Shorin-Ryu is a style of Karate developed in Okinawa Japan. This martial arts style is heavily focused on areas such as kicks, punches, katas and weapons.
Shorin is the Okinawan pronunciation of Shaolin (as in Shaolin Kung Fu). Since Okinawa is between China and Japan, many travelers went to and from these islands. Therefore, some elements of ancient Chinese martial arts were picked up and utilized by the people of Okinawa.
Meet Our Instructors
Sensei John McKay
Sensei John McKay is a Fourth Dan in Shorin Ryu Karate. He began his martial arts journey under Sensei Roger Pratt, Sensei David Renteria, and received his Black Belt from Sensei Ernest Estrada. John been training in martial arts for over 15 years. Through his experience as a Teacher, he has developed training that allows all students to enjoy Karate, despite any limitations the student may have. As John says “I focus on what you are able to do, not what you can’t do”.
John feels fortunate to have trained and competed with both of his sons. When not at the dojo, Sensei John works as a Substation Designer, and can usually be found BBQing for his family and Friends.
Max Eckard began his karate training in 2005 under Kent Wang. He earned his black belt in Shotokan from Shigeru Takashina and his black belt in Shorin Ryu from Ernest Estrada. He currently holds a 2nd Dan in Shotokan (JKA/WF America under Yasuaki Nagatomo) and a 3rd Dan in Shorin-Ryu (Superior Karate under Dave Renteria and John McKay).
Having trained these two “styles” of karate under a number of different instructors has confirmed for him what others have said: styles are simply variations in the expression of karate’s common principles and individual instructors and students eventually develop their own expressions of these teachings. Over the years, he has also cross-trained in a number of other combat sports and martial arts.
He believes that karate can be an effective martial art, method of sport fighting and competition, and means of self-protection. While these aren’t one and the same, Max enjoys learning, practicing, and teaching these various aspects.
Carson McKay is a Second Dan In Shorin Ryu Karate and has been involved in Karate since he was 4 years old. He first started training with Sensei Roger Pratt and Sensei David Renteria. Through his training, Carson has attended and placed at many competitions. When he is not on the mats, you can find Carson finishing his Senior year at Western High School, at the gym, or playing with his dog, Blue. Carson is excited for the opportunity to grow and teach at Legacy 517.
My Name is Paul Heath. I trained Shorin-Ryu under Jim Webb form the age of 12-16, earning my first degree black belt. After a 22 year hiatus, I began training with Sensei McKay at Superior Karate in February of 2022.
I love traiing karate because it is hard. It pushes me mentally and physically and I feel a sense of accomplishment when I train.
I have 2 sons (16, 11) and a daughter (13). I have worked with children and adults in teh Jackson community as a social worker, with several mental health providers over my career. I currently work at Henry Ford Jackson as business/operations coordinator with their behavioural health department.