Copyright © Canadian Black Belt Hall of Fame, 2006

2022 Inductees

John Atkinson:

Hanshii John Atkinson began his life-long quest for excellence in the Martial Arts at age 6 when he followed his four older brothers to the local Judo Club. He studied Judo and Ju-Jitsu and later ventured into wrestling to compete at a provincial level for a number of years. Finally with the guidance of his brother and Sensei Alex Atkinson he found Kempo Karate. John’s competitive career began and his life became simple. Sleep, eat, train martial arts!

Mr. Atkinson competed at an International level winning hundreds of championships and becoming a 4-time Canadian Champion in Sparring. He was voted one of Canada’s top ten fighters of all time. He was ranked number one by the North American Sport Karate Association and Professional Karate League in katas, weapons, and fighting, and received hundreds of awards, trophies, and medals for his excellence in the field. Always seeking greater knowledge and skill, he trained with the highest ranked Kung Fu Master in Canada, Grandmaster Sigung David Chong, Founder of the Canadian Karate Kung Fu Association (CKKA). Hanshi also trained with the martial arts historian, Pat McCarthy, and Ron Yamanaka, and has participated in seminars by martial arts legends, Professor Wally Jay, Bill Wallace, Joe Lewis, Chuck Merriman, and Vince Morris, just to mention a few.

Certified by the World Martial Arts Congress and Canadian Karate and Kung Fu Association, he is a 9th Degree Black Belt, Vice President of the World Martial Arts Congress, Senior Board Member of the Canadian Karate Kung Fu Association (CKKA) and former member of the Yudansha Kobujitsu Karate-Doh Federation (YKKF).

In the early eighties he realized his true passion was teaching and training. He trained numerous champions in point fighting and was the Coach of the Canadian Junior Sparring Team. He is the developer of such programs as AWARE, a self-defense program for women, and a bully-proof program for kids called CARE. He turned his attention to building a new breed of Black Belt champions by incorporating the psychological aspects of Peak Performance and its proven success principles. That concept has led to an entire life skills curriculum that is designed to influence a student’s attitude, behavior, and character.

Mr. Atkinson’s students have the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of this new format and continue to train with greater intensity and expertise, while gaining a higher level of personal growth and development.

Sifu Bok Kho:

I am the Chief of Clan of the Hockkien EngChoon/FuJian YongChun Shaolin Five Ancestors White Crane Clan.

Born in the family of traditional martial arts where both of my parents practiced Kung Fu and Chinese Medicine.

My Life mission to carry and promote, and practice medicine but also a mission to preserve and lifetime training practice to preserve and promote to passdown from generation to generation as complete as possible.

Through martial arts, zen Daoist, and Chinese medicine, to keep the body healthy through everyday practice.

Spend all life in practicing,Teach people how to get healthier with training and eating.

I am Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner Doctor, and a Tie da (TieDa) specialist. I specialize in internal and external injuries as well as arthritis.

Traditional Herbal Cooking

Chi Gong to help the healing, once you get better you help the medication get absorbed better. With the training you are able connect all channels and better.

1992 – Awarded 9th Dan SouZhuShi (Chief of Clan Canada)

1993 – Founded TeckGuan Kung Fu and Tai Chi Institute in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

1995 – Awarded 10th Dan by the late Great Grand Master Kan OhHai

1998 – Current – Calgary FuJian Association Advisor

2000 - Current – Calgary Chinese Herbal Medicine Association

2008 - Current – Chinese Herbal Medicine Association Board Supervisor

2012 – Inherited the system, World Chief of Clan – EngChoon/Fujian YongChun ShaoLin Five Ancestors White Crane Clan

Germain Bisson:

Germain Bisson started Chito-Ryu karate in 1973 and received his Shodan in 1980.

In 1985, he opened his dojo, Karaté Cama, in Masson-Angers and Buckingham, a small area of Gatineau, Quebec. He is currently 7th dan, Kyoshi, with the Canadian Chito-Ryu Karate-Do Association under Shane Higashi sensei who's been Germain's teacher for the past 33 years. Germain also holds a 7th dan from Karate Canada and the World Karate Federation.

In 2020, Germain was appointed Chair of the Canadian Chito-Ryu Karate-Do Association Saiko Shihan Council and has been leading the Association Chito-Ryu traditionnel du Québec as its Provincial Technical Director since 2008.

