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Rylan Burt

In April of 2011, I completed my first belt advancement to gold belt. I was so excited to get it! That was also the year I completed in my first karate tournament. I won a first place trophy for my creative kata, a third place trophy for Chanbara and a medal for sword and shield. I was very happy to get those!

I was learning quickly and loved to advance!

In 2012, I received my purple belt. That was also the year that we changed from Bushi Ban over to the new system and changed the name to Bush Kai Jedi Warrior Training program. I was a lot of fun! I got the rank of Jedi Warrior Junior Grade!

In December 2012, I advanced to a blue belt! My splits got really low this year!

In June of 2013, I received my red belt and another 1st place trophy for my creative kata that I performed to the song “Eye of the Tiger”! I love to make up my own moves! I also received a medal for Chanbara.

In February 2014, I got my brown/red belt. Then in July of that same year I received my full brown belt! Then later that year in September I shocked my mom by getting my “Oreo” belt! It was a great year! I learned so much!

I tell you about the tournament and the belts I have receive because it is apart of me an who I am I am a black belt and have work so hard to achieve what where I am today.

I am so excited to be getting my black belt, it is something I have worked very hard to achieve!

Alex Carlson

Being a black belt means more to me than almost anything else. As a black belt, I have become a completely different person from when I started karate. Before, I felt like a nobody with absolutely no confidence and now I actually feel like somebody. I am more confidante in myself. Being a black belt is an honor to me. It is not only an honor and pride but it makes me more responsible and knowledgeable as a black belt because of the time I have spent leaning. Being a back belt means an awful not to me.

Sam Whitmer Coverston

My karate life: What made my want to join karate was…well…wanting to defend myself. But soon after I joined, I knew it wasn’t that easy and learned that it would take a long while. Another reason was Max’s friend was taking karate from this school, Bushi Kai, and he made me want to do it way more. When I joined my first sensei was Sensei Devin. He was a great teacher and he gave me a strong start. Then I had Sensei Tim, who was an amazing intermediate teacher because he went though it all slowly. This really helped me. I had Sensei Lance for a while and then he went to another location. Then I got Sensei Tim again and he taught me for a long while, until now, actually. I am lucky to have the instruction that I have had to become a black belt.

Sue Rosenlof

Thank you for the motivational letter and I whole heartedly agree with you! I would also like to express my sincere and heartfelt gratitude to you and your wonderful wife Kathryn for all you have done for my son Mark Rosenlof. As he is preparing to receive his Black Belt this week, I could not let this go by without putting my thoughts in writing.

When Mark was small, maybe four or five he took Karate from a neighbor of ours for a little while. He showed natural talent and enjoyed it but the teacher moved after a short while. Many years went by than a few years ago Mark started mentioning he would like to take karate again. I knew this would be good for him, but I also knew as a single parent I would not be able to afford this. After praying about this, and hearing you talk of Bushi Ban, I mentioned to Mark that he should call you and see if he could work something out with you. He called you and I remember very clearly the look of excitement on his face as you agreed to let him work for you in exchange for his lessons.

I don’t know how many people would be willing to do this but, I know because of the sacrifice you and your wife made in Mark’s behalf that you have helped shape him into the great man that I know he is becoming. I know that Bushi Ban has been such a blessing to Mark and our family. Because of the things he has learned and the good examples he found there from his association with your family and others he was greatly blessed. During the time in his life which was very difficult—having parents divorce, loved ones making very bad choices, and dealing with the trials of teenage years—he had somewhere to go where he knew he was accepted and loved.

This has been a blessing to me because as his mother I received comfort knowing he was in good hands. I know first hand that it does take a village to raise a child. A mother cannot teach her son how to be a man, but I am grateful for the fine examples he has found through the years. Everything I have witnessed has been positive and character building. It truly is amazing that in all these years I have never seen anything that was not uplifting. I was even convinced, over time, that Fighters Elite was a good thing and that wasn’t easy to do!

It has been fun to watch him progress and I appreciate the effort that you put into making Bushi Ban a great experience for all. As he has acquired the different belts, I have been so proud each time that he didn’t give up. I was just as proud when he received his yellow belt as I am that he will be receiving his black belt.

I also want to thank Deven for everything he has done for Mark. Deven quickly became his favorite and I know he tried to implement everything he taught him.

Thank you again!

Sam Memmott

I began my journey to a black belt when I was a junior in high school. I am now 23. I took a little longer to get there than most. I began from the urgings of my mother to be able to protect myself.

In time I learned the basics. The guy we always tested with was Devon. He was tough, many test I had to do over again. My dad liked Devon; he was always down to business.

About two years ago we made it to our three pre-tests for black belt and bombed out. My dad continued and got his black belt about a year and a half ago. He got really involved in two different styles and it really bugged me and my mother. About six month ago I began again and I am there now even with my disability. I am stronger for what I have accomplished.

Sydney Nielson

I started karate because my mom and dad wanted my sister Bailey and me to do something we could do our whole life. At first it was I wasn’t crazy about karate, but then I grew to love going karate.

My favorite thing to do in karate is kicks. I like kicks because I can kick high. I also like grappling. I don’t know why I like grappling so much. My favorite kata is Competition Form.

I want to do karate my whole life. I think karate is super, super fun. I also think it would be fun to be a teacher at karate. I am super excited to be a black belt.


Alison Moore Smith

We started as a karate family in Boca Raton, Florida, in 2000, with everyrone who was old enough (including my husband and me) enrolling. When we moved to Utah, we searched for a school, found a fairly similar one, started over again…and then it closed.

Three of our girls were fourth degree brown belts (in kenpo karate) and just didn’t have the heart to start a third time. So all of them quit. Although we love martial arts, it was some time before we were willing to try again.

In the summer of 2014, our two boys expressed interest in starting up again. We tried out numerous schools and compared them. We were looking for:

  1. An established school that had been (and would continue to be) around for the long haul.
  2. A rigorous curriculum with high standards where our investment would have visible results.
  3. An atmosphere that was welcoming and encouraging from both the teachers and fellow students.
  4. Opportunities to succeed and gain confidence through real accomplishment.

Along with input from the boys, we chose to enroll them at Bush Kai. Since then they have learned skills, made friends, worked hard, and advanced in the system. They look forward to classes and are always excited to attend both their regular lessons and the special events that are held regularly.

Thanks for creating the perfect place for our family!


Renee Weakley

I started karate when I was eight and now as a black belt I have gained so much. I have worked so hard to get to this point. There was a time where I didn’t want to continue but I am so glad that I had the support around me that gave me more confidence so that I could get my belt. I am stronger for getting my black belt and proud to be one.

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