World champion Shootfighter Bart Vale is one of the pioneers of mixed martial arts in the United States. Vale began his training in Chinese Kenpo karate in Miami in 1970 with the Al Tracy organization. He currently holds a 10th degree black belt in Chinese Kenpo.
has a 4th degree black belt under Ed Parker Sr. and a 1st degree black belt under William KS Chow.
After competing as a Kickboxer, Vale began training in grappling and freestyle fighting under Masami Soranaka and Yoshiaki Fujiwara of the Japan-based Universal Wrestling Federation in the mid-1980s.
Vale coined the term “Shootfighting” to describe this new mixed martial arts style which combined kickboxing with shooting, or legitimate wrestling, and co-founded the International Shootfighting Association to help promote the sport. One of the first foreigners to compete in Japan, Vale became the first American to win a world Shootfighting championship in 1992. He has competed in Shootfighting, kickboxing and no-holds-barred matches in Japan, the United States and Russia for the UWF, Fujiwara Gumi, Rings, K-1 and Extreme Fighting and also promoted the first professional Shootfighting matches held outside of Japan.
One of the only martial artists ever featured in Sports Illustrated, Vale has also been the subject of magazine articles in Men’s Fitness and Muscle & Fitness as well as appearing on MTV and CNN. The author of the book, Shootfighting: The Ultimate Martial Art, he has appeared in several movies including Invasion USA. His Miami-based organization, the ISFA, has over 20 affiliated gyms and martial arts schools around the world to help promote the sport of Shootfighting.
Vale has the only school in the US that was certified and licensed by Yoshiaki Fujiwara and Masami Soranaka.
Judo 1966 to 1967 YMCA, Pasadena
Ed Parker’s Kenpo Karate 1967 to 1970, Pasadena (Blue Belt)
Ed Parker’s ,Bob Perry and Bob White 1970 to 1975 (received 1st Black under Bob White,1975)
Dave Cardenas Kenpo Karate, 1979 to 1984
Richard Planas 1985 to Present (Received 2nd Black in 1994)
John McSweeney, American Kenpo (Received 3rd Black 1999)
Received 3rd , AKSC 1998
ISFA (Bart Vale) Received 1st Black, Shodoka )
ISFA , 4th 2010
Small Circle Jujitsu (Proffesor Castoldi and Ju Jitsu America) Received 1st Black 2008)
Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan, Proffesor Tom Baeli, 1994 to present
7th Degree Black Belt in Chinese Kenpo Karate
4th Degree Black Belt in Shootfighting
Mike has owned and operated Tracy’s Karate since 1988. With over 27 years of teaching experience, Mike’s knowledge will give you the ultimate karate lesson. His knowledge of Kenpo Karate is unsurpassed with over 77,000 teaching hours. Certified in shootfighting since 1995, Mike has the experience to develop your skills in self defense!
John began his Martial Arts training at the age of nine by joining a local karate school learning Kenpo karate. He began teaching at the school by age 14. Later on he took over the school, and runs it to this day.
It was at this time that John met Bart Vale at a Kenpo event. Mr. Vale started coming to New York to train John and his instructors. At this time John embraced the Shootfighting style. This was around the time of the first UFC. John traveled the country learning the art of Shootfighting, which eventually brought him to the place where it all began, Japan.
John has trained all levels of students from beginners, to advanced levels of rank and competition. He started training in Shootfighting because he believed it to enhance what it means to be a Martial Artist.
John has attained the rank of 6th degree black belt in Kenpo Karate and 4th degree in Shootfighting. John enjoys training his martial arts because he believes, “teaching is learning and we never stop learning.”
John teaches at his studio in Plainview, New York. It is a full time martial arts school where all levels are welcome to train and learn from him.