Hello and thank you for visiting my website. My name is Edward Boot. I am a first degree black belt in Shotokan and I also hold my first belt (rank 5th Kyu) in Battōjutsu. I started karate when I was just a kid in October of 2000. Why did I start karate? Well as a kid, part of it was pop culture. To this day, I am a huge fan of fighting movies and video games, particularly of the Mortal Kombat franchise. Besides that, I wanted to join a sport and a few of my friends were in karate and they liked going. I decided to give it a try and I loved it.
I was once the kid in the back of the class like everyone else. But I worked hard and I wanted to prove myself. I started to compete in many tournaments and to this date I have competed in over one hundred tournaments. Before I knew it, I had a room filled with over three hundred trophies. I joined and was one of the first members of the Kumite International competition team in 2002. I competed all over the northeast including Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Viginia, and parts of Canada. To this day I occassionally still attend local tournaments to perform kata and weapons routines.
- Multiple USAKF Medals across many years of competition
- Pennsylvania State Champion (2002-2004) in weapons, karate, and sparing divisions
- Multiple grand champion awards from major regional tournaments
- Kumite Classic Scholastic Scholarships awarded in 2002 and 2003
I received my black belt in June of 2008. For all of my life in martial arts, I have trained at Allegheny Shotokan Karate Club in North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania under master William Viola. William Viola is master of Shotokan karate and a USA Karate Federation Hall of Fame Inductee, and I was honored to be one of only a few students who were able to witness the event. He is also one of the founding fathers of the modern Mixed Martial Arts scene and is among the greatest Shotokan masters I continue to train with on a weekly basis.
Throughout the years, I have had the privilege of working with many other great martial artist. Those including the late Roger Miller (founder of Syu Sin Do), the late Master Giuseppe Grasso (7th dan Shotokan master of Italy), and Shotokan world karate champion Dr. Clay Morton who received training directly under Shotokan master Kanazawa. Also on a regular basis, I also have the privilege of training with Shotokan expert and author Grenville Harrop.
Continuing the Journey
After I received my black belt, I faded out of the competition scene. Although I still enjoy keeping once in a while, the things I like about karate most are in the art itself, not in show or competition. Shotokan founder Gichin Funakoshi never designed Shotokan to fight with. It was merely for one’s own benefit and for self defense. He believed that a martial artist should never through the first punch. And that is a saying that I think most people have forgotten in today’s world.
Karate is something passed on from generation to generation, and at my level of rank now, I like to continue learning and to pass on my knowledge to others in the art. Furthermore, I believe I have finally accomplished a certain feat to karate. There is a quote by Funakoshi:
When you look at life think in terms of karate. But remember that karate is not only karate — it is life.
What you take in at the karate school is what you take out of it in life. It is more than just learning to fight. It is the mental discipline, confidence, and character you develop that applies to the outside world. It is, what I like to say, good for the body, mind, and spirit.
In terms of the physical aspects, I feel that I owe the world back something from karate. When I was a child, I suffered from severe allergies and asthma. Outdoor sports and other activities really made it difficult for my normal breathing functions. But within one year of training in martial arts, my asthma problems became a thing of the past. Today, my asthma is nearly non-existent in breathing test. My allergies have also improved and living normal life is much easier now without having to rely on inhalers multiple times a day.
Although I still have asthma being a disease you live with for life, it no longer controls me. Funakoshi himself was a sickly child until he started training in martial arts. Now imagine if the entire world has accessibility to karate? Imagine all the people with breathing ailments like mine. Karate training can perform miracles for the human body and mind. And for that reason alone, I think it is one of the greatest things that humanity has ever created.