As an athlete, Germain won the Canadian title in individual and in team kumite, won the North American Cup in both individual and team kumite categories, and won the bronze medal at the Pan-American Championship in team kumite. Won the Chito-Ryu World Championship (Soke Cup). In 1992, he represented Canada at the World Karate Federation's World Karate Championship.

Germain was heavily involved in the Fédération québécoise de karaté and Karaté Québec as an athlete, coach and head-coach, and President. Under his leadership, Team Quebec was a real dynasty and dominated the National Karate Championships for many years. Furthermore, Germain was also heavily involved with Karate Canada where he held the position of Vice-president, was a member of the Long-Term Athlete Development Program Committee, and coach to the junior and senior national teams. Germain is a certified kumite coach from the World Karate Federation, certified NCCP Level 3 coach, certified NCCP Competition Development coach, and a Chartered Professional Coach with the Coaching Association of Canada.

Always with the intent of continuing his development, Germain visited Japan in 1995 to train at the Chito-Ryu Honbu dojo with Soke sensei Chitose, Sakamoto sensei, and Tanaka sensei, as well as in 2016 where he took part in a world seminar in Ryukyu Kobujutsu with Inoue sensei.

For a person to ensure their development and evolution, Germain feels that it is important to have an open mind, be humble and passionate about martial arts.

As head-coach of Karaté Cama's competition team, that is recognized has one of the best performing competition teams in Canada, Germain has trained great champions.

Germain won four times the Karate Canada/National Karate Association Coach of the year Award  1994, 1997, 1998, and 2000.

In IIn 2008, Germain was awarded the prestigious Ross Rumble Award from Karate Canada for his outstanding contribution to the development of Canadian karate and inducted into Karate Canada's Hall of Fame.

FuFurthermore, he has won Gatineau's Gala Loisir Outaouais National Coach of the year Award six times: 1993, 1995, 2002, 2003, 2006, and 2012.

In  2014, Germain had the honour of being named recipient of the Order of Gatineau for his life's work, his commitment, and his exceptional achievements.

For 37 years, thousands of karatekas have walked through the doors of Karaté Cama and followed the instructions of Germain. His philosophy is based on the notions of reigisaho (respect, good manners and conduct, etiquette), kyozon kyoei (mutual friendship for mutual prosperity) and wa no seishin (spirit of peace and harmony). The Karaté Cama dojo is a place where we believe in everyone's success, where personal development is based on discipline and respect, on surpassing oneself and on sincerity in one's commitment. Germain wishes to train individuals who will contribute to the advancement and development of the Quebec and Canadian societies.

For Germain, Karaté Cama's success comes from hard work and talent, but especially from human experiences developed from respect and mutual friendship, all based on passion, pride, commitment and surpassing oneself.

Scott Hogarth:

Hanshi Scott Hogarth has been teaching martial arts at his own club for over 35 years. While he holds Master titles and black belts in 7 martial arts styles, he has chosen to teach traditional Okinawan Go Ju Ryu Karate and Hapkijitsu at Fighting Griffin Martial Arts.

An 11-time world champion, Hanshi has been awarded many honours, including the 2014 Masters Hall of Fame Golden Lifetime Achievement Award and the Sport Karate Museum Dragon Image Fighting Award. both for his lifelong contribution to sport karate. During his successful career in martial arts, Hanshi has helped to establish competition rules and a refereeing system in addition to winning countless awards

Hanshi Scott has appeared as an actor, stuntman and a fight choreographer in 10 action movies over the years.

A martial artist with integrity, strength and compassion, Hanshi has been teaching with the Halton District School Board for over 20 years. He has also served our community as a firefighter and a paramedic.

8th Dan – Northern Lights Hap Ki Jitsu

8th Dan – Okinawan Go Ju Ryu Karate

7th Dun – Hap Ki Do (Kong Shin Bup)

4th Dan – Chito Ryu Karate

3rd Dan – Japanese Go Ju Ryu Karate

2nd Dan – Kempo/Kung Fu

1st Dan – Jiu-Jitsu

Kobudo (Weapons) Master

As Hanshi Scott became a student of each Sensei, he never stopped being a student of his previous Sensei’s. Even over the years; training, learning and developing kunder each Sensei has continued.

