The Isshinryu Hall Of Fame

All Isshinryu Practitioners Building & Recognizing Master Tatsuo Shimabuku's Vision Together

Melbert L. Lee, Jr (Inducted 2019)

Melbert L. Lee, Jr. is a person of great humility and honor; God is the center of everything he does and values. Married to Tanesha Lee; they have four children (Jada, Aniya, Melbert and Darius). He is also a proud member and Deacon of Sentertown Missionary Baptist Church, Knoxville, TN.


Master Melbert Lee, Jr., is a 40-year veteran of Isshinryu who practices and teaches Isshinryu at the Karate Five Dojo, Knoxville, Tennessee where he holds the rank of Hachi Dan (8th) Degree Black Belt.


At an early age, Master Lee, Jr., committed to the training of Isshinryu. Through the years he has become a recognized leader and respected teacher of Isshinryu in the martial arts community. His training lineage includes the Isshin-Ryu Hall of Fame (IHOF) inductees Grandmasters Harold Long, Maurice Msarsa, Melbert Lee, Sr., and Willie Garfield Wilson and Master Linda Wilson. Sadly, his father, Grandmaster Melbert Lee, Sr., joined the Karate Five’s ranks of fallen warriors who passed away in December 2017.


His knowledge and mastering of Isshinryu is well acknowledged by his peers and associates. He is recognized as a fierce tournament competitor who routinely places in the tournament winners brackets. In 2002 he was crowned the IHOF Kumite Grand Champion. Over the years, Master Lee, Jr. has received numerous awards including Instructor of The Year (twice), Distinguished Master, Golden Lifetime Achievement and Sensei of Sensei. He serves on the Karate Five Association’s Board of Directors as Coordinator for the 501(c)(3) organization.

Master Lee, Jr. has instructed and guided hundreds of the City’s inner city youth. He uses his Isshinryu training, knowledge, and experience to create positive influences, disciplines and directions in these young lives. He has coordinated and conducted many seminars, workshops and demonstrations including the University of Tennessee, local high schools, churches, civic groups, and the Dogwood Arts Festival.


Master Lee, Jr. is often complimented for his mental and physical prowess as a practitioner of the martial arts. He has expanded his martial arts knowledge by training in Sanucas Ryu, Vee Jitsu, and Arnis (modern and military). However, Isshinryu is, and continues to be, his martial arts foundation.