David Schopp “The Fox” 5th Dan
David Schopp began his martial arts training at the age of eighteen in Gainesville under the tutelage of Sensei’s Mike Sawyer and Mike McCoy in Wado Ryu. Soon after graduating college in 1985 as a Civil Engineer, he was introduced to USA Goju Ryu by Sensei Robert Lasorsa. Intrigued by the balance of hard and soft as well as the spirit within the Ryu he became a committed karateka and advocate of the system. Sensei Schopp was promoted to Shodan in 1989 and currently holds the rank of 5th Dan.
Sensei Schopp founded the Weston Dojo, Foxdojo, in 1995 and is now the official City of Weston Karate program. He has eight black belts and over 70 active students ranging in age from 5 to 65 years old.
In addition to his dedication to the Dojo, Sensei Schopp holds frequent Rape Awareness seminars and children’s self defense classes in an effort to spread his knowledge and empowerment to others. He is a dedicated father to two wonderful children and a husband of 23 years.
Everyone starts karate for a different reason, but we find that those who remain are all there for the same reason.. showing up is half the battle!
Andrew Proctor “The Volcano” 3rd Dan
The Martial Arts always fascinated Sensei Proctor. His initial training was as a youngster in Judo while growing up in Canada. Knowing nothing about Goju Ryu, when his sons wanted to start Karate he quickly learned that USA Goju had such amazing depth as a system that he wanted to be a part of such a wonderful discipline. “It was pure dumb luck that I stumbled across the Fox Dojo of the USAGF and Master David Schopp, but it has proven to be one of the smartest decisions of my life to adopt Goju as a way of life”.
He began his formal training in 1995 and received his Shodan in 2002. He now holds the rank of 3rd Dan and has been appropriately named the Volcano. Goju is with him all the time and whether in the Dojo, at work or with friends and family. He is constantly utilizing what he has learned in Karate to enhance whatever it is that he is doing.
Goju Ryu harnesses all of the elements; Earth, Water, Wind, Fire and the Void and having the ability to utilize all of the elemental principles transcends everything he does. In addition to being a proud San Dan, he an accomplished orchestral timpanist and has learned through the study of Goju Ryu that “art is art” and that there is no difference between these two beautiful art forms. “ I am a better musician because of my Karate and I am a better Karateka because of my music”
His favorite principle is that Goju is the system, but all who practice are the individual stylists.
Mike Golis 1st Dan
Sensei Golis has always been fascinated by the martial arts and the ability for one to defend themselves against a threat of an attacker with grace and tenacity. He admires the great martial artists of our time and their unique fighting abilities.
Sensei Golis began his search later in life for a martial art that would provide a balance between life’s many obligations. He is a dedicated husband and father with a chosen career in Law Enforcement. He began his training in Goju Ryu in 2001 shortly after 9/11 under Master Schopp and received his Shodan in 2009. His entrance into black belt became a new beginning realizing that there is much to learn on his journey. He has come to realize that nothing good in life comes easy. His karate has taken on a much larger role in his life with his oldest son soon to be a Shodan himself. His favorite quote in summing up his beliefs…
Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster. -Sun Tzu
Xavier Ramirez 1st Dan
Sensei Ramirez started his martial arts career very early in life. He began his training at 6 years old in Wado Ryu, while living in Ecuador. He received his yellow belt in 2001, however, that same year he moved from Ecuador to the United States with his family. Even at a young age, he had a strong desire to continue his training and searched hard for a traditional karate dojo that he had become accustomed to. He finally found a Goju Ryu dojo near his home in Weston, met Sensei Schopp and never turned back.
Sensei Ramirez began his Goju training at 8 years old and became a Shodan-Ho at the age of 16. As an adult, he holds the rank of Shodan and is an active instructor at the Weston, Fox Dojo.
When he first started karate it was because he wanted to become a black belt, but as time went by he realized that black, white, green… doesn’t matter; it is all about who you are as a karateka. “Before I didn’t really understand what black belt was, but I now realize that this is only the beginning of a karate man’s life as a true karateka.” Karate has taught him not only about fighting, but how one should live their life.
Sensei Ramirez believes that “one must work their hardest at any task which is given, because in life nothing is free.”
Lina Soto – 1st Dan
Sensei Soto started traditional Goju Karate under Sensei Schopp at the age of 11. She spent many years trying to find a traditional karate dojo and finally found the USA Goju ryu which focuses on both the hard and soft aspects of martial arts. Originally, karate was just a way of her learning self defense but over the years she developed a passion for it and hopes to continue to train in karate throughout her life. In 2012, at age 17 Sensei Soto was promoted to shodan-ho and recently holds the rank of shodan after turning 18.
She discovered during her training in Goju that the true journey of a martial artists begins as a black belt when one truly begin to master the techniques learned as kyus. Goju builds strong men and women that are both physically and mentally strong. Karate has not only helped her physically but she also applies in her everyday life the lessons she learns in the dojo.
Sensei Soto continues to be an active instructor at the Weston Fox Dojo and will continue her martial arts training and teaching while attending Boston University.