1973     Vancouver     Sensei Iseo Yabanaka, Japanese Go Ju, now part of J.K.A

1975     Toronto     Sensei Monte Guest, Chito Ryu, Kai-Shin

1976     Etobicoke     Gerry Watson, Ju-Jitsu

1976     Markham     Sui Lum Kune, Shaolin Kung Fu

Sifu Ron Beer, Chinese & Japanese Weapons & Kempo

1976     White Fish Falls     Israel Segarra, Japanese Go Ju Ryu

1977     Kingston     Ken Tallack, Weapons

1978     Toronto     Chuck Platten, Hap Ki Do, Kong Shin Bup

1989     Okinawa, Japan     Toyama Zenshu, Okinawa Go Ju Ryu, Shin Ji Kan

1989     Okinawa, Japan     Gibo Sensei, Shorin Ryu Karate  Kobudo (weapons)

Morihiro Yagi Sensei (Esteemed Friend)

1995     Okinawa, Japan     Kotara Iha Sensei, Okinawa Kobudo ( weapons)

1995     Okinawa, Japan     Nashiro Sensei, Yamane  Okinawan Kobudo (weapons)

Jeff Joslin:

Jeff “The Inferno” Joslin is a martial artist in the truest sense of the term. Born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, Jeff grew up engulfed in the martial arts. His father, Rick, a three-time Canadian karate champion, opened up the family academy back in 1967.

Starting his training at only five years of age, Joslin has developed tremendous depth in his martial arts skills. A black belt in both Karate (6th Degree) and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (4th Degree), Jeff has accomplished much in the sport:

Won over 200 first place titles in striking, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and submission wrestling competition spanning two decades

Was the First Canadian in History to win a Major International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Tournament (Pan/American BJJ Championship 2002)

IBJJF Master’s Worlds – Black Belt – Bronze Medalist (2016)

Grappler’s Quest U.S Nationals submission wrestling champion

Arnold/Gracie World BJJ Championships middleweight and open weight champion

2013 IBJJF Chicago Summer Open Champion

Apex Fighting MMA World Welterweight Champion

Fought in the UFC, TKO, Hardcore Fighting Championships and many other shows

Jeff possesses a unique mixed martial arts striking style that blends the best of his extensive karate and kickboxing background with the strong boxing skill set he developed through many years of training with some of Canada’s best boxers and trainers.

As a coach/instructor Jeff has worked with thousands of students –from 3 Year olds to men and women in their late 60’s– since he first began teaching full-time back in 1994. He has trained many champions over the years in various martial arts including UFC Fighters, professional Kickboxers and pro Submission Wrestling/BJJ competitors.

Muzammal Nawaz:

Muzammal Nawaz was born in Liverpool England to parents of South Asian heritage. The Nawaz family moved to Canada and his father enrolled him in karate at the age of 7 to deal with a bullying problem. This new found passion for martial arts overcame his childhood issues.

Muzammal earned his black belts in both Japanese Karate and Chinese Kenpo. He loved the values and traditions found in all the Martial Arts. After a few years of competing he became the Canadian Lightweight Karate Champion.

In 1988 Muzammal enrolled into McMaster University with a Chancellors Academic Scholarship. His love for learning was only matched with his love for Martial Arts. During his undergraduate studies his sport interests began to shift towards boxing and kickboxing.

His passion in this new style of competition was boundless as he competed in 34 countries winning medals in 8 World Amateur Kickboxing Championship between 1989-1999 (Austria, Germany, England, France, Lebanon, Greece, Denmark, Malta). He managed to balance training, competition and studies.

After graduating University Muzammal began a career with the Red Cross developing International Youth Leadership programs. His work took him across Canada, Europe, South East Asia and Africa. In his ‘spare time’ he started a Master’s Degree at the University of Toronto.

Muzammal transitioned from an amateur athlete to a professional while still in university. He was affectionately known as the 'Warrior of 1000 Battles' as he amassed an incredible record of over 200 amateur bouts and a professional record of 38-6-2.

By the end of his professional kickboxing career he was the 5 x World PRO Middleweight Champion winning the WKA, IKF, WPKA, WKF and KICK title during his title rein. He retired winning the prestigious WAKO PRO Championship in New York in 2012 at the young spry age of 44!

Muzammal had started to find his passion for teaching martial arts and coaching athletes overtaking his interest for competing during his last few years of competition. He had opened up the Bay Area Athletic Club part time in 2007 but it eventually took over his once busy career in the NGO sector.

If this was not enough to keep him busy, Muzammal was the founder of WAKO Canada the first

government recognized sport association for kickboxing in Canada. His efforts have not only resulted in legalizing amateur kickboxing in provinces across Canada, but creating a structure for coaching certification and athlete development, an area untouched in the kickboxing and martial arts industry.

