Chris Welbon is the head instructor at CWKC and started his training over 30 years ago at age 8. Sensei Welbon has had the opportunity to train in many different styles of martial arts, and and is currently a Yon-Dan (4th degree black belt) in Shotokan karate. He began teaching martial arts for his sensei, Mark Pinner, at age 16, and has continued sharing his passion of the martial arts to this present day. Sensei Welbon was part of the AAU/USA Adult Karate Team from 1997-2003 where he won many state and national titles. Now retired from competition, Sensei Welbon takes great joy in training his students for tournament competition and has had several of his top athletes get chosen to represent the USA in other countries competing at world level karate events. Sensei Welbon has had great success in his karate life but, the thing he is most proud of is his faith and family. A Christian man who has been happily married for over 15 years and a proud father of his two beautiful daughters.
Brian Warren started his karate training at the age of six in an afterschool class similar to the one he teaches today. He started training with Sensei Welbon in the fall of 2004. He achieved his first degree black belt in Shotokan karate in the fall of 2011, and is currently training for his second degree black belt test. He teaches the Little Tigers and Family classes at the Plant City location and co-teaches at the South Tampa location with Sensei Welbon. Mr. Warren has competed in many Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) tournaments at both the state and national level, winning numerous gold and silver medals. He is a Double-Goal certified coach and AAU referee. Outside of the dojo Mr. Warren graduated from Plant City High School with honors in 2011. He is currently a junior at the University of South Florida pursuing at Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering. His hobbies include hunting, fishing, and anything to do with sports.
I was born in Tampa, Florida and grew up in Brandon. I have lived in Plant City for 18 years. I graduated from USF in 1990 with a degree in Elementary Education and took my first job as a Pre-k - Kindergarten teacher for physically impaired students. I have spent the rest of my teaching career working with students of varying disabilities. Besides elementary, I taught six years at Turkey Creek Middle school, then on to Plant City High where I spent 12 years. Currently I work at Simmons Career & ESE Center. My certifications include Specific Learning Disabilities, ESOL, Middle school math, and a Master's Degree in Special Education from USF. I have held the position as an ESE Specialist for the past 8 years. I have also participated in Special Olympics, Best Buddies, and a number of Transition Programs for students with Disabilities. I am an active participate in the Children's Ministry Program at Bay Life Church.
My karate life at CWKC started in July of 2007 with my son Alex (Alex started in Jan. but I sat on the bench for 6 months b/f I began training) I really like being able to participate in a sport with my son. I have enjoyed working with all of the students at the dojo and find the little ones the most challenging! I have been on the CWKC tournament team for 6 years. (the last 2 as a coach)
When I worked at Plant City High, each summer our school incorporated a talent show for our students with disabilities. The last two summers I spent there, I worked with a group who performed Karate. Initially I was doubtful of the outcome, however, their enthusiasm, commitment and hard work was impressive. Many of these students had great difficulty with focus and memory, but they were determined to learn. They experienced success almost immediately with the initiation of small repetitive steps. This was an elevating experience for myself and the students who wanted more, more more karate! I am honored to able to share karate with students and to have participated as an instructor for our Special Needs class.