Demopolis Karate School helps in black belt testing

Published 12:09 am Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Members from the Demopolis Karate School a were invited to help judge in a black belt rank testing in Alexandria, La., on March 14 and 15.

Following the testing, they participated in a seminar on Judo, Brazilian jiujitsu and Japanese sword fighting.

The Demopolis school belongs to an organization of 30 schools were the martial arts masters are available to all of the members.

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Karate master Dr. Stephen Robidoux was one of those invited to help judge the events.

“I’ve been taking karate since I was 13 years old,” he said. “I got my first black belt back in ’68 in Maryland, when I was 18. When I moved to Demopolis in 1985, James Greene, a student of James Bailey in Tuscaloosa, started a karate school on Washington Street. Then, Buddy Hinson took over the school around 1995 or so, then it moved to North Strawberry.”

The school is a member of the International Matsumura Seito Society (IMSS), with 30 area schools among its membership.

It teaches a variety of karate, but its main event is Korean karate, known as taekwondo.

“We teach practical fighting methods,” Robidoux said. “They are things that you can do. We don’t get involved with psis and bows and nunchucks and things that you would never have in a real situation.

“We take true self-defense techniques with weapons that you will actually have available.”

Robidoux is often an instructor at IMSS seminars.

“We usually have two big seminars a year,” he said. “The summer one this year will be down in Spring Hill, and the winter one will be in Sylacauga.

“We have a three-day seminar there, and I usually teach at those. There are usually 100 to 150 people there.”