Maine Traditional Karate: Active Black Belts
Training to the point where a karateka earns their black belt takes time, effort, dedication and strength of character. We honor our black belts for what they have put into their karate training, as well for what they give to other students by sharing their knowledge and expertise.
Sensei Steve Apsega
Steve Apsega, began formal training in the Shorin Ryu Matsumura Seito Karate in 1986. Establishing his first Maine Traditional Karate dojo in Whitneyville, Maine in 1990, Sensei Apsega later opened dojos in Hermon (2000), Orrington (2003), and Old Town (2010). The sole break in Sensei Apsega’s decades of teaching experience came in 1994 – 1998 when he honorably served our country as an Airborne Certified United States Marine.
Upon discharge from the Marine Corp, Sensei Apsega reengaged in training and teaching the Shorin Ryu Matsumura Seito system. His continuing efforts earned him promotion to Nidan (2nd Degree Black Belt) on June 10, 2000, Sandan (3rd Degree Black Belt) on May 22, 2004, Yondan (4th Degree Black Belt) on May 16, 2009, and Godan (5th Degree Black Belt) on May 25th, 2013. Committed to accurately preserving the 300 year old karate system he practices, Sensei Apsega traveled to Okinawa Japan in 2004 and 2006 to personally train with Grandmaster Fusei Kise and Master Kise’s son, Kaicho Isao Kise.
Sensei Apsega maintains his proficiency, in part, by regularly traveling to Athens, Texas to train with his teacher, Hanshi John Shipes. Hanshi Shipes, a Hachidan (8th Degree Black Belt), serves as Co-director of the United States Branch of Grandmaster Fusei Kise’s Okinawan Shorinryu Matsumura Seito Karate and Kobudo Federation (OSMKKF).
As a Senior Student of Hanshi Shipes, Sensei Apsega attends and assists his teacher in hosting Master Kise and Kaicho Isao Kise’s annual trainings in the United States. Through his ongoing professional development activities, Sensei Apsega maintains OSMKKF Full Instructor Certification in Karate, Kobudo, and Tuite.
Although you will never hear Sensei mention it, his Maine Traditional Karate students are proud of, and wholeheartedly support, the April 26, 2014 OSMKKF bestowal of the title Renshi (i.e., Polished Master) upon our Sensei.
Sensei Scott Daigle
Sensei Scott Daigle began training under Sensei Apsega in 2005. He achieved the rank of Shodan in 2009, Nidan in 2011, and was promoted to Sandan (3rd Degree Black Belt ) in 2013. In October 2018 he traveled to Yuma, AZ to test for his Yondan (4th Degree Black Belt) under the direction of Kaicho Isao Kise. With this latest promotion, his title changed from “Sempai” to “Sensei”.
He currently possesses full OSMKKF Certification in Karate, Kobudo, and Tuite. Sensei Scott possesses exceptional skill in all that he teaches, but is perhaps best known for his dry wit and soft-spoken nature.
His calm demeanor helps promote a healthy learning environment where success and failure are equally important and accepted parts of a student’s growth. Sensei Scott holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and an Associate’s Degree in Accounting.
Sempai Peter Bernier
Sempai Peter trained under Sensei Steve Apsega and is currently the Sensei at the Georgia Kenshin Kan Dojo in Flowery Branch, GA. Per his home dojo’s biography, Sempai Peter:
-Began training in Shorin-ryu Karate-Do 1994 in Cherryfield Maine under various OSMKKF instructors
-Transfered to train with Sensei Steve Apsega in Nov. 2000
-Moved to Georgia in 2002
-Continued training with his teacher with annual visits in Maine
-Promoted to shodan in karate & kobudo in May 2004
-Trains annually with Hanshi-Sei Fusei Kise (10th Dan), Kiacho Isao Kise (9th Dan), and Hanshi John Shipes (8th Dan)
-Trains with Sensei Apsega (5th Dan) several times a year.
-Began Georgia Kenshin Kan Dojo in 2010
-Married my lovely wife Steaphine March 2012
-Promoted to Nidan Karate May 2012
-Promoted to Nidan Kobudo Oct 2013
-Certified Karate and Kobudo Instructor Oct 2013
-Promoted to Sandan (3rd Degree) in Karate Oct 2015
Sempai Tommy Lyons
Sempai Tommy Lyons received his first degree black belt in August 2016. He currently teaches the Little Samurai Class and the Friday Night Family Class. He is an exceptional karateka, father, and friend to all.
Sempai Seamus Mahoney
Sempai Misty Hammack
Sempai Kailee Soucia
Sempai Deb Harmon
Sempai Deb now trains with our fellow dojo, the Orland Karate Dojo.
Maine Traditional Karate: Inactive Black Belts
We are extremely proud of the accomplishments of all of our students. Life is ever changing, and sometimes even our most advanced students need to take a break from training for things such as relocation, going to college, changes in schedule or simply making time for other pursuits. They are dear to our hearts and their legacy is recognized here. We hope to someday see them training by our side again!
Sempai Lauren Grant
Sempai Isaac Roberts
Sempai Shawn Roberts
Sempai Beckett Parkin
Sempai Isabel Parkin
Sempai Braden Swett
Sempai Barbara Shorey