Our Instructors

Add content here ...Mr. Keith Griffin learned traditional Tae Kwon Do and its philosophy before reaching high school.  From his first Korean Master Instructor Jun (Jay) Seon Hyon 9th degree Black Belt, he learned that Tae Kwon Do with all its potential power is a gentle art. GRAND MASTER GRIFFIN earned his First Degree Black Belt while a senior at Minneapolis Central High School at the age of 17.  As a competitor Mr. Griffin has traveled extensively and has earned over 200 trophies, plaques and ribbons, ranging from weapons competition to free fighting.  Now a 8th Degree Black Belt, under 10th Degree Black Belt & PKA Super Light Weight World Champion Grand Master Gordon Franks, GRAND MASTER GRIFFIN openly shares the knowledge that competition experience has given him.  Teaching his students to compete and become champions. As coach of the Junior Olympic Team and Head Coach of Team Kick, Mr. Griffin?s students have won Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals as well as over 400 trophies, with these numbers expecting to increase.

Master Griffin Has trained with: 

Grand Master Instructor - Gordon Franks - 10th Degree Black Belt

Grand Master Gordon Franks has over 40 years experience in the martial arts. After earning his black belt in 1972, it took him just three years to win the PKA World Super Lightweight championship in full contact karate.

Grand Master Gordon Franks is one of the USA Karate School's original founders. The organization operates several schools in the Twin Cities serving thousands of active members.

Grand Master Franks was a ground breaker in Professional Full Contact Karate. He was the first World Professional Super-light-weight Karate Championship which he won in Berlin, Germany, on September 21st, 1975. He was the first African American World Champion. He was the first to win his title in a foreign country. Many of Grand Master Franks' fights were televised, as he was at his prime during the infancy of the sport.

Grand Master Griffin was promoted to 8th Degree Black Belt by Grand Master Gordon Franks

The late World Champions Grand Master Joe Lewis 10th Degree Black Belt and private Student of Bruce Lee.

Grand Master Griffin was promoted to 7th Degree Black Belt by Grand Master Joe Lewis

10th Degree Black Belt Grand Master Dr. Terry Warner

Grand Master Griffin was promoted to 5th and 6th  Degree Black Belt by 
10th Degree Black Belt Grand Master Dr. Terry Warner Is the founder of the Chan Shou Do system of Kung Fu.  Dr. Warner has almost forty years of experience in martial arts and is one of highest-ranking black belts in the world.

Grand Master Warner is an active member of the World Council of Grand Masters "Sokeship."

He was the undefeated all #1 Japan/Okinawa champion in 1960/61 when he retired from competition.  

Grandmaster Warner was the founder and director of the Judges and Referees Alliance (J.R.A). The J.R.A. was the premier alliance of dedicated black belts seeking fairness with excellence at every competition level in martial arts.  Grand Master Griffin was inducted into its Hall Of Fame.

Supreme Grand Master Byung Jik Ro, 10th Degree Black Belt, was born July 3, 1919 in Kaesung City, Korea. Growing up the youngest of 4 and frail in health as a child, Grand Master Ro was forced to enter elementary school a year later than the other children his age. Due to his poor health at such an early age, the information young Ro heard from his neighborhood regarding the 1,200 year old ancient arts of Tae Kyon and Subak stirred an interest in the Martial Arts within him as a young child. The defensive techniques that were taught at the local temples during Ro�s youth attracted his attention at a very young age.

His strong attraction to the Martial Arts lead him to search out Funakoshi Gichin, Shotokan founder, during his college years. Grand Master Ro traveled to Japan in March of 1936 to attend college and in May of 1936 Ro began training in the Karate style of Martial Arts under Funakoshi, earning his Black Belt in Shotokan.

Returning home to Kaesung City, Korea during his summer vacations from college, Grand Master Ro would teach his friends and neighbors the techniques he had learned. In February of 1944, Supreme Grand Master Ro finished his university work and returned back home to Korea to live. Upon his return to Korea from Japan, many of the friends and neighbors he had been teaching during those summer vacations asked Grand Master Ro to continue to teach them what he had learned during his training. Based upon these requests, Supreme Grand Master Ro opened the Kaesung dojang in the Kwan Duk Jung archery school on March 11, 1944. Grand Master Ro had also served as Taekwondo instructor for Seoul University, Dan Gook University, Seoul Oriental Acupuncture College and several other universities

 Grand Master Griffin was promoted to 4th Degree Black Belt by Supreme Grand Master Ro

Senior Grand Master Hee Sang Ro 

Grand Master Hee Ro, is an 9th Dan Black Belt in Taekwondo as well as a Master of Hapkido, Kumdo and Kung Fu and is the son of the founder of Modern Taekwondo, Supreme Grand Master Byung Jick Ro

Grand Master Griffin was promoted from 1st to 2nd to 3rd to 4th Degree Black Belt by Senior Grand Master Hee Sang Ro

Grand master Jay Hyon (student of Supreme Grand Master Ro), one of the original Tae Kwon Do pioneers to come to the United States from Korea.   Founded as the 'Karate Center' 1965

Grand Master Griffin was promoted from Brown belt to Red Belt to 1st Degree Black Belt by Grand master Jay Hyon

Victor Marotta, Owner of the American Karate Studio

Victor Marotta, owner of The American Karate Studio, began his training in January of 1966 under master instructor Jun Seon Hyon, 9th Degree Master Instructor from South Korea. He received his black belt from Mr. Hyon in September of 1968. From 1967 until 1971, Mr. Marotta competed in karate tournaments across the United States and Canada, winning or placing in tournaments held in Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Texas, Arizona, and at Madison Square Garden, New York. By winning the 1968 U.S. Martial Arts Championships in Chicago, Mr. Marotta became Minnesota's first national level, open tournament black belt champion.


Grand Master Griffin was promoted from white belt to Purple belt by Victor Marotta,

Grand Master Griffin was promoted from Purple belt to Brown belt by Grand Master Bill Miller Grand Master Bill Miller
PKS Founder (
Professional Karate Studios8th Degree Black Belt

Trained with:

World Champion Mike Chat, television (Chad Lee the blue Power Ranger) and creator of the Xtreme Martial Arts or XMA

World Champion Heavy Weight Fighting Steve Nasty Anderson, 

Larry Hartsell (top Bruce Lee student) Weapon Grappling,

Wayne Daghlish Bo forms and Musical Kata World Champion,

World PKA Full Contact Karate Middle Weight Champion Bill "SuperFoot" Wallace 10th Degree Black Belt Grand Master Superfoot Systems

In addition Mr. Griffin promoted the GMAA Internal Karate Championships and the Hall of Fame Classic.  Plus the Minnesota State AAU Open Martial Arts Championships.

Grand Master Griffin Coached the USTU (United States Taekwondo Union) Jr. Olympic Team, many Full contact Kickboxing champions and Ring Point Fighters.

Mr. Griffin teaches to expect the unexpected, to look-listen and learn, to expect excellence, to be champions not just winners. THIS IS A BLACK BELT SCHOOL AND WE'RE ON A QUEST TO DO OUR BEST.

Please call 612-807-5758

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