Honor. Respect. Integrity. Loyalty.
These words have become the punch line of the martial arts, as well as a marketing slogan for the mega schools in our industry. Few people embody the spirit of the arts they claim to teach, yet I have the honor and privilege to call this man a brother. Shihan Dell Sharpe is perhaps the most genuine person I've come across in the arts, and it's his character in addition to his esteemed credentials that have landed him a spot in our Instructor Spotlight.
Shihan Dell Sharpe began his martial arts journey in the 1980s and has since founded his own system, Kobura-Ryu Bujutsu, as well as inherited the art of Kojido Jitsu from his instructor, "Papasan" Jack Stern. Unlike the majority of practitioners in his position, Shihan Sharpe's loyalty to "Papasan" was so strong that upon inheriting Kojido he put his system on the back burner to focus on and grow the art he was entrusted with. Not only has he produced several black belts in the art, he has expanded the ranking system and curriculum as well as overseen a new organization dedicated to the development of Kojido, the United International Kojido Jitsu Federation. Honestly, having been named the inheritor of an art myself as well as a founder, I don't think I could be that self less. He has been awarded numerous titles and rank in the arts, yet simply likes to be called Shihan.
But as I said, it's not his credentials that make me proud to call him a brother. Shihan Sharpe truly leads by example. He holds himself to a higher standard and expects the same of his students. He would give you the shirt off his back without thinking twice, and is one of only a handful of men I would trust my life to. So with deep respect, I am proud to feature Shihan Sharpe in the US Association of Martial Arts' Instructor Spotlight! It is certainly overdue.