Black Belts of the Zen Martial Arts System

[Founder of ZMA] Grandmaster W. P. Yip - 9th-degree black belt - 1st-generation ZMA

  • Achieved black belt in Taekwondo, Karate, and Judo

  • Progressed up the ranks through teaching and competing internationally in Taekwondo

  • Founded the Zen Martial Arts system in 1980

  • Taught the Zen Martial Arts system for over 35 years and trained many others to mastery

  • Awarded 9th-degree black belt as an acknowledgment for the massive amount Dr. Yip has achieved

[Co-founder of ZMA] Grandmaster Diane Miller - 8th-degree black belt - 1st-generation ZMA

  • Trained closely with Grandmaster W. P. Yip

  • Co-founded the Zen Martial Arts system in 1980

  • Taught for 15 years and trained many to mastery, putting special attention toward teaching children

  • Passed away due to cancer in 2018, recognized as 8th-degree in memory of her contributions

Grandmaster Richard Stillwagon - 7th-degree black belt - 2nd-generation ZMA

  • Black belt and master title

    • Received his black belt and master title from Grandmaster Yip

  • 2nd black belt

    • Continually progressed his martial and combative skills a notable amount

  • 3rd-7th black belts

    • Founded the Living Arts system

    • Taught many others, some of which achieved mastery

    • Organized many martial arts tournaments and training camps outside of his normal teaching

    • Trained outside of the Zen Martial Arts and incorporated much in our system

  • Grandmaster title (August 18, 2018)

    • Awarded when his student, Greg Di Loreto, had their own student, James Swartwood, earn their master title in the Zen Martial Arts system.​​

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Master Greg Di Loreto - 5th-degree black belt - 2nd-generation ZMA

  • Black belt and master title (August 2, 2004)

    • Received his black belt and master title from Grandmaster Yip and Grandmaster Stillwagon​

  • 2nd and 3rd black belt​ (2012)

    • Organized the Zen Martial Arts and Living Arts system into a single curriculum

    • Founded his own school under the Zen Martial Arts name​

    • Taught multiple students up to intermediate belt level

    • Organized a martial arts tournament

    • Studied some outside of the Zen Martial Arts system

  • 4th and 5th-degree black belt ​(November 7th, 2020)

    • 8 years of teaching and running a school since previous promotion​

    • Additional studies outside of the Zen Martial Arts system

    • Trained a student to mastery and through to 3rd-degree black belt, three other students to brown belt, and many other students to intermediate belt levels

    • Took over as the active head of the Zen Martial Arts legacy

    • Oversaw a successful transition to online classes at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic

    • Solidified and documented the details of each required form in our system up to black belt

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Master Johanna Windisch - 3rd-degree black belt - 2nd-generation ZMA

  • Black belt and master title (August 2, 2004)

    • Received her black belt and master title from Grandmaster Yip and Grandmaster Stillwagon​​

  • 2nd and 3rd black belt (2012)​

    • Extensive skill with the bo staff

    • Competition experience

    • Considered the active record keeper for the Zen Martial Arts system​

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Master Clem Hong - 3rd-degree black belt - 2nd-generation ZMA

  • Black belt and master title (August 2, 2004)

    • Received his black belt and master title from Grandmaster Yip and Grandmaster Stillwagon​​

  • 2nd and 3rd black belt​ (2012)

    • Taught at Grandmaster Yip's school​

    • Continued dedication to the Zen Martial Arts system

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Master Kelsea Stillwagon - 3rd-degree black belt - 3rd-generation ZMA

  • Black belt and master title

    • Received her black belt and master title from Grandmaster Stillwagon​

  • 2nd black belt​

    • Taught at Grandmaster Stillwagon's school​

    • Notable proficiency in the martial arts

  • 3rd black belt​ (sometime 2012-2017)

    • Continued teaching and studies in the Zen Martial Arts, Living Arts, and other systems​

  • Unrecognized accomplishments:​

    • Starting a martial arts school with her husband​

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Master James Swartwood - 3rd-degree black belt - 3rd-generation ZMA

  • Black belt and master title (August 18, 2018)

    • Received his black belt and ​master title from Master Di Loreto

  • 2nd-degree black belt (June 2019)​

    • Increased skill within the Zen Martial Arts​ system

    • Taught at Master Di Loreto's school

    • Created and organized the Junior Belt System

    • Studies outside of the Zen Martial Arts system, including Jujitsu at Seattle School of Aikido

