A Place for Christian Martial Artists


Executive Director:  Johnny Russell

Dr. Russell serves as the Executive Director of both the GMAU International and the Indiana GMAU Academies. He began his martial arts training in 1974 and holds earned black belts in seven traditional martial arts styles and the rank of Renshi in Okinawan weapons. Grandmaster John Pachivas promoted Dr. Russell to 6th degree black belt in 1999 in Okinawan Shuri Ryu Karate and Pachivas Pankration. In 2002, Hanshi George Brich, Kyoshi Gordon Garland, and Soke Kent Haralson presented Dr. Russell with the positional rank of 7th degree black belt and the title of Kyoshi.

“My primary goal in training and teaching the martial arts is to cultivate mature Christian students. This goal is attained through spiritual discipleship, mental discipleship, and physical development.”

Chairman of the Board of Governors:  Keith D. Yates

Grandmaster Yates (pictured here with Chuck Norris) started his martial arts training in 1965 and became one of the youngest black belts in the country when he earned his rank at 17 from former International Champion Allen R. Steen. Mr. Yates established a reputation as one of the top kata practitioners in the Southwest (winning the Texas state championship in 1971). He has trained with a number of other famous masters, most notably Skipper Mullins, Pat Burleson and Jhoon Rhee, and has earned black belts in Japanese Ju-Jitsu and Okinawan Kobudo. A prolific writer (twelve books and hundreds of articles) and well-respected teacher, he currently holds the tenth degree black belt in traditional Tae Kwon Do as awarded by the American Karate Black Belt Association.

Professor Yates started the first college "college credit" karate class in the Southwest in 1972 at SMU and is the president of the American Karate and Tae Kwon Do Organization. He is the founder of the Nam Seo Kwan system of American Tae Kwon Do. Mr. Yates serves on the boards of a number of national martial arts organizations including Chuck Norris’s KickStart Foundation.

He was a first-year inductee into the Texas Martial Arts Hall of Fame and was one of the first Nationally Certified Instructors with the American Council on Martial Arts in association with the famous Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research in Dallas. He is listed in the third edition of “Who’s Who in the Martial Arts.” Mr. Yates did his Master's thesis in 1983 at Dallas Theological Seminary on "The Demystification of Ki: The Spiritual Aspects of the Martial Arts." He currently serves as Director of Creative Services at Dallas Seminary and is an adjunct professor in the Media and Communications program at DTS. Grandmaster Yates has four grown children and seven grandchildren.

Contact Info: www.a-kato.org


Mike Proctor: Board of Governors:

Michael Proctor was born into a military family. This provided him the opportunity to train in the martial arts while they were stationed overseas beginning in 1962. He has formally trained in fencing, Judo, Daito-Ryu Aikijujitsu, Shotokan Karate, GoKanDo Karate, American Kenpo and American Tae Kwon Do. This is in addition to many other studies in various systems. He formally earned black belt ranking in the mid 1970s in the Texas Karate Institute school headed by Allen Steen after training with Skipper Mullins, Fred Wren and Demetrius Havanas. He was promoted to tenth dan black belt in 2010 by Allen Steen.

Proctor Sensei graduated from East Texas State University (now Texas A & M Commerce) with majors in psychology and history and minors in English and education. He worked as an investigator and juvenile probation officer for Dallas County until his retirement in 1996. He is currently the martial arts “pro” at the famed Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research in Dallas. He teaches his own system of Renbudo Karate-Do (The Forging of Martial Ways) as well as Tai Chi, Kobudo (Okinawan weapons) and kickboxing. He and his wife have two children and three grandchildren.

At the age of thirteen he gave his life to Christ. He serves in multiple ministries at Trinty Bible Church in Richardson, Texas. He was asked to serve on the Governing Board of the GMAU in 2011.

Chief Legal Advisor/Board of Governors:

John Eidsmoe

John Eidsmoe is a retired Air Force Lt. Colonel and Alabama State Defense Force Colonel, Headquarters Judge Advocate, Deputy Chaplain and Training Officer. He is Professor of Law at the Oak Brook College of Law and Government Policy and Professor Constitutional Law Emeritus at the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law in Montgomery, Alabama, where his students have twice given him the Outstanding Professor Award, and serves as Senior Staff Attorney at the Alabama Supreme Court. He is an ordained pastor with the Association of Free Lutheran Congregations and serves on the Board of Lutherans for Life, and a constitutional attorney who has defended home schools, Christian schools, the right of students to study the Bible in public schools, and the right of public officials to display the Ten Commandments. He has authored 13 books and numerous audio and video lecture series. He holds 6 academic degrees in law, theology and political science, as well as graduating from the Air Command & Staff College and the Air War College. A Third Degree Black Belt with the American Taekwondo Foundation, Colonel Eidsmoe serves as Alabama Representative for the Gospel Martial Arts Union, is an avid horseman and skier, and tries to get 8 hours of sleep every week. He and his wife Marlene have been married since 1970, have three children (David, Kirsten, and Justin) and live in rural Pike Road, Alabama.

