Shihan Ron Bennett
Founder and Creator of White Dragons of Bushido
Shihan Ronald K. Bennett was born in St. Louis Missouri
in 1959. In his early youth his family relocated to
the suburban communities of East Los Angeles and the
San Gabriel Valley California.
The first Martial Arts participation was at age 14 with
study to an early intermediate level in Kung Fu San
Soo, under the instruction of Mr.
Jimmy Woo. Personal teen interests lead away from
continued study for a time. Even the minimal training
taught Mr. Bennett skills that would prove helpful with
the conditions of the East Los Angeles environment of
the late 1960's and early 1970's. An altercation in
downtown Los Angeles with gang members, following witness
of a mugging committed against a woman with a young
child, would be one of the first 'real' street situations
where marital arts training would prove helpful. Bennett
chased the suspects by foot into a nearby sewing factory
successfully detaining two of the three. While a factory
employee held the captured individuals Bennett continued
to pursue the last member of the group. A combat knife
was pulled bringing the added threat of a weapon so
Bennett dropped back, continuing the pursuit, luckily
flagging a Los Angeles County Sheriffs to conclude the
arrest. A 'Letter of Recognition' was awarded by the
City of Los Angeles.
This, and other personal experiences, brought Mr. Bennett
to the realization it was his nature to do all he could
to help those who would be bullied, abused or mistreated.
Many other situations have required the strength, determination
and knowledge learned through the study of Martial Arts.
Blackbelt Training, Red Dragon Karate:
Personal training resumed, with the focus of Blackbelt
rank goals, in Mr. Bennett's' mid twenties. At the age
of 27, Ron Bennett received the rank of Blackbelt 1st
degree, from Grandmaster Louis
D. Casamassa in the Red
Dragon Karate system, headquartered in California.
He became an integral part of this system as an instructor
under Master David Casamassa and Shihan Chris
Casamassa (of motion picture fame with credits including
Mortal Combat, Batman, Blade, China O'Brian and many
more). Personal training continued with the Casamassa
family, and many others affiliated with Red Dragon Karate,
and the American Karate & Kung Fu Federation (AKKF).
Expanding knowledge and skill was always a focus participating
with individuals such as Mike
Frank, the original White Power Ranger, Shihan Mike
Jablonski, Shihan Rudy Amaya, and Shihan Mohammed Jahanavash.
Following a move to Utah, the Red Dragon Karate, Utah
affiliate was opened presenting instruction in American
Freestyle unique to the Red Dragon System. Many students
enjoyed the knowledge and expertise Sensei Bennett brought
to the Martial Arts training opportunities in Utah.
Sport karate also got a jump-start since Bennett had
much experience both in personal participation and in
training for sport karate events. The Red Dragon Open
Karate Championship became the sport karate event each
year for the area, and had a very successful 6 year
During these years, Sensei Bennett trained more students
to champion status, in the regional Excel Karate League
(EKL), North American Sport Karate League (NASKA), and
National Blackbelt League (NBL) than had even been thought
possible. Sensei Bennett finished his teaching career
with the Red Dragon System as a 5th Degree with over
twelve years of teaching and student competition training.
Though the skills taught within this Freestyle system
are very strong, basic system structure and traditional
technique were becoming the personal focus of Mr. Bennett.
A very difficult decision was made to discontinue participation
with the RDK system and programs. The Utah RDK system
was sold and has essentially closed operation. Much
respect and gratitude remain for the instructors and
training within the Red Dragon System.
As a refocus of both professional and personal goals
became necessary, Shihan Bennett took time to make personal
changes. Retirement from police work allowed time to
consider many options. Focus on Martial Arts was still
most important and an effort to broaden knowledge and
training began. Hours were spent reading and training
in new areas and areas of limited previous introduction.
Traditional forms of TaeKwonDo,
Judo and others began. Mr. Bennett researched over 150
books and video training tapes including Japan Karate
Association Shotokan, Funakoshi
Shotokan, John Chung TaeKwonDo, Gracie Jujitsu, Gene
LaBell Judo, Ed
and Al Tracy Kenpo. Martial Arts business instruction
by NAPMA, IFC, EFC and others were given much review
While a decision to begin again with teaching was yet
to be made the creation of a new, traditional, personal
improvement system of Martial Arts instruction began.