  • 3rd-degree black belt (September 5th, 2020):

    • Further study outside of the Zen Martial Arts system including many martial arts styles​

    • Teaching at Seattle School of Aikido

    • Additional teaching at Master Di Loreto's school, including running it alone for a couple of months

    • Contributions to the structure of the Zen Martial Arts black belt system

    • Continued vigor and exuberance in the betterment of the school, students, and system

  • Will test for 4th-degree black belt and Renshi title in September 2022​​

    • Founder of ZMA Tarnu, a child of the Zen Martial Arts system

    • Continued teaching in Master Di Loreto's school and externally

    • Restructured the Zen Martial Arts grappling system

    • Organized a Zen Martial Arts self-defense curriculum, which he has taught in workshops at UW

    • Developed gray belt "no-test" system

  • Needs to train a student of his own from white to black belt before being eligible for 5th-degree

Master Doug Hartz - 2nd-degree black belt - 3rd-generation ZMA

  • Black belt, 2nd-degree black belt, and master title (December 16, 2020)

    • Received his black belt and ​master title from Master Clem Hong

    • Noteworthy dedication to his training

    • Instructor of Moo Duk Kwan Taekwondo

Pete Hokensen - 1st-degree black belt - 2nd-generation ZMA

  • Received his black belt from Grandmaster Yip

Matt Quall - 1st-degree black belt - 2nd-generation ZMA

  • Received his black belt from Grandmaster Yip

Leonard Floyd - 1st-degree black belt - 2nd-generation ZMA

  • Received his black belt from Grandmaster Yip

Andrew Frost - 1st-degree black belt - 2nd-generation ZMA

  • Received his black belt from Grandmaster Yip

  • Led Grandmaster Yip's school for a while

Chris McMonnies - 1st-degree black belt - 2nd-generation ZMA

  • Received his black belt from Grandmaster Yip

Gus Garcia - 1st-degree black belt - 2nd-generation ZMA

  • Received his black belt from Grandmaster Yip

Students close to achieving black belt:

  • Troy Swartwood - 2nd-degree brown belt - 3rd-generation ZMA - Training in Master Di Loreto's school

  • Paul Vahey - 2nd-degree brown belt - 3rd-generation ZMA - Training in Master Di Loreto's school

  • And other brown belts from other Zen Martial Arts schools

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Honorary Black Belts of the Zen Martial Arts System

Len Lonning - 2nd-generation ZMA

  • Earned his brown belt under Grandmaster Yip

  • Received his honorary black belt from Grandmaster Yip for his warrior spirit

Al Smith - Taekwondo

  • 1st-degree black belt ITF

  • Assisted in Master Di Loreto's school

Daniel Won - Taekwondo

  • 2nd-degree black belt ITF

  • Assisted in Master Di Loreto's school

Daryl Willis - Tai Chi​

  • 6th Duan Wei rank

  • 20th-generation Taijiquan practitioner

  • Disciple of Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang

  • Taught Master Di Loreto

Master Evan Bucy - Jiujitsu, Aikido, Budo Tanren, and Icho-Ryu

  • 1st-degree black belt outside of ZMA

  • Taught at Seattle School of Aikido before it disbanded

  • Taught Master Swartwood; promoted him to black belt in Aiki-Jiujitsu

Sensei Chris Moses - Jiujitsu, Aikido, Budo Tanren, Shinto-Ryu, and Icho-Ryu

  • 4th-degree black belt outside of ZMA

  • Active head of the Japanese Fighting Arts NW

  • Former president of Seattle School of Aikido and taught there before it disbanded

  • Taught Master Swartwood

Sensei Jeremy Hulley - Jiujitsu, Aikido, Budo Tanren, Shinto-Ryu, and Icho-Ryu

  • 4th-degree black belt outside of ZMA

  • Taught at Seattle School of Aikido before it disbanded

  • Taught Master Swartwood

Sensei John Peng - Aikido

  • 4th-degree black belt outside of ZMA

  • Current president of Seattle School of Aikido

  • Taught Master Swartwood; promoted him to Gokyu rank in Aikido

Ben Masaoka - Hung Gar, Judo, Jiujitsu, Budo Tanren, Icho-Ryu

  • 1st-degree black belt outside of ZMA

  • Taught Master Swartwood

Steve Sakahara - Jiujitsu, Budo Tanren, Icho-Ryu

  • 1st-degree black belt outside of ZMA

  • Taught Master Swartwood