Jack Summers

Massachusetts, USA

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Jack Summers: Kyoshi Hachidan, 8th Degree Black Belt

In 1943, John Summers, at the age of 17 ½ , enlisted in the US Marine Corps.  A decorated World War II warrior; he fought in the Pacific and was wounded at the battle of Iwo Jima.  John Summers, better known as "Jack," has been training in the martial arts since the early 1950's.  Jack began his studies with training in Jujitsu and Kodokan Judo at a local YMCA.  Studying at an early age under his Uncle Eddie Summers, a professional boxer,  added another dimension to the skills that Jack continues to offer his students today.  He began his study of Uechi Ryu in 1963 with Steven Warwick, at George E.  Mattson’s Columbus Avenue School in Boston.  Always wanting to improve on his own knowledge and understanding of Uechi Ryu; Jack first visited Okinawa in 1978 at the same time that Peggy Hess, a student, was there, and subsequently both developed a relationship with the Okinawan masters that still flourishes today.  Over the years Jack has overseen and ran many dojos producing top level knowledgeable student black belts.  Presently he oversees the Institute of Okinawan Karate in Quincy, Massachusetts.  Being a true pioneer, Jack was one of the first teachers to recognize and apply the concept of cross training by adding a blend of his Jujitsu, Judo, and Boxing to his karate teachings. Often he would even travel to Rhode Island to train with the now famous Heil Cho.  He shares many qualities with his instructor, Minoru Miyagi, whose teaching method is very serious, deeply rooted and intense.  They both get a lot across without saying very much and while they’re watching you, you’re important, not them.  Steven Banchick, a senior student of over 30 years says, “Jack is modeled after no one,” “He is the one you would want to model yourself after.  Jack is a unique guy with lots of integrity.” Although a traditionalist he is not a purest; Jack believes in taking all applications one step further.  But he truly believes in and loves his beloved Uechi Ryu Karate Do.  Today, Jack, a teacher's teacher, travels all over the world studying, training and teaching.  He is known for his sayings, “Power comes from controlling the centerline,” and “Controlling our base controls our hip line, which controls our centerline, our bodyline, and our powerline.”  Jack’s evolution of the Uechi system has been an additive process, never removing anything, but a result of research, experimentation, and Jack’s own technical proficiency.  Perfecting this synthesis of techniques has been Jack’s 40-year quest.

Today Jack oversees the training and testing of over 15 Shohei Uechi Ryu dojos in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Florida.  A true warrior and 100% bushido, Jack eats, sleeps, and lives his martial arts.


Personal Information

Current occupation or profession: Retired Court Officer
Marital Status: Happily married, 41 years
Children and Ages: one daughter, 2 sons and 2 grandchildren
Hobbies, special interests or skills: enjoys stretching to good music, going to the gym regularly, watching old movies and sports on TV, walking
Age: 76

Karate Information

Current Rank: Kyoshi Hachidan
Total years of study 40 years
Current Style Shohei-Uechi Ryu Karatedo
Current Dojo: Institute of Okinawan Karate
Dojo location: Quincy, MA
Current-Past Instructor: Minoru Miyagi
Association Affiliation Okikukai/Shohei Ryu
Karate Trainings and years attended:

1978 Apr.Training Okinawa (yondan) 
1983 Aug.Thompson Is. Camp MA.
1984 Aug.Thompson Is. Camp (Godan) MA.
1985 Dec.Training on Okinawa 
1986 AugUechi/Nakama camp Beverly, MA.
1987 Aug K.Uechi/Nova Scotia Camp, Canada
1988 Training Okinawa ({7} Renshi-rokkyu)
1989 JulyThompson/Kalamazoo Camp MI.
1990 Host Henneker, NH. Camp 
1991JulyThompson /Kalamazoo Camp MI.
1991 May Wasielewski/ Shinjo camp MI.
1994 Aug. Takara week MA.(7th Kyoshi Nanadan)
1994 Oct. Teruo Chinen seminar FLA.
1996 Takamiyagi Pittsfield Camp MA.
1997 Aug. Nakamatsu/Gorman Week
1998 Takara/Attleboro Week
1998 Oct Training on Okinawa( {8} Kyoshi- HachiDan) 
1999 Takara/Attleboro week
2000 Aug Takamiyagi Attleboro comp
2000 July Nakamatsu/Gorman Week
2001 Takara Attleboro/Pittsfield Camps
2002 August - Hosted Nakamatsu intensive training seminars
Various seminars with Shinyu Gushi throughout Florida

Other Martial Arts and weapons Experience: Guest Instructor for German Summer Camps
     1996, 1997 Bad Kissenger, Germany 
     1999, 2001 Erlangen, Germany
Guest Instructor at various dojos throughout the U.S. and Canada
Shodan Judo, Jujitsu

Karate Promotions

Rank Certificate Number Date of Issue Location of Promotion
Shodan 368 July 13, 1969 Boston
Nidan 133 March 21, 1971 Boston
Sandan 91
Yondan 69 1978 Okinawa
Godan 82 1984 Boston
Rokkudan 43 November 1988 Okinawa
Nanadan 38 August, 1994 Framingham, MA
Hachidan November 2, 1998 Okinawa

Teaching Certificates

Rank Certificate Number Date of Issue Location of Promotion
Jun-Shihan 47
Shihan 78 November 25, 1983 Boston

Educational Background

High School English High School, Boston, MA graduated June 1943
Military Service

Entered the marines July 1943 - Honorably Discharged April 1946

     Purple Heart Recipient

     Boxing Champion of Marine Barracks Club


At what age did you begin to study karate?
Around 1950 I studied Jujitsu. Around 1960 I began Judo. In 1963 at age thirty-seven I began studying Uechi Ryu Karate Do.

Why did you choose to study karate?
Growing up around a boxing gym environment: I had a martial background young in life. My experiences in World War II as a Marine further developed my interest in the martial arts and I used to enjoy the movies staring Peter Lorre as the Japanese detective Mr. Moto and the rest is history.

Was there a reason why you chose to study Uechi Ryu?
When I realized that there really was no blocking system in Jujitsu: That the hands of the aggressor must be on the victim in order to apply self-defense moves: I saw a big void in the system. An acquaintance of mine, Steven Warick, was a student at the local Uechi School. He invited me up to his dojo and I was able to observe Uechi Ryu for the first time. I saw immediately and knew instantly that this system of blocking would fit in like a glove with my studies and understanding of Jujitsu. So I joined.

What does this tour to Okinawa mean to you?
Many of the girls have never been to Okinawa. For many of them, Uechi Ryu has directly and profoundly affected their lives. I feel everyone who seriously studies Uechi Ryu should at least one time in their life make a journey to the homeland. It is important that the doors be opened for them so that they may experience the birthplace of their art form. My endorsement of this wonderful training opportunity will hopefully pave the way for all to have a once in a lifetime experience. It is my hope to see many barriers fall as new doors open up.




Women’s Friendship Tour association, inc. Marguerite Hess, 3576 N.E.Skyline Drive,  Jensen Beach, Florida 34957  Telephone: (772) 334- 7731 

e-mail: peggyhess@womenskaratetour.org OR dphess@bellsouth.net   

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