With so much information to use for a base, the many
opinions could be evaluated. A conclusion that there
is no 'perfect art' allowed a renewed outlook.
Many of the students Mr. Bennett had taught encouraged
him to start again. This encouragement accompanied by
the love of the art, and sharing this art, somehow would
not allow Mr. Bennett to make any choice except to again
train students. This time, however, he knew certain
elements must be the foundation before teaching could
Review of over twenty-five years of personal Martial
Arts training and notes along with new personal commitment
to proper moral and ethical standards created that foundation.
Positive influences and attitudes found new Martial
Arts examples. An introduction to Grandmaster Jhoon
Rhee, an individual most inspirational in positive
achievement, was the final spark to ignite the flame
of a great new program. Grandmaster Rhee encouraged
Mr. Bennett to continue training students because of
the outstanding TaeKwonDo performance, as well as the
personal commitment to honor and truth that was the
goal of Bennett.
White Dragons of Bushido is Born:
A Martial Arts system with personal and professional
ethics was the foremost focus as an outline began. The
system creation included hours of thought and notes,
developing training requirement structure, tuition programs,
business plans, advertising approaches, advancement
and participation programs, and structural Dojo designs.
First was the basic 'Code
of Ethics', a guide for each participant to follow
to be a better person, friend, family member and citizen.
A return to the traditional purpose of Martial Arts
training, that of HONOR. Advancement to Blackbelt would
carry the significant responsibility of advanced physical
qualification, mental sharpness and personal integrity.
Conduct unbecoming an honored Blackbelt would not be
tolerated. Leadership by example. Personal conduct with
the highest regard for others.
With the lease of a 4000 square foot building
in Ogden, Utah, the dream began to take shape. The front
area of the location was remodeled into a private instruction
area and retail store. The back 3000 foot warehouse
area had to be completely finished to become a state
of the art Dojo, complete with training bags and equipment,
a stereo sound system, weight room and visitor viewing
area. A loft was constructed for Blackbelt training,
complete with training videos and Martial Arts library.
Official business operation began September 1, 1998.
With operation just into its fourth year, White Dragons
of Bushido proudly supports a martial arts student base
of over 350 full time members, with a cardio karate
fitness student base of a steady 300-350 members. Overall
enrollment has reached almost 800 during the years of
operation in the Martial Arts, with 4600 individual
participants in fitness kickboxing. Instruction is provided
on a full time basis, six days per week. Twenty-eight
classes are held weekly, with the average daily attendance
at approximately 160 students. Twenty-three blackbelt
instructors are available for private and class instruction.
Retail sales of Martial Arts related products to the
White Dragon students and individuals and schools in
the community average an annual $40,000 in revenue,
with total school revenue increase of over 250% since
the first year of operation. A projected fourth year
annual revenue of $280,000 is anticipated.
The War of the Wasatch sport karate tournament is the
annual event promoted by Shihan Bennett. This event
is the largest of it's kind held in the states of Utah,
Montana, Idaho and Wyoming each year. Growing each year,
for the past three years, both in participation and
presentation, 2002 brings the Winter Olympics to Northern
Utah requiring this fun and exciting tournament to resume
A comprehensive website is under construction that will
include information about instructors, training methods
and requirements, activities and students.
Personal Martial Arts Recognition:
Creator and founder of the White Dragon style as
recognized by the USMAF
8th Dan in TaikenJu-Ryu
7th Dan Shihan in the USAKF
6th Dan United States Martial Arts Federation
5th Dan Red Dragon Karate
4th Dan Honorary Black Belt in the Flash Karate Federation
Yellow Belt in Ed Parker's American Kenpo
Tai-Ho Jitsu Master Instructor
Regional Director United States Judo Jiujitsu Federation
Induction into the 2003 World Martial Arts Hall of Fame
Professor in PMAA
Yudanshikai Instructor IKA
Instructor of the Year, Excel Karate League, 1996, 2000,
Hall of Fame, AKKF
Golden Life Achievement Award
Executive Protective Award of Valor
PSDI Law Enforcement International
Sport Karate #1 Competitive School, 1994, AKKF
Sport Karate Most Winning Instructor 1995-96, AKKF
Tournament of the Year 2000, EKL
IMAC Personal Achievement Award 2000
Promoter of the Year 2001, EKL
Personal Sport Karate Participation
Student Advanced Achievements
White Dragons of Bushido system Blackbelts
Johnson - 5th Degree
Williams - 5th Degree
Randy Kirby - 3rd Degree
Melendez - 3rd Degree
Grigsby - 3rd Degree
Red Dragon Karate system Blackbelts under Shihan Ron
Total - 57
Universal Systems of America Black Belts under Shihan
Total - 33
USA Karate Federation Black Belts under Shihan Ron
Total - 24
The EKL Nationals in 1992 pulled a retired Bennett into
Sparring competition where he punched through nine fighters,
finally placing 2nd to Eddie 'Flash' Newman of Las Vegas,
Nevada in sudden death.