In this work, he has supported over 1000 clubs and Muzammal has personally trained and certified over 500 coaches across the country.

A number of media outlets have featured him in documentaries including CTV’s Canadian Originals and CBC’s Building a Legacy.

In any one day, you can see Muzammal training professional athletes, mentoring young leaders, supporting National Coaches, or even teaching a kids martial arts class.

Georges St-Pierre:

Georges was raised in St-Isidore, Quebec, a town of about 2,000 people. As a child he was bullied for years by older schoolmates. His father had introduced him to Kyokushin karate at age 7, “but life isn’t like a movie,” he said. “You can do all the karate you want, when you’re eight or nine-years-old and they’re 12, when you’re alone and there’s three of them, you can’t do anything. That’s the reality.”

Already a 2nd dan Kyokushin karate black belt at 12, Georges dedicated himself to martial arts and training throughout his teen years. After seeing Royce Gracie fight in 1993 at UFC 1, Georges knew exactly what he wanted to do with his life and how he was going to reach those goals: he invested all his energy and all his time at becoming a better version of himself. When he wasn’t training or at school, Georges worked as a doorman in nightclubs, or hung off the back of a garbage truck, hauling in refuse. He discovered a simple truth: never stopping helps reach goals.

Georges continued to grow as a person and as a fighter. He added fighting disciplines such as boxing, wrestling, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to his karate background and competed in his first amateur MMA bout at age 16. He won that match, and continued his steady improvement. In 2006, Georges “Rush” StPierre or “GSP” becomes the UFC Welterweight Champion. He lost the title in 2007 but subsequently regained it in front of his hometown fans of Montreal in 2008 and hasn’t lost a single title defense since then.

Georges retired from the sport on December 13, 2013, holding the UFC record for most wins in title bouts and then returned to the octagon after a four-year layoff, on November 4, 2017 at UFC 217 in New York City (Madison Square Garden), where he defeated Michael Bisping by submission in the third round to win the UFC Middleweight Championship title, becoming the fourth fighter in the history of the organization to be a multi-division champion. On December 7, 2017, after being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, Georges vacated his UFC middleweight title and announced his retirement from professional MMA competition on February 21, 2019, following the UFC’s refusal to organize a superfight against UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. GSP was officially inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in a ceremony held in Las Vegas on September 24, 2021.

Kyokushin karate (3rd dan black belt), Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (black belt), Muay Thai, Boxing, Wrestling.

Member of the UFC Hall of Fame

Canadian Athlete of the Year 2008, 2009, 2010 - Rogers Sportsnet.

2010-2011 No.2 Pound-for-Pound Fighter in the World – ESPN

Fighter of the Year 2009 - Sports Illustrated, World MMA Awards, MMAPayout, Inside MMA, MMAJunkie

Finalist - Best Fighter 2008, 2010, 2011, 2018 - ESPY Awards

Most Dangerous Man of the year 2010 - Spike Guys Choice Awards

2008 MMA Fighter of the Year - Black Belt Magazine

Victor Thériault:

-Started Martial arts at 15 years old  at Therien Jiu Jitsu and convince my brother Jean Yves to come with me. The rest  is history .

-Was the 1 st Jiu Jitsu practitioner to win a grand championship in Canada representing Therien Jiu Jitsu at Wally Slocki first open Championship in Etobicoke Toronto

-Seeded at Battle of Atlanta and lost in overtime to Jerry Rhôme 2-1 . A former heavyweight champion of Kickboxing

-Won Canadian Karate Open Championship of Pierre Myre

-In 1978 , I Represented Canada in a Canada vs Creece team fight in Athens Creece and left the group behind in Ireland to  go train  and  give classes in Europe with stop at Dominic Valera  gym in Lyon and Paris.

-Pioneer coach of kickboxing in the early 80’s in Montreal and was instrumental in forming many Champions like Jex Fontaine , Michel Lavallée to name a few and launch a new crop of fighters with Aisudan, a tournament create to preserve Iceman’s legacy

-Father of Canadian MMA, the Battlecade event on the Kahnawake reserved created international news but open the door to get sport regulated.

-Promoted a USA vs Russia for Las Vegas with Holland trainer Yan Plas . My final fight featured a futur  world Boxing heavyweight champion , Vitaly Klichko . Presented Chuck Norris a $10,000  US check  for Kick Drugs out of America

-After the OKA crisis , I created for First Nation Productions  1 st ever All Iroquois tuff man championship that help bring back the white man to Kahnawake

-Produced with Mike Thomas as IFC interim president the battle of Kiev in UKRAINE and Battle of Mississippi and later sold the show to NFP for International  distribution that saved the IFC at the time.

