Lung Fu Do... The Way of Wisdom and Strength 

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Welcome to Lung-Fu-Do! 

     Lung-Fu-Do (translated “Way of the Dragon and Tiger”) is an eclectic or blended martial arts system, founded by the late grandmaster Charles Conley during the 1960’s.  Master Conley’s goal was to take the best techniques from the various systems he had studied and create a “uniquely American martial arts style”. 

     Our techniques are drawn from the Korean martial art of Tang-Soo Do Moo Duk Kwonk, which is known for its kicking techniques and is closely related to Tae Kwon Do.  Chinese White Crane offers the power and alternate angles of attack associated with the “soft” martial art styles.  A Chinese grappling system called Chi Na is another major source for Lung-Fu-Do.  Many of our self-defense techniques come directly from Chi Na.  Our ground fighting and joint manipulations are drawn from Japanese Judo and Ju-jitsu.

     In short, we have “borrowed” from the best of many traditional systems to create a style that is adaptable to a wide range of physical ability and emotional temperament. 

Lung-Fu-Do Contacts:

Grandmaster Ray Stapleton

Liberty, MO

Scarlet Dragon Lung Fu Do
Sifu John Gover
Forest Hill Recreational Council
2213 Commerce Rd;
Forest Hill, MD 21050
see Scarlet Dragon Lung Fu Do on Facebook!


Tiger Dragon Karate Club
Sensei Mark Hurshman

421 South Thompson Avenue
Excelsior Springs, Missouri  64024


Richmond Family Karate

Sensei Dennis Mayberry

121 Main St
Richmond, MO 64085

see Richmond Family Karate on Facebook! 



Chattanooga Family Karate
Sensei Eric Johnson
First Church of the Nazarene (fellowship hall)
5455 North Terrace
Chattanooga, TN 37411


Dojo Highlights:  
Scarlet Dragon Lung Fu Do of Hartford County MD


Scarlet Dragon Lung Fu Do is a form of martial arts being offered through the Forest Hill Recreation Council in Harford County Maryland.  Classes are held at Forest Lakes Elementary school every Tuesday and Thursday.  Each night runs three one hour classes, beginner, intermediate and advanced.  I, John Gover, am the head instructor for the school.  I am a second degree black belt in Lung Fu Do and have been involved with the system for approximately 25 years.  I have two other instructors that are instrumental in the running of the school.  The senior instructor is Mr. Dave Lacain, Mr. Dave is a second degree as well and has been involved with the system for approximately 35 years.  The other instructor is Mr. Wes Presberry, Mr. Wes is a first degree in Lung Fu Do and also has a first degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

I first started with Scarlet Dragon under Mr. Mike Gilbert when I was eight years old.  I was a tall, skinny, gangly kid that needed some help getting through the awkward years.  Under Mr. Mike’s firm but fair supervision he was able to help me with my coordination, discipline, and most important self-confidence.  He instilled in me at a young age the values of respect, hard work, and the concept of nothing will be given to you when you were in his class.  All of his students, including me, knew that if you wanted to advance you were going to earn it.  I was able to train With Mr. Mike until I was 17.  I was a 1st degree brown training to get ready for my black belt.  After I graduated high school I enlisted in the Air Force and was unable to get my black belt.

Throughout the years it had always bothered me that I got that close and was unable to get my black belt.  So at age 30 I got back into the system under Mr. Dennis Wright.  By this time Mr. Mike had stopped teaching and turned the school over to Mr. Dennis who is a fourth degree black belt and who I consider to be a true technician of Scarlet Dragon Lung Fu Do.  After several years of training I was finally able to test for my black belt.  Mr. Dennis had been teaching for around 12 years and unfortunately it was starting to create problems with his job.  He approached me and asked if I would be interested in taking over the school.  I jumped at the chance to pass along the “pearl” to the next generation.

For the past year now I have been running the school.  I have big shoes to fill following people like Mike Gilbert and Dennis Wright., but I feel like I am up to the challenge.  I teach the same principals and values I was taught.  My students know that if they do something wrong they will get push ups.  They know that come report card time if there grades are not where they need to be they will not train.  They know that if they train hard and practice they will advance, and if they don’t they will not.  I do not make any student a promise that they will reach a certain rank by a certain time.  It is up to the individual how far they go and how quickly they get there.

Our school is run through a rec council program so that allows me to keep monthly dues low, helpful in these economic times.  Even though we run through a rec council we do the same things an independent school does.  We are very involved in our local community volunteering when we can.  We support feeding homeless people to organizing and supporting toy drives on the holidays for under privileged kids.  I believe that being a martial artist extends past the dojo into your everyday life.  Whatever we can do to ease somebody’s suffering or simply making somebody smile, I believe, embodies a true martial artist.     

EDITOR'S NOTE: Congratulations to Scarlet Dragon on their recent tournament.  They took home 2 firsts, 1 second, 3 thirds and 3 fourths in kata and 1 first, 3 seconds and 3 thirds in sparring.

With Power Comes Responsibility

One of my favorite “karate stories” is about an Okinawan master named Ankoh Itosu. At the time of this story, Itosu is “old” —at least in the eyes of the bullies who watched him from across the street. One bully in particular (a young man named Kojo) thought that it would be fun to attack the old master. Even if he didn’t “win” the fight, he’d have bragging rights for having taken on the famous Itosu. So Kojo hid in an alley until Itosu walked by. With a yell he leaped from cover and hit Itosu as hard as he could. Master Itosu simply grunted in surprise. He quickly trapped Kojo in a wristlock and hit a nerve center that had the bully crying with pain. He then marched his assailant into a nearby tea shop, never relaxing the wristlock or pressure point.

After the tea was brought, Itosu asked why it was that Kojo had attacked him. The young man humbly admitted that he had picked the fight to impress his friends —Itosu had done nothing to provoke the attack. Kojo then apologized for his behavior. The next question surprised me: Itosu asked Kojo, “Who is your teacher?” The young man admitted that he had no teacher —he and his friends were “self-taught” and part of the way they practiced was to pick fights with strangers. Itosu nodded at the answer and said, “That explains it.” As he released the painful hold, Itosu invited Kojo to study with him. He then gave one condition, “If you study with me, you’ll have to stop picking fights with old men. You could get hurt that way!”

As I said earlier, the question, “Who’s your teacher” surprised me at first. It took me awhile to understand that karate teachers do more than teach physical skills. They are to teach the character qualities that go along with martial skill. In other words, with great power comes great responsibility. Before deciding what to do with Kojo, Itosu wanted to know who it was that was responsible for Kojo’s character training. When he found that Kojo had no guidance, he offered to teach the young man himself.

We take this issue of character training very seriously. Simply teaching you how to fight without teaching you when to fight (or even better, how to avoid a fight) would be wrong of us. Power without character always creates a bully. That’s why we expect you to be respectful of others (and by others we mean more than just your parents or teachers). Choosing to value the people around us helps to keep us from hurting them. We expect you to develop a good sense of responsibility. Obeying those who have authority over us, getting our work done without complaint, following through on our promises —all of these show the kind of self-control that is needed in a martial artist. And lastly, we expect that you won’t fight unless you are in physical danger. There are lots of times when we might feel like fighting (especially when we’re young), but people with martial skills can’t indulge their feelings. We have to use our physical “power” wisely. If we don’t, then we’re no better than the people we train to defend against.

As you grow in physical skill, make sure that you also grow in “character” skill.   -Mr. Eric, CFK 2010

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