A return to competition in late 1997 found a renewed
Bennett successfully defeating all EKL sparring competitors
in his division to the final match in Salt Lake City,
Utah. The final match placing 2nd , in a controversial
call, while battling the long running #1 Jim Dean of
Early the next season, at the request of his students,
Bennett competed in the weapons division, winning both
of the entered divisions, and participating in Grand
Champion division at the age of 40.
A new Marital Arts system was created and founded by
Shihan Bennett with one of his Blackbelt students, Master
Bryan in 1994. Mr. Bryan came to study with Mr.
Bennett holding previous blackbelts in TaeKwonDo and
IKKF Kenpo, under Master Shepherd Nawaii. He studied
with Bennett in the Red Dragon System to the level of
Blackbelt 3rd Degree.
system is based on aggressive one punch, one kick, one
combination technique then submission by choke or lock.
The combination of TaeKwonDo, Kenpo, Judo, Jiujutsu
styles, with techniques of Wado, Isshin and Shito Goju
Ryu. The goal was to create a street-smart 'quick defense'
style. The system has been tested in full contact situations
on the East Coast and in Pennsylvania in sport competition
with undefeated results. Master Bryan successfully operates
a TKJR training school in the Philadelphia area. Master
Bryan enjoys the participation of approximately 100
active Martial Arts students, and also operates a community
after school program for area youth.
Other Personal Achievements:
Shihan Bennett, although many Martial Arts accomplishments
had been achieved, wanted to continue personal learning.
He attended and graduated from Weber State University
in Ogden, Utah with a CAT 1 Police Officer Degree in
criminal justice in 1994. He also graduated from the
Salt Lake Police Academy in Salt Lake City, Utah, and
the Fred M. House Corrections Academy in Draper, Utah.
He is a lifetime member of the Utah Police Officer Association.
Special awards in the line of police duty include 'Recognition
for Devoted Service', Ogden, Utah. Job assignments in
the Utah State Prison and regional county jails would
often require the skills of the many years of advanced
blackbelt training. Police service participation spanned
over six years with the Ogden City Police Department,
Harrisville Police Department and Box Elder County Sheriff
Many individuals have something to say about someone
else, or judge others before any facts are collected.
Gossip can seem to temporarily give that person the
feeling of greatness or superiority. My personal commitment
to respect all martial arts styles and instructors worthy
of this respect holds fast. Our lives bring meetings
with many, some who conduct themselves in an honorable
fashion, and some who do not. I try to surround myself
with those who chose to be honest and value the truth
in both personal and professional conduct. Sadly, many
within the martial arts world do not follow the thousands
of years of honor in this art. It has been my experience
that a true friend is the one who stands by you, even
when you are down.
Martial Artists should possess:
Strength in the mind and body, cleanliness in the spirit.
Duty and respect for freedom and country.
Love, compassion, empathy and sympathy.
A willingness and desire for skill and knowledge with
no fear of failure.
Courage and wisdom to defend what is right, without
concern of personal risk or danger.
A personal drive to seek after all things good.
To make fair judgments, based on facts.
Willingness to admit a wrong, and correct that wrong
with a humble heart.
Insight to see the wrong path, and the ability to not
travel that path.
My personal thanks to my wonderful, loving, supportive
wife, who helped me to realize who I am, where I am
going and how I might get there. My children, Emily,
Nicole, Melanie, and
for helping me to learn how to laugh, even at myself.
My students, young and young at heart, for all the hard
work, personal effort, commitment and dedication to
the martial arts and to me. I feel fortunate to have
found a personal connection to God and the great blessings
and strength this knowledge gives me every day. You
can email Shihan Bennett at this address: