Sensei Kha was born in Denver, CO, in 1978. His father, Master Nguyen, a mechanical engineer, relocated to Richmond, Virginia, two years later. Shortly thereafter the Silkisondan martial arts school in Richmond was established. Sensei Kha grew up in a family of karate students, and studied directly under Master Nguyen and alongside many of the school's instructors. He now lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and 2 daughters, but actively participates in the schools in Richmond.
As one of our most proficient practitioners, Sensei Kha is Vice President - Technical of the International Silkisondan Karate Association. As he visits different schools, group classes and tests, he identifies ways to improve training & practice and to better apply the basic skill sets.
Sensei Rusty Burke is the Vice President - Operations for the International Silkisondan Karate Association. He is a proven business owner and has grown his school into one of the strongest programs in Western Florida. While the schools in the Richmond area do not share the same business model, his experience is invaluable in helping to develop and maintain the "individuality" of each branch while still adhering to the Silkisondan standard of excellence.
Sensei Burke has been training with Master Nguyen since 1981 and is currently a 4th dan black belt in Silkisondan Karate. Rusty received his black belt on his 18th birthday in 1987 and trained directly under Master Nguyen until 1998 when he moved to Florida. Rusty graduated from Florida State University in 2000 and also lived in Tampa from 2002-2005. He moved back to Tallahassee in 2005 and is a small business owner. Rusty is also a 3rd degree black belt in Tae-Kwon-Do and has had training with aikido, shito-ryu, and jiu-jitsu.
"I used to carry my gi (uniform) with me whenever I would go on a road trip or vacation. I would go to all sorts of karate schools all over the country and join in on a class whenever they would let me. One thing is for certain: Silkisondan karate is adaptable to many other martial arts. But it is better in my opinion, because Silkisondan karate is not a "color by numbers" martial art. It teaches you how to think, how to react. Not just in a dojo, but in life."
Check out Sensei Burke's Dojo, Silkisondan Karate of Florida, here: http://karateofflorida.com
Sensei Carla Dannouf is the Director of Student Affairs for the International Silkisondan Karate Association. Her wealth of experience in education and her degree in psychology make her an invaluable resource for instructors, students and parents.
Sensei Dannouf has been training in martial arts for over 20 years. She has been a black belt since 1993. Carla teaches the children’s and women’s classes. Carla has been a competitive fighter and Kata enthusiast since the late 80’s. It is clear to anyone watching her classes that she enjoys teaching and has a great time with her students.
"The lessons I have learned have truly been life-altering," says Carla. "I have great respect for the art and my peers. I have incorporated martial arts into my everyday life and live by it. I encourage everyone to try our classes. We pride ourselves in trying to accommodate most individuals and their needs. We are a family-oriented class for all."
Sensei Dave Frank began studying with Master Ron Proffitt in 1993 at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College. He had always had a desire to study karate and when his daughter began taking it as a Physical Education class he saw an opportunity. Dave began teaching karate ten years ago in his backyard, then moved to St. Peters Church in Highland Springs. In 2003 he began teaching at the Quinton Community Center where his class is today.
"I don't think you can stay in karate and become a black belt without developing a desire to teach," explains Dave.
Sensei Goodloe has been training with Master Nguyen since 1983 and is currently a 3rd dan black belt in Silkisondan Karate. Tom resides in Ashland with his wife, Kim, and has three children. He is the Vice President of Fine Metals Corp and has been there for more than 30 years.
Sensei Wilds began studying Silkisondan Karate in the early 1980’s and received his Black Belt in 1989. Shortly thereafter, he and his wife (Debbie) began teaching karate through the Goochland Parks and Recreation program. Sensei Wilds currently holds a rank of 2nd Dan and has been instrumental in introducing martial arts to many students in the Goochland community including a number of our Black Belts.
Sensei Brian Kennedy is a third degree Black Belt in Silkisondan Karate having trained with Master Nguyen for over 20 years. He is also a certified martial arts instructor through Black Belt Schools International, and a Tactical Master Instructor in Compliance, Direction and Takedown, a non-deadly force personal protection system. Mr. Kennedy holds a B.S. from Rutgers University and a post graduate degree at Virginia Commonwealth University.
In remembrance of our deceased Black Belt Family – Physically gone but Spirit Lives On!
- Jim “Big Mac” McCarter
- Phong “Bi” Ha
- Bruce Hoffman
- Gene Smart
- Dana Ragland
Their spirit and karate live on in the others they inspired, mentored and trained.