John D. Myers began studying Isshinryu in the mid 1960’s under Sensei Minobu Miki, who was Master Shimabuku’s interpreter. Sensei Miki lived with John’s family for a year when they began his sponsorship. Sensei Miki taught Isshinryu for six hours a day. John practiced the entire time every day. John has practiced multiple Okinawan, Japanese, and Korean systems over the past 50 years achieving high dan ranks in various arts. He has practiced and taught Isshinryu and Hapkido, which he believes are very compatible, as the foundation of his schools over this time period. Due to his profession the primary focus of his studies was the practical application of these systems in actual combat.
Following his employment as a Fairfax County, Virginia SWAT officer and self-defense instructor at the Northern Virginia Regional Police Academy, he began his career as a special agent with the U.S. Secret Service. He protected every President from Gerald Ford thru Bill Clinton as well as former President Nixon and future President George W. Bush. He was also charged with protecting numerous heads of state and conducting criminal investigations, which included three years spent undercover with organized crime and three years conducting a major worldwide terrorism investigation. As he traveled around the world his position allowed him to train with Special Forces units from countries that were allies and antagonists. He found that Isshinryu transcended political ideology creating a brotherhood of friends around the world. On one occasion in Japan he put on a demonstration with an aikido ju dan for President Carter and Prime Minister Nakasone after the two leaders discussed who had the more proficient security force. The demonstration was a consolation when the Japanese realized they did not have a karateka of his rank to compete.
In the 1980’s he was assigned to Knoxville and began training with Master Allen Wheeler. For six years he, Master Mark Aycock and Master Chuck Reynolds trained with such intensity that visiting schools thought they were consumed with anger and in a real fight. To this day he refers to them as the best training partners, worldwide, he ever found. Isshinryu made them friends and brothers for life.
He is currently in Columbus, Ohio where he teaches private lessons and seminars as requested.