Savannah native is “Dr. Karate” with doctorate degree in martial arts

Dr. Ronald holds Ph.D in martial arts & runs karate school with wife, Sharon.

(SAVANNAH) A native son of the Hostess City is among the top of his field, attaining a doctorate degree in martial arts, one of a few people in the world to reach that level of achievement in that arena. Dr. Ronald Frazier, Sr. has studied martial arts for fifty years. He started studying karate when he was 8, but now, 50 years later, he’s mastered many forms of and disciplines. To the students he teaches at the South Georgia Olympic Karate Academy, his title is Shidoshi, a rank only achieved by earning a 10th degree black belt. In his half-century of study, Dr. Frazier says he recognizes the change between the ancient art and what’s being taught today. “Martial arts has evolved from the olden days to present, martial arts is faster, more powerful, more accurate, more designed to the way the body works.” said Dr. Frazier.

He’s won more than 700 competitions and has been honored with multiple inductions into martial arts halls of fame. His lifetime pursuit of excellence in his craft is the foundation that led to his award of a Ph.D in martial arts from the University of Asian Martial Arts, which awards a single doctorate annually. He says it took more than his fighting credentials and thesis to earn that degree in 2011, winning out over martial arts film star, Bill “Super Foot” Wallace. “Then you have the organizations that have to uphold it. You got the University of Asian Martial arts Studies, you got the Department of Martial Arts Affairs, you got the Securities and Exchange Commission, uh, Secretary of State, and they all approve it .” Dr. Frazier said. Students of all ages study with Dr. Frazier and his wife. Students like Lloyd McCray say they are more than lucky to have an instructor of Frazier’s standing in the world of martial arts. “When I’m working with him, his expertise in the martial arts is off the chain. I think it;s just a blessing. Sometimes, I ask, pray and ask God how did I get the opportunity to work with this great man.” McCray said.

The most serious of lessons focus on restraint. Dr. Frazier has mastered the art of turning bare hands into deadly weapons. In this demonstration, Dr. Frazier shows us how it’s possible to deliver a lethal blow that won’t break the skin, or even leave a bruise, but is capable of breaking bones in the rib cage, forcing them into the target’s lungs. He placed a board over a cinder block, hit it, and the stone split but the wood wasn’t even blemished. He says it shows how it’s possible for the energy to pass through the wood without damaging it, even though it shattered the stone beneath. It’s why Dr. Frazier says remembers to teach every student that with great power comes great responsibility because violence should always be the last resort. ” He teaches us that’s the last resort, you know, to utilize the martial arts, um, and, and, any situation, it’s definitely just for protection.” McCray said. “It is just as bad to fall short as it is to go too far, basically meaning that do not kill a man if you can let the man live and then ask for forgiveness, but if you have to take that life, can you and should you in the point of attack.” Said Dr. Frazier.

He molds some of the state’s best and brightest, as coach of the Georgia contingent of the U.S. National Martial Arts Team. Dr. Frazier will soon begin preparing that team for the 2017 World Martial Arts Olympia in Jamaica next February. He is also excited about prepping for the 2020 Olympic games, where martial arts will be part of the Tokyo games.

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