are still teaching karate at their dojo which is now owned by their daughter Sheri. John is active working out and training the Ingram's competition team as well as assisting Master Harold Mitchum in seminars around the country.
The Ingram dojo competes regularly out of mainstream Isshin-Ryu in AAU tournaments. They have taken their students to Japan to compete. In 2003, Isshin-Ryu students won gold medals in Kata, Weapons, and Kumite with traditional Isshin-Ryu forms and training in competition that is dominated by Shotokan and Shito-Ryu styles.
Master Harold Mitchum considers him to be a terrific all around Isshin-Ryu karate-ka, and an outstanding teacher and ambassador for Isshin-Ryu. John orchestrated the video tape and DVD presentations of Isshin-Ryu Kata performed by Master Mitchum (the time, organization of the project, preparation of his students, and the historical value of the filming).