McMinnville TN
2416 Smithville Highway, McMinnville TN
(Back of Building, enter off of Pike Hill Road)

Our Founder

Mark JohnsonMark Johnson- Soke

Founder- Sho Gigei Karate

5th degree black belt- Sho Gigei Karate

 4th degree black belt-American Karate

 3rd degree black belt-American Freestyle Karate

 2nd degree black belt-Wado Ryu karate

 2nd degree black belt-Freestyle Tae Kwon Do

 1st degree black belt-ATA Tae Kwon Do

  Certified Expert Childrens Martial Arts Instructor by Master Melody Shuman

Inducted into the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame as

Martial Arts Man of the Year 2007




How I Began My Martial Arts Path

By Sensei Mark Johnson

I was 14 years old and a freshman in high school who was always being picked on. I wanted to learn martial arts so I could fight. I was a scrawny 14 year old that at times dreaded going to school due to the bullying I was prone to receiving. It was one Saturday morning in February of 1988. I was walking through the local swap meet when I saw them; real martial artists. One of the local tae kwon do schools was putting on a demonstration. I was completely entranced by what I saw. These people were jumping and kicking and breaking boards! What power and focus it must have taken to perform such a feat. When they were done they gave me a pass for a free class. I hurried home with my pass to share the excitement with my mom. She looked at me with disappointing frustration when she told me there was no possible way we could afford the training. I begged her to at least let me go for my free class. Finally she let me go. I went for my class knowing this would be the only class I would ever get, but still excited. Maybe I would learn some special technique that I could defend myself with. I don’t really remember exactly what I learned on that first class but from that moment on all I could think about was tae kwon do. Two weeks went by and I was still on a high after my one class. I was beginning to realize that I would never get to train though. That afternoon the phone rang. It was the owner of the tae kwon do school. He spoke to me and told me he understood I didn’t have the money to train but he had a trade in mind. He told me he needed someone to clean his school 3 times a week and he would trade me lessons if I would be willing to do the cleaning. I was ecstatic. My mom agreed to let me do the work and that started my martial arts path in March of 1988 on which I still walk. I never really learned how to fight though; I learned how not to fight.

 I believe that God has a plan for everyone.  For me I believe that God had planned for me to be here right now teaching karate.  I am reminded of some scripture from the book of Esther chapter 4 verse 14 from the NIV version “…And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?”   Not to say that I am royal (although I am an adopted son of the king).  I just feel that I was prepared for this moment by God.     I have been given too many opportunities for martial arts in my life not to have to share what I have learned.  My beginning in martial arts was just the first of many unusual opportunities I had to continue training.


Class Hours

Tuesday and Thursday
Beginner class
6:00PM to 6:45PM

Advanced class
7:00PM to 8:00PM

Karate Style

Our Karate style is called:

Sho Gigei Karate

Sho Gigei means "Many Varied Arts"

Click the link to request to join our Garrison Martial Arts Facebook Group.