Contact info: eidsmoeja@juno.com

Chief Theological Advisor:

Ronald L. Tottingham

In 1986, Dr.s Ron Tottingham and Kent Haralson established the Gospel Martial Arts Union as a vehicle to promote self defense from a Christian perspective. It was during those years Tottingham's book "Christian Martial Arts" was published. In 1993 he was accepted into the World Head of Family Sokeship Council

Dr. Tottingham served with the US Marine Corps March 1963-1969 and was in combat action in South Vietnam in 1965 as an infantry machine gunner. He began studying martial arts in 1963 as a new Marine with the Third Reconnaissance Battalion in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. His highest USMC, Republic of Vietnam and USAF Auxiliary decorations include: USMC: Combat Action Ribbon, Navy/Marine Presidential Unit Citation (Silver Star Equal), Army Presidential Unit Citation, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, etc; VIETNAM: (2) Gallantry Cross Medal (personal, Bronze Star Equal), Civil Actions Unit Medal, Gallantry Cross Unit Medal with gold star, Hazardous Duty Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal; USAF Aux: (6) Exceptional Service Medal), (5) Meritorious Service Medal, (11) Commander's Commendation, the Service Medal with 20 year attachment, etc.

Dr. Tottingham entered the ministry in 1968 and has earned the ThB, MDiv & PhD degrees. He entered the Air Force Auxiliary Chaplain Service in 1983. “Dr. T” is a Brigadier General with the United States Corps of Chaplains. His PhD is in counseling psychology and he has worked as an out-patient counselor for Offutt AFB Mental Hospital. When Dr. T’s combat disability began prohibiting him from rigorous training, he remained active teaching physical and spiritual philosophy, and lecturing and writing concerning the theology of self defense. He has received many awards for his contribution to the Martial Arts and is an avid disciple of self defense arts. His ministry has been diversified but his primary focus has been 33 years as pastor of Empire Baptist Temple, Sioux Falls, SD. He also established and serves as President of Great Plains Baptist Divinity School, a South Dakota State Penitentiary chaplain. He has authored 44books/booklets. He has served as a lobbyist to the SD Legislature, been governor appointed to serve on a state committee. Dr. T has appeared in two films including "In Harms Way" with John Wayne. Dr T is listed in nine professional registries for Who’s Who, was commissioned a Kentucky Colonel in 1988, given the title of Estimado Amigo in 1994 by the New Mexico Governor. To commemorate his public service, “The Rev. Dr. Ron Tottingham Day” has been officially presented by South Dakota governors on two separate occasions.

Contact Info:
Dr. Ronald L. Tottingham
412 S. Hawthorne Ave Sioux Falls, SD 57104


Chief Technical Advisor:

Robert Bowles

Hanshi Bowles is the founder and director of the International Shuri-Ryu Association. He began his Karate training in Phoenix, AZ. under Grand Master Robert A Trias. An interest, which began as a hobby ultimately, changed the direction of his life. The 1960's were exciting years, as training in the Honbu dojo became his primary focus. Local tournaments lead to national competitions and soon Hanshi Bowles had established himself as one of the top competitors in the country. Grand Master Trias personally awarded him the coveted Trias International Award, which recognizes the most spirit competitors in the world. Interest in the martial arts was growing quickly, however, karate was still relatively new in most parts of the country. In light of the fact that Grand Master Trias opened the first karate school in the United States (1946) and was a recognized authority in the field of martial arts, a steady stream of requests for information flowed into the Honbu dojo. Hanshi Bowles was sent by Grand Master Trias as an ambassador of Shuri-Ryu to teach and promote martial arts across the country. He was personally appointed by Grand Master Trias as Chief Instructor of the Shuri-Ryu system and given the life-long commission to uphold the high standards of Shuri-Ryu karatedo. In loving memory and with devoted purpose, after the death of his Sensei, Hanshi Bowles established the International Shuri-Ryu Association.

Chief American/Freestyle Martial Arts Advisor and United States Karate Alliance Liaison: Karl Marx

Soké Karl Marx has been training in martial arts since the early 1940’s. His fascination with self-defense began at age 9. Soké Marx has personally trained only 50 Black Belts but his lineage is already in the fourth generation. Keichu-Do students have won over 100 world Championship titles including 2 gold and 3 silver medals in the Junior Olympics held in Chicago in 1985. Soké Marx has said an American system needed to be designed for American people.

The Keichu-Do system was un-officially started in 1945 and began being taught to the public in 1960. In 1974 after 5 years of scrutinizing, Soké Marx's original Keichu-Do was accepted into the United States Karate Association by the late Grandmaster Robert Trias as an legitimate fighting system and recognized Soké Marx as a 6th Dan.

In 1982 Soké Marx was recognized as an 8th Dan in Karate by the U.S.K.A. He won the State Championships in Louisiana, and Texas, and the National Weapons Championship in the Masters Division.

In 1994 Soké Marx was the first American to be recognized as a 10th Dan by the International Black Belt Association. In 1997 Soké Marx was inducted into the U.S.K.A. Hall of Fame. Keichu-Do is said to be the first purely American Martial Art created totally from scratch. It is without a doubt that Keichu is the 1st Cajun Karate and Ju-Jitsu style from Louisiana.

Contact Info: www.keichu-dokarate.com