Sept. 5 marked another milestone in the life of Marty Robbins. This was the night he removed the worn and ragged black belt and had it replaced by the red and white belt designating him as a Master of Isshinryu Karate.
Marty's fifth degree black belt was removed and replaced with a Rokudan, sixth degree black belt, by his instructor eighth Degree Black Belt, Master Art Palmer.
Master Robbins is a well-known, award-winning martial artist, who started training in Shotokan Karate with Ken Nelson at the age of 10, and began training in Isshinryu Karate at Art Palmer's School of Isshinryu Karate in 1987. He attained the rank of Shodan, first degree black belt, in 1991.
Master Robbins trained tirelessly from 1987 to present day. During those years, he has won the Isshinryu Hall of Fame Competitor of the year, the IIKA Nationals Competitor and Karateka of the year awards.
Competing in the tough black belt divisions for over two decades, he has won more first-place trophies and grand championship trophies than anyone can count. In addition to all the karate competitions, Marty, with the ring name of Marty "Too Sweet" Robbins, has had a distinguished career as a professional boxer with over 70 professional fights. All these years of training and competing paid off Sept. 5 with his promotion to sixth degree black belt.
To obtain this prestigious rank, Master Robbins had to be nominated by his instructor and by Master Tommy True (ninth degree black belt), founder and instructor of the Roane County School of Isshinryu, and board member of the International Isshinryu Karate Association (IIKA).
Following this nomination Master Robbins had to pass a day-long, detailed and strenuous test, in front of the entire board of the International Isshinryu Karate Association, on Aug. 31.
The testing included flawless demonstrations of forms and techniques of Isshinryu Karate, as well as knowledge of the history and science behind the principles of this traditional Okinawan martial art.
Isshinryu was developed from Shorin-ryu and Gojor-yu Karate by Grand Master Tatsuo Shimabuku in 1956. Isshinryu Karate includes the practice of techniques and principles hundreds of years old, and is primarily comprised of eight empty hand katas (forms), three bo (staff like traditional weapon) katas, two sai (short three pronged stabbing and pummeling weapon), one bo-vs-bo combat kata, one sai-vs-bo combat kata, and one tuifa (traditional side-handled baton) kata.
Hidden throughout these katas are techniques to cripple or disable an attacker, and include pressure point and nerve strikes, joint locks, punches, blocks, kicks, and grappling moves. During his testing, Master Robbins had to demonstrate knowledge and flawless skill at all.
"Marty is a great athlete, a tireless worker, a skilled fighter, a good man, and the best friend anyone could ever wish for. He has been very successful in his life, and has earned all of it, and more. I hope God continues to bless him in every way," said Tim Sherrill.