Timeline By Year

Click on the dates to open a new page where available:

1959 Sensei Coffman starts Karate in Clinton Maryland (Japanese Karate)

1960 Sensei Coffman is stationed on Okinawa and starts training in Okinawan Shorinji- Ryu Karate with Sensei Fusei Kise

1961 Sensei Coffman got promoted to Sho-Dan on December 20, 1961. Grand Master Hohan Soken accepted Sensei Coffman as his first American student. Sensei Coffman started his Matsumura Seito training.


1962 Sensei Coffman gets promoted to Ni-Dan (May 14, 1962). Sensei Coffman is selected to represent Okinawa in the Fifth Japan Karate League Kyushu District Championship Contest.

1963 Sensei Coffman gets promoted to San-dan (Feb. 3, 1963), his training continues at a break neck pace. Sensei Coffman gets promoted to Yon-Dan (Nov. 29, 1963).


1964 Sensei Coffman starts first Dojo in the United States, Fort Bragg North Carloina.

1965 Sensei Coffman teams up with old friend, Gary Saluter, student of Sensei Nakamura.

1966 Sensei Coffman teaches as head instructor of George Dillman’s Karate School.

1967 Sensei Coffman starts Hombo Dojo in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Sensei Coffman starts teaching karate for the Dristric of Columbia, continues until 1992.
Sensei Coffman gets promoted to Go-Dan (Jan. 3, 1967).

1968 Sensei Coffman and Gary Saluter open their 1st Karate dojo, above the rabbit’s foot bar,
Washington DC

1969 Sensei Coffman start new karate classes at high school, Chevy Chase Maryland

1970 Sensei Coffman and Ronald Lee open main dojo….Shorin Karate Studio’s, Inc. Silver Springs, Maryland

1971 Sensei Coffman opens 2nd karate location, Chevy Chase, Maryland

1972 Sensei Coffman reunited with teachers, Grand Master Hohan Soken and Master Kise (formulation of OKF, Okinawan Karate Federation). Sensei Coffman gets promoted to Roku-Dan on June 11, 1972

1973 – 1974 Sensei Coffman opens 3rd Dojo, located in Rockville, Maryland

1975 Sensei Coffman accepts position of SMOKA-USA head and stateside representative at the request of
Grand Master Hohan Soken and Master Kise


1976 – 1977 Sensei Coffman received Nana-Dan “7th Dan”  on June 30, 1977, and was promoted to SMOKA-USA President.

1977 – 1978 Grand Master Hohan Soken retires from active teaching, Sensei Coffman formally breaks away from Kise, SMOKA-USA is formed. Hohan Soken bar’s Fusei Kise from using the name: Matsumura Seito. Kise forms his new karate association and names it “Kenshinkan”.

1979 Sensei Coffman purchases his 1st airplane, Piper Cherokee 140

1980 Sensei Coffman’s airplane makes the cover of “Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association” magazine,
July issue (AOPA Magazine)

1981 – 1983 Sensei Coffman continues to teach and fly

1984 Sensei Coffman forms a construction company “Shorin Enterprises, Inc”.

1985 Shorin Enterprises, Inc. breaks the One Million dollar income per year. Sensei Coffman purchases his 2nd airplane, a 250 Piper Comanche, high performance retractable.

1986 Sensei Coffman 250 Comanche makes the cover of the Comanche Flyer magazine. Shorin Enterprises, Inc. breaks the Two Million dollar per year income.

1987 Susan Huston becomes Sensei Coffman’s 1st female/woman black belt. Shorin Enterprises, Inc. does jobs as far away as Alaska, The Ilurtian Islands, Philippines, and bids jobs as far away as Japan.

1988 Sensei Coffman gets his Multi-engine, Instrument rating.

1989 Ed Marucci was promoted to Yon-dan “4th-degree black belt”. Shorin Enterprises, Inc. broke the Four Million dollar Income Bracket. Sensei Coffman purchase’s his third airplane, a Multi-engine, Turbocharged Oxygen equipped, a piper Navaho seven passenger. N-476HS Sensei Coffman has the tail number changed to read…..SHORIN spelled backwards (476HS)

1990 – 1991 Sensei Coffman travels all over the mid West USA doing and bidding jobs for Picker International. Teaches karate when not on travel.

1992 The construction market crashes, Sensei Coffman closes Shorin Enterprises, Inc. selling the company to his partners. Sensei Coffman and his top student (Ed Marucci) form another construction company, called DMS Construction.

1993 Sensei Coffman moves to Chambersburg, Pa. starts new business, “Shooter’s delight, Inc.” a indoor shooting range and firearm with a Class three licence, sporting store, teaches a small karate class.

1994 Ed Marucci is promoted to Go-dan (5th degree black belt), Deus Marchacos is promoted to Yon-dan, Al Gagne gets promoted to Go-dan (5th degree black belt). Sensei Coffman, Ed Marucci & Paul Badanes fly out to Colorado to meet up with Sensei Kise face to face. The encounter did not go well –  see article – .  Sensei Coffman and Ed Marucci travel to Okinawa, September 12th to meet with Kise again.

1995 Sensei Coffman teaches karate classes at Shooters Delight, Inc. .

1996 – 1997 Sensei Coffman moves to Marco Island, Florida. Opens small dojo teaches only private lessons, purchases a 6,000 Sq Ft home.

1998 Sensei Coffman builds new dojo in his Marco home, starts teaching private lessons

1999 Steve Abert gets promoted to Yon-dan

2001 George Jutras is promoted to San-dan

2003 Ed Marucci is the 1st student of Sensei Coffman to ever be promoted to Ruko-dan (6th degree Red & white belt) Carl Hoffman is promoted to San-dan. Sensei Coffman & Al Gagne (senior student Rhode Island) go to see Kise in Okinawa (see article)

2004 Sensei Coffman moves to Ft Lauderdale, Florida, going through a divorce.

2005 Al Gagne becomes the 2nd person to be promote to Ruko-dan level (Red & white belt) Richard LaViolette opens new SMOKA dojo in Fenton, Mo.

2006 Sensei Coffman move back to his roots, Maryland and take over as head of Ed Marucci’s dojo, teaching karate in Washington DC. Matt Brooks opens new SMOKA member dojo in Chandles, Az.

2007 Sensei Coffman, Al Gagne, make another trip to Okinawa (Sept. 07) This trip did not go well. Sensei Coffman opens his new dojo in Mount Airy, Maryland.

2010  Sensei Coffman takes a fall from a second floor level ….  Compound fracture  L-11

2012 Sensei publishes his new book “One Man’s Quest for Perfection”, The Dying Art of Karate. Jerry Martin gets promoted to Sho-Dan

2013 Sensei Coffman gets SMOKA Tattoo

2020   Sensei Coffman has a complete knee replacement  Nov. 18th, 2020