This video features Sensei Gabbard competing in various Tournaments around the country.
Sensei David Gabbard started training in Isshin-ryu Karate in 1975 .
At that time he and his family had just moved to Nashville from Florida and possessing a life long dream to study, he visited the local Dojo in his neighborhood.
"The first time he walked into the dojo, he watched Master Jim McDonald working out with a couple of other Black Belts and some students, and he was amazed at what he saw and knew that he had to take classes there".
After begging for days to his Mother she decided that he
could indeed participate in classes.
Paying tuition for classes was a huge sacrifice for the family but hopefully this would help in giving him some direction with his often misdirected youthful energies.
His first Instructors of influence were found in the beginners class, these Instructors were Ronnie Ladd, Mike Hammons, Phil Whittle, and Ron Gregory.
Mr. Gabbard went on to become one of the most successful
fighter in all of
Isshinryu Karate by winning over 150 Karate Tournaments.
* Sensei Gabbard has won the Tennessee State
Open Championship 7 times.
* The Isshinryu Karate Hall Of Fame Kumite Grand
Championship Tournament 4 times.
* Undefeated 9 years at the American Okinawan
Tournament in Bayone New Jersey.
* In 1989 he was the ranked as the #1
Heavyweight Fighter in region nine
which was made up of all of the South Eastern States.
* Sensei Gabbard also has won 5 Gold Medals and 1 Silver at the
Tennessee Police Olympics for the Martial Arts Competition
*Sensei Gabbard also competed in Full Contact Kickboxing
and trained several successful competitors,
one of which competed for the North American Title
* Was named Karate Ka of The Year in 1983 and 1987.
* Recieved The Spirit of Isshinryu Award at the Isshinryu Hall Of Fame.
* Team Coach For the 2005 & 2006 IIKA
Mens and Womens Fighting Team.
* Sensei Gabbard has been inducted into 5 separate
Hall Of Fame organizations.
* World Sokeship Council Hall Of Fame.
* World Karate Union Hall Of Fame.
* Browns Masters and Legends Hall of Fame.
* Don Nagles AOKA Hall of Fame.
* Isshinryu Hall of Fame.
Sensei Gabbard served on the
Isshin-ryu Hall Of Fame
Board of Directors for 3 years.
Sensei Gabbard served on the IIKA Board of Directors for over 25 years and served as Board Member, Vice President and President.
Master Gabbard resigned from the IIKA in May 2023 to partner with other Dojos to create a new
Christian Martial Artist Association.
Sensei Gabbard with his first competitive trophy and new Yellow Belt from the 1975 IIKA Nationals held in
Knoxville Tn .
Sense Gabbard received his
Sho Dan 1st Degree Black Belt
in 1977 at the age of 16.
Sensei Gabbard poses with his first
Black Belt 1st Place Trophy.
(Pictured with Trice Fasig)
He actively participated in training Patrol personal as well as S.W.A.T. team members in various aspects of hand-to-hand combat and advanced weapon and firearm tactics.to the rank of Training Sergeant.
Sensei Gabbard became involved with the S.W.A.T Team at that time and helped execute entry operations for the 21st Judicial Drug Task Force.
He activley participated in training Patrol personal as well as S.W.A.T. team members in various aspects of hand-to-hand combat and advanced weapon and firearm tactics.
Sensei Gabbard has also served as a licensed Certified Armed Body Guard in the state of Tennessee and has rendered Personal Protection Service
to some of the worlds top Movie Stars
and Musical Talent.
Some of Mr. Gabbards
Clients have included....
Actor Steven Segal
Comedian Tom Arnold
And Marie Osmond
Music Stars Vince Gill & Amy Grant Musician And Comedian
Pop Star Group Hanson
Sensei Gabbard was promoted to
Ku-Dan 9th Dan
on October 8th 2016 by his
Sensei Master Phil McElroy and the
The International Isshinryu
Board Of Directors.
Sensei Phil McElroy
was in charge of operations at the
Nashville Dojo when Sensei Gabbard
attended his first class.
Sensei McElroy was busy leading the group of tough and hardened Black Belts
during this time.
He remains the guiding force for the Nashville Dojo Group group and still operates the FBC Dojo in Smyrna Tn.
The Karate School Of Nashville opened in 1966 by Sensei John Denny Shaffer. This Dojo was one of the most successful and competitive schools in all of North America producing over 150 experienced
Black Belt Instructors .
Mr Shaffer spent many years becoming successful in the Health Club industry until retiring and returning to full time Martial Arts, forming the Red Dragon Group based in South Carolina.
Pictured with Master Long at the 1993 Isshinryu Hall Of Fame
Grand Master Harold Long was the guiding light for the Nashville Dojo and to each of us individually.
He was a true leader and personal
The private time we spent in the Dojo discussing techniques are treasured memories.
Master Long founded the IIKA and the
IIKA Nationals which later became the
Isshinryu Hall Of Fame that we know today.
Master Nagle and Long horsing around threatening to "Punch Out" Master Gabbard
Sensei Gabbard had the honor of spending time with Master Nagel each time he visited the NY ,NJ Tournaments as well as the
East Tn Tournaments.
The random 5am phone calls with Master Nagel will always be treasured.
Sensei Gabbard had the honor of spending time with Master Harold Mitchum hosting him at his Dojo and at Seminars.