Jerry Holt Sensei
7th Dan Isshinryu 4th Dan Ryukyu Kobudo

Holt Sensei

Jerry Holt was born on December 4, 1960 in Shaw, Mississippi, a small town in the Mississippi Delta about 80 miles south of Memphis, Tennessee.

His interest in martial arts began when he was 12 years old while spending a year living in Los Angles, California with one of his sisters. He was introduced to the Korean martial art of Tang So Do through his brother-in-law Jose Metcalf who was a student of Chuck Norris.

in 1975, at age 15, he met bill Coppage, is first Isshinryu karate teacher at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi. That is when his journey began in Okinawa style martial arts, and since that time he has been fortunate to study with some very talented martial artists. He has trained with Senseis A.J. Advincula, Sherman Harrill and Kensho Tokumura. He continues to this day, seeking karate knowledge through training all over the U.S. and Japan. He feels very honored to wear the rank of roku-dan,, 6th degree black belt in Isshinryu karate. This is his 5th year of teaching karate at the White Bear Lake YMCA.

Jerry is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, is married to Shirley, had two daughters Kellie and Kendall, and is a resident of Brooklyn Park, MN. He is a graduate of The University of Southern Mississippi, with a B.S. in photojournalism. He has been a staff photographer at the Star Tribune newspaper since 1990.


Kyndell Harkness Sensei
3nd Dan Isshinryu, 3rd Dan Ryukyu Kobodo

Harkness Sensei

Kyndell Harkness is a san-dan, a 3rd degree black belt in Isshinryu who started studying Isshinryu with Holt Sensei when she moved to Minnesota in late 2000. Since she was little, Kyndell has love the idea of being a martial artist. For her, it means to be able to stretch your mind, body and spirit in a way you never thought possible. She started her martial arts journey in Virginia, in Tae Kwon Do at Baeplex, with instructor Joseph Ash. Kyndell studied two years there before moving to Minnesota.

Kyndell is a photographer at the Star Tribune, and resides in Minneapolis with her husband Jeff, their son William, and her mother Ruby. Just like her job, she enjoys the fact that karate has given her a chance to make friends with people she might have never met.