Renshi Lennis Darby - Founder and Chief Instructor
Renshi Lennis Darby has been involved in Karate for almost 40 years, beginning in 1983 at the age of 14. Renshi's original involvement in karate was learning basic techniques and sparring with schoolmates, some of whom studied formally, in a backyard or open field. For his 15th birthday - December of 1983 - he requested formal lessons. He enrolled in a Yoshukai Karate class under the direction of Sensei Mike Culbreth and has been involved in the art since. Renshi studied under Sensei Culbreth for twelve years, until March of 1995. Renshi earned his Shodan (1st Degree Black Belt) in January of 1987. At the request of Master Culbreth he taught his first class in December of 1986, a month prior to receiving his black belt. In March of 1987 Master Yuki Koda formally presented Renshi with his black belt and, even though still a high school student, he began teaching several times each week for Sensei Culbreth (now Hu-Kaicho of World Yoshukai).
In 1990 Renshi Darby opened his first dojo (training hall) in Troy, Alabama. A year later he opened his second school in Enterprise, Alabama. Renshi taught as a Yoshukai instructor until March of 1995, having up to seven dojos, many students of Yudansha (black belt level), and hundreds of students. In 1995 political strife and in-fighting among several instructors of Yoshukai led Renshi to leave the organization and create MojuKai. In 1997 Renshi accepted a position with the Enterprise Police Department, which necessitated closing his commercial schools. However, he continued practicing while teaching family, close friends and former students until the opportunity arose to re-open his public classes.
Renshi Darby has won a number of competitions and awards during his time in Karate, including two Gold Medals in the State Olympics - which led to an invitation to tryout for the U.S. Olympic team, which he declined. He has had the honor of teaching for Grandmaster Katsuoh Yamamoto, founder of Yoshukai Karate-Kobudo and receiving special accolades from him for his teaching abilities. Renshi also had the honor of receiving his Shodan (1st Degree Black Belt) from Master Yuki Koda, director of the United States Yoshukai Karate Association (USYKA) and his Nidan (2nd Degree Black Belt) directly from Grandmaster Yamamoto.
Renshi Darby holds a Bachelor's Degree in General Psychology and a Master's Degree in Forensic Psychology. He uses the knowledge gained from his academic pursuits to formulate better training methods for students. Renshi understands that all people have different learning styles, capabilities and limitations. He takes care to emphasize their strong points while improving their deficiencies. Renshi believes that by making the mind of the student stronger, their physical skills will naturally follow. He has emphasized this in the Guiding Principle of MojuKai, which is Kenkyo-sa Kara Yushu "Excellence from Humility".
Renshi also served the public as a Law Enforcement Officer from 1996 through 2022 at which time he retired as a veteran Captain of the Enterprise Police Department. In his law enforcement career he was honored with several accolades and served for 12 years as Captain, eventually leading every division of the department. But his greatest honor was being entrusted by others in his endeavors to serve the people.
Sensei Amanda Lee
Mrs. Amanda Lee is a Sandan (3rd Degree Black Belt). She began her karate training in October of 1986 under Mr. Mike Culbreth at his primary dojo in Dothan, Alabama. She earned her Shodan (1st Degree) in 1989 and her Nidan (2nd Degree) in 1992, both through Yoshukai Karate. She was awarded her Sandan (3rd Degree) in July of 2021. Sensei Lee is the owner / operator of the Troy MojuKai Dojo in Troy, Alabama.
Sensei Lee says that her most memorable moments in karate have been earning her Nidan from Mr. Mike Foster, founder of Yoshukai International and being told by Renshi (while still a young underbelt student) that she was going to make a good black belt one day.
Like all MojuKai Black Belts, Mrs. Lee has excellent fundamentals and a sharp eye for technical correction. She enjoys kata training and is an invaluable instructor and a huge asset to the Kai due to her reliability and eagerness to instruct others.