- private coach of some of mtl most important VIP  in Mtl including Geoff Molson , Impact president Kevin Gilmore , comedian Anthony Kahvanah  and  marketing Guru Justin Kingsley.

-Replace Real Masse as the Mtl promoter as main consultant for TNT promotions of the late Richard Dufresne .

- created  1st Can vs Russia and a Canada France  at Verdun auditorium

-on site promoter of probably  the greatest show in kickboxing, PKA Karatemania V111 after Karatemania V and 6 for Jim Abernathy sports and Showtime PPV

-Brought kickboxing teams to compete international in Marseille , Brazil vale Tudo  and K-1 fights in Osaka Japan and Tokyo  with Jean Rivierre as his coach and agent

-chosen by GSP himself to be his personal strike coach for 2 years preparing him for his comeback with Bisbing. A great honour for me as a martial artist

-two demo fights with the legendary superfoot Bill Wallace in Sorel and in front of a full arena in Kitchener Ontario for the late Ron Day

-Was Chuck Norris personal agent for a  full day in Montreal for the movie Side Kick

-Kick started  Kickboxing in Montreal after a 20 year absence as a promoter and created  with Justin Kingsley of  the Aisudan tournament with 21 events in 3 years at the prestigious Casino de Montreal

-Name Canadian director by Cory Shaffer  of the biggest sanctioning body in the World for Kickboxing , The ISKA

-coach Judo World Champion Morgane Ribout  from France for her TKO debut

-worked on a concussion reducing project for the fight game with the Brain pad Mouth guard and got it in 700 Canadien Tire.

-Was Wonderboy Thompson 1st Canadian promoter before he made it to the UFC.

-produced a Live ESPN Boxing Special for Star Boxing in the State at the Olympic Stadium with a Rodriguez vs Alcine title bout

-Two Aisudan charity events promoted by Rene Gratton  in Mont Lautrier brought in $30,000 for MLS

-Fought a Kickboxing bout  on same card as Iceman's debut and won against Petro Giglotti of Mtl

-  Named In charge of combats sports for XPR Lab for futur TV productions to create 1st Virtual Reality martial arts show in near futur for the World   Combat Virtuel Arena

-Admitted  in the Who's Who of Martial arts by Joe Corley

Nassim Varasteh:

Nassim Varasteh is a Canadian karateka and karate world champion, born in Iran in 1981. Nassim gained recognition for winning silver medals she won in women’s individual Kumite under 60 kilos at the 2006 and 2008 world karate championships. She is currently a member of Canada National Coach Kumite and owns her own karate academy Kakenzai, which has several locations across the GTA.

Small sample of achievements. 

* Member of Canada National Coach Kumite

* Different medals and championships

    * Gold Medal, 2005 Pan American Championships

    * Bronze Medal, 2006 Pan American Championships

    * Silver Medal, 2006 World Championships

    * Gold Medal, 2008 Pan American Championships

    * Silver medal, 2008 World Championships

Frank Woon-A-Tai:

10th Dan, M.S. (Order of Service of Guyana), M.H. (French Guiana Medal of Honour).


Title: International Karate Daigaku (IKD) Shuseki Shihan, Founder/Chairman - 97 regions in 61countries.

Aim: To guide young people in the right direction, keep them off drugs and the street and to break the cycle of crime and violence through the Dojo Kun: Character, Sincerity, Effort, Etiquette and Self-Control.

Education: University of Toronto, B.A., Japanese Studies. Birth: May 22, 1950. Georgetown, Guyana.

Residence: Toronto.

Citizenship: Guyana (1950), Canada (1980).

Experience: 1964.

Teachers: Masatoshi Nakayama, 10th Dan, Hidetaka Nishiyama, 10th Dan, Teruyuki Okazaki, 10th Dan.

Shodan: 1971 Tokyo, Japan. Masatoshi Nakayama.

Rank: 10th Dan. December 2021.

Technical Levels: Instructor A, Examiner A, Judge A.

Known for: Tameshiwari Ability.

Author: Shu-Ha-Ri: My Life in Japanese Karate. 2020.

Builder: Frank Woon-A-Tai Budokan: Home of IKD International Technical HQ and Guyana Karate College.