Lawrence McSwain (NC)
1966 – Started karate, joining the A&T State University Karate Club.
The club joined the United States Karate ASS0CIATION, 1966 TO 1977.
1967 – Entered first tournament, place 2nd in kata and sparring. Green to Brown belt div.
1969 – Promoted to Brown Belt
1969/70 – Head Instructor of the A&T Karate Club
1970 – Promoted to Black Belt
1971 – Won 2nd place in sparring at Fort Bragg Open Karate Tournament,
Promoted to 3rd Degree Black Belt, and awarded a Instructor’s Certificate
1971 – Promoted the A&T State University Karate Open
Head Instructor – A&T State University Karate Club
Promoted to 4th and 5th degree Black Belt, Okinawan Goju Ryu by Daniel K. Pai
Started the Hayes Taylor YMCA Karate Club – 1971 to 1979
Started the YWCA Karate Club -1971 to 1976
Started the Lewis Recreation Center Karate Club – 1971 to present
1976 – Advisor to the NC Central Taekwondo Club and helped promote NC Central Open Taekwondo Tournament
1978 – Promoted to 5th and 6th Degree Black Belt by Hulon Willis, U.S.K.A. Regional Representative
1989 – Promoted 7th Degree Black Belt, and awarded a Master Instructor’s Certificate by Master Young Tak Yu.
1997 – Inducted into the Battle of Atlanta Southeast Hall of Fame.
Two main mentors:
Master Yoo Jin Kim, 8th Degree Black & Red Belt (Atlanta, GA)
Master’s Degree in Law and Economics, Captain in the Korean Army
Master Hulon L. Willis Sr., 8th Degree Black Belt (Colonial Heights, VA)
Master’s of Education Degree, B.S. Health and Physical Education
Zanshin Kai Karate-Do Goju Ryu
“Zanshin Kai” is the name given to karate as practiced by James McKoy, Lawrence C. McSwain, and their students. This type of karate grew out of the North Carolina A&T State University Karate Club of Greensboro, North Carolina.
The A&T karate club was founded in 1965 by Robert J. Wagoner. Sensei Wagoner received his karate training (Goju Ryu) while he was in the U.S. Navy. Sensei Wagoner had earned a Brown Belt before entering A&T College, as it was known in 1965. Sensei Wagoner was promoted to Black Belt in 1967 by Master Robert A. Trias and Master Hulon L. Willis.
Charles E.K. Matthews, who was the North Carolina U.S.K.A. state representative, and Sensei Willis assisted the A&T karate club between the years of 1965 and 1972 with their expertise and knowledge. The regular teaching and training was completed by the “Head Instructors” of the karate club from year to year.
Sensei Wagoner graduated in 1967 with a degree in English and left for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he earned a Master’s Degree in Journalism. Edwin Simmons and James McKoy were appointed by Sensei Wagoner as co-head instructors of the A&T Karate Club. Sensei Simmons withdrew from the University around the end of of 1967, and Sensei McKoy became the head instructor. Sensei McKoy was the head instructor during the school year September of 1967-June of 1968 and September of 1968- June of 1969. Sensei McKoy studied Taekwondo under Henry Cho in New York City during the summers of 67 and 68. He earned a Brown Belt under Master Cho. In 1969 Master Trias, Willis and James Radcliffe (Virginia State Representative for the U.S.K.A.) promoted Sensei McKoy to Black Belt. Sensei McKoy was ranked in the U.S.K.A.’s National Tournament Points’ standings as number five in sparring, and number four in forms (kata) competition at the time of his promotion. His promotion came right after he placed third in sparring and second in forms competition at the Virginia State USKA Open Karate Tournament.
In August of 1969 Sensei McKoy chose not to have co-instructors and appointed Lawrence C. McSwain “Head Instructor”. Ronald McNair the other senior Brown Belt had to wait until Sensei McSwain graduated to become the Head Instructor of the A&T Karate Club.
Sensei McSwain studied Taekwon Do during the summer months each year from 1967 through 1969. In the summer of 1967 Sensei McSwain trained with Master David Adams in Kings Mountain, N.C. Sensei McSwain trained with the UNCG Karate Club for approximately two year studying Shotokan Karate. In June of 1970 Sensei McSwain graduated with a degree in Political Science, in August move to Iowa City, Iowa where he reunited with Sensei McKoy. Sensei McKoy was in Med School and Sensei McSwain enrolled in Law School at the University of Iowa, and there, he and Sensei McSwain established Mac’s Zanshin Kai Karate-D0 club. Zanshin is a very old karate word suggesting a state of total awareness which incorporates perception, not just through the eyes, but through an intuition brought about by experience and training.
Sensei McSwain left the University of Iowa, and returned to Greensboro, North Carolina where he rejoined the A&T Karate Club. In 1971 Sensei McSwain started karate clubs at Hayes Taylor YMCA, Greensboro YWCA, and Greensboro Lewis Recreation Center.
Some students from the karate programs that are known to the sport karate community:
Ken Scott Troum