Neil Godfrey (SC)

Neil Godfrey (SC)

Born September 12, 1957 in Rock Hill, SC.  Raised in Fort Mill, SC.


Married to Sharon M. Godfrey, September 21, 1975.

Two children:

(daughter) Nikki Godfrey-Hill, (husband) Rob Hill.

(grandson) Blake Hill, (granddaughter) Xan Hill.  All of Fort Mill, SC.

(son) Gregory Godfrey, (wife) Ashley Godfrey.

(grandsons) Parker Godfrey, Anderson Godfrey, Graham Godfrey.  All of Fort Mill, SC.

Religious Activities:

Member of First Baptist Church Fort Mill, SC.

Deacon (inactive)

High School Sunday School Director (past)

Sunday School Teacher (past)

Employment:  Retired

Duke Energy – Catawba Nuclear Station, York, SC, (February 2nd, 1976 to 12/31/2018)

  • Senior Technical Specialist

Emergency Diesel Generators

Mechanical Maintenance

Civic Organizations:

Catawba Lodge #56 A.F.A.M since 1980.

Hejaz Shriners (Shrine ID #563374)

Crescent Shrine Lodge of South Carolina (Member ID #30859)

Martial Arts Background:

Shihan Neil Godfrey started martial arts training in 1976 at the Leroy Springs Recreation Complex in Fort Mill, SC.  Hanshi Danny McCall was putting on a demonstration at the Open House for the Complex and after the demo he asked if anyone in the audience was interested in starting class.  So Mr. Godfrey signed up for the 1st class held and been there ever since.

Over the years he has held many positions within the American FreeStyle Shorei/Shorin Karate Club.  Presently Mr. Godfrey holds the following rank certifications.

7th Dan (Shichidan) American Freestyle Shorei/Shorin Karate-Do (03/14/2014), Verification No. 025.  Authorized by Hanshi Danny R. McCall, Headmaster of the American Freestyle Karate under the sanctified charter established by, Jerry Piddington Grandmaster Okinawan Shuri-Ryu, Budokan Tokyo, Japan May 2, 1972, Ratified May 30, 1975.  USKA Verification No. 57272.

7th Dan (Shihan) American Open Style Karate-Do (03/14/2014), Verification No. SC 2.

Authorized by Jerry Piddington, Headmaster of the American Open Style Karate under the sanctified charter established by Robert A. Trias, Grandmaster Okinawan Shuri-Ryu, Budokan Tokyo, Japan May 2, 1972, Ratified May 30, 1975.  USKA Verification No. 57272.

Inducted into the World Karate Union Hall of Fame, June 28th, 2008, in Tannersville, Pa.

“Instructor of the Year” * American Open Style Karate

Certified Glass Walker

Certified Fire Walker

Training in martial arts:

Since 1976 under Hanshi Danny R. McCall in Fort Mill, SC, and Denver NC.

Since 1986 under Kyoshi Charles Lingerfelt in Fort Mill, SC.

Additional training sessions:

Hanshi Ridgley Abele – Shuri-Ryu

Kyoshi Troy Price – Shuri-Te Bujutsu-Kai

Martial Arts Organizations:

  • Dojo Association (past)
  • U.S.K.A (past) United States Karate Association (Grandmaster Robert A. Trias)
  • S.E.K.A. (past) South Eastern Karate Association
  • I.S.A. (present Lifetime) International Shuri-Ryu Association (Hanshi Robert Bowles)
  • Shuri-Te Bujutsu-Kai (present Lifetime Member)
  • A.K.A.N.A. (present) American Karate Academies National Association (Grandmaster Jerry Piddington)

Martial Arts Responsibilities:

  • A Senior Instructor in American Open Style Karate-Do
  • A Senior Instructor in American Freestyle Shorei/Shorin Karate-Do
  • Set and organization of testing, demonstrations, and seminars associated with American Freestyle Shorei/Shorin Karate-Do
  • 30 plus years of record keeping associated with American Freestyle Shorei/Shorin Karate-Do
  • Creating Certificates and Certification associated with American Freestyle Shorei/Shorin Karate-Do

Martial Arts Tournaments over the years:

  • Hanshi Danny McCall’s Warrior Tournament – Denver, NC
  • Kyoshi Charles Lingerfelt Tournament of Champion – Fort Mill, SC
  • Larry Dillingham
  • Ricky Taylor’s “Red Rose Tournament” – Fort Mill, SC
  • Penny Shannon – West Virginia
  • Gary Dillingham
  • Flame Williamson “Stump Town Nationals” – Shelby, NC
  • Larry Bullard – Boone, NC
  • Wayne “T-Bird” Funderburk
  • Lee Jenkins
  • Nathaniel White – Lancaster, SC
  • Charles Burris
  • Battle of Atlanta – Keith Vitale
  • Atlanta Pro-Am
  • more through the years

Everyone’s life is driven by something.  Without a purpose, life is trivial, petty, and pointless.  Knowing your purpose gives meaning to your life and purpose always produces passion.  Nothing energizes like a clear purpose.

One of the greatest tragedies is not death itself, but life without purpose.