Dr. Bernard Collins, founder of the Karenzukai Karate Association, was born to Leroy and Delia Collins in Jacksonville, Florida on December 7, 1944. He was the third of six children. They say his stubbornness was the seed of his determination, never saying that something could not be done or achieved. As a child Bernard would often try daring stunts like flying off the roof of the garage. It was very difficult for him to believe that something could not be achieved.
After graduating from Northwestern High School in 1962, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was deployed to Okinawa, Japan where he earned a black belt in the local styles. When he returned to Florida, he obtained a position at the Kennedy Space Center working security as well as acting as personal escort for numerous politicians and dignitaries.
Dr. Collins opened three karate schools – two in Cocoa, FL and one in Titusville, FL, where he created and developed his own style of karate that became world renowned: Okuno-ryu. Dr. Collins received a special recognition from President Bill Clinton for his contribution to the art of Karate.
Dr. Collins was also credited with saving the lives of 17 people and received the NASA Award for Bravery after a security breech event. Bernard moved to Los Angeles briefly, worked for the Northrop Corporation and later with the Boeing Company in Seattle, WA. In 2000, Bernard was inducted into the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Dr. Collins continued to train, educate and mentor students from all over the U.S. until the day of his passing in 2005. Included pall bearers at the funeral were Timothy Bunch; Rob Coe; Jonny Crawford; Jackie Mole; James Stoddard; Richard Taver.
Thank you to the family of Dr. Collins for their help in gathering information on a Martial Arts Legend, and a great friend and teacher.