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Dept./Column: Black Belt Times
Floyd Burk is a San Diego-based freelance writer and martial arts instructor with more than 35 years of experience. He has trained in many styles, including shorin-ryu karate, shotokan karate, shito-ryu karate, American karate, full-contact karate, Chinese kung fu and jujutsu.

Currently a contributing editor, Burk began writing exclusively for Black Belt and its sister publications since his first article appeared in the December 1994 issue of Black Belt. An avid martial arts researcher, Burk writes feature articles and content for Black Belt's news section on a regular basis. He also contributed to Black Belt's State of Taekwondo column from 2001 to 2007.

He has interviewed a number of martial arts legends and luminaries, including David Carradine, Bill Wallace, Joe Lewis, Jhoon Rhee, S. Henry Cho, Hee Il Cho, Soon-Ho Lee, Eric Lee, and Olympic athletes Steven Lopez and Nia Abdallah.

Burk is the co-founder of the Independent Karate Schools of America. The IKSA was established in the early 1980s to represent independent martial artists who stood for honor, integrity, indomitable spirit and loyalty.

For the past 20 years, Burk has been training under grandmaster George W. Owens of Russellville, Arkansas, who teaches his own system known as honto-ryu karate. Honto-ryu is a system that uses karate's hand and foot techniques, aikijujutsu's limb and joint manipulations plus pressure-point attacks and defenses. Included in this combat system is an emphasis on the training, research and analysis of traditional Okinawan and Japanese kata.


If you’re on the prowl for new ways to improve your martial arts skills and expand your knowledge base, the five animals of Shaolin kung fu are for you. By studying the fighting methods of the snake, crane, tiger, leopard and dragon, you’ll glimpse kung fu through the eyes of
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