Benny Allen started his Martial arts in Chito Ryu Karate in 1961, training under the instruction of Masami Tsuroka.
He attained his Black Belt from him and eventually earned his 8th Dan. His wide interest in the Martial Arts also led him to study several other Martial Arts such as Hungar Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Paq Qua which he learned in the back alley kitchens of Toronto's Chinatown, during the mid- to late-1960s. There he studied with names like Sammy Wong and many other masters of Chinese Kung Fu.
He competed at a tournament in New York City where he knocked out his competitor's teeth with a Kung Fu technique during the late 1960s. He never competed again after that. One of the best fighting instructors in Canada, if not the world in his time, Sensei Allen was definitely from the old school of teaching. To him, teaching someone how to fight well was more important than the money that the membership brought in. Even though he was a fighter, he appreciated the value of kata. Benny rarely wore a traditional white karate gi, but rather would wear white running shoes, black t-shirt and black kung fu pants. He was not impressed with what you wore but rather with what you did on the floor and how hard you trained.
Some of his top students were Wally Slocki, Teddy Martin, Tony Faceti, Don Warrener, Frank Wishart, Greg Mellor, Bill Hinds, Gary Legacy, Mike McRudden, just to name a few. The classes were 2 hours long, and a minimum of 3 days a week.
His school is where boys became men - whether they wanted to, or not. With branch schools in both Hamilton and Toronto, Benny partnered up with Billy Melborne in Hamilton, and at the Chinese Cultural Centre on Haggerman with Quoi Wong.
Sensei Allen's dear friend, Sensei Bob Dagleish would often share classes. Bob teaching Kata and Benny teaching fighting.
It was through Bob Dalgliesh that he was introduced to Sensei Peter Urban and Sensei Richard Kim. In 1968 he
became the President of the Canadian Branch of the Butoku Kai, a Richard Kim Organization.
Sensei Allen's classes consisted of at least one hour of calisthenics and half an hour of basics, and then sparring or kata for the last part of the class. The training also consisted of the use of heavy bags and weights. Benny was the first person I ever met that could bench-press 400 pounds and had a massive chest and extremely powerful hands that were as fast as lightning. The training in Benny Allen's dojo was nothing short of brutal and as the movie says, "only the strong survived". He didn't care if you quit. But perhaps his greatest legacy is that it was Benny who was the first one to implement a 'no-nonsense approach' to martial arts philosophy. One of his greatest quotes was "get up off the floor you Pantywaist and fight or go home". It was tough but it sure did make you better.
Even with this tough training regime, Benny's favorite dojo was a park, anywhere.
Benny Allen was a father, a firefighter, a champion instructor, a sensei and a master of innovation. He loved the Martial arts so much that, even until the time of his death, he was constantly in search of the secrets of the martial arts.