O’Soke Dave Shelton, PhD

10th Dan / Kaicho / Hanshi
Supreme Grandmaster

In Loving Memory
Jan 12, 1946 – Dec 19, 2019


Heavy of heart, we announce that O’Soke Dave Shelton, the Supreme Grandmaster of IMSS, passed away Dec. 19th, 2019. The IMSS grew to become a “family” of masters and grandmasters from a wide range of martial arts styles and came together with mutual love and respect, based on that unique vision he brought to the world.


Martial Arts Official, Administrator and Instructor, Dave Shelton earned 10th Degree Black Belt and the titles of Grandmaster, and “Soke” of  Shorin Ryu Matsumura Soken- Do Karate.

His training began in January 1965. He studied Tae Kwon Do and Kung Fu before being fortunate enough to study Shorin Ryu Matsumura Seito Karate under O’Sensei Hohan Soken of Okinawa, making him a first generation student of  the founder, O’Sensei Hohan Soken.

He was the second American to receive the Shihan (Master) Instructor Certificate from O’Sensei Hohan Soken in October 1969. And he became the founder of “Shorin Ryu Matsumura Soken-Do” in 1998. He was also the first authorized Instructor to teach “Shorin Ryu Matsumura Seito”, outside of Okinawa, in November 1969.

He was a top competitor on the Gulf Coast 1970-1975, and began officiating in 1970. Since then he has served as Chief Judge, Chief Referee, Tournament Official, Tournament Director, Weapons Advisor, and Special Guest, for numerous national tournaments.

During that time he owned and operated ” The Pensacola Karate Club “, teaching “Shorin Ryu Matsumura Seito Karate Do” – “The Okinawan Art of Close Combat and Oriental Weapons”,  from 1970-1995. Then in 1996 he started “the Sylacauga Karate Club”.

Other achievements include:

• In 1982 he was featured in “Who’s Who In Karate”.

• From 1981-1985 he served as “President of the High Dan Board” of the “United Martial Arts Association”.

• Conducted seminars on rape prevention, law enforcement self defense, women’s self defense, tournament judging and weapons training in the continuing education program.

• Served as “Vice Chancellor of the High Dan Board” of the “United Martial Arts Association International “1997-1999.

• Appointed “Senior Advisor” for the “International Matsumura Bushi Jutsu” and Director for the State of Alabama. 1997-2002

• Inducted into the “World Sokeship Grandmaster Council’s” “International Martial Arts Hall Of Fame” in 1998.•

• Received the “World Head of Family Sokeship Grandmaster Council’s” “Silver Lifetime Achievement Award” in 1998.

• Appointed “Supreme Advisor” for the “Kokuba Matsumura Karate Union”.

• Served as “President of the High Dan Board” of the “United Martial Arts Association International” 1999.

• Installed into the “World Head of Family Sokeship Grandmaster Council’s” “International Hall Of Fame” as “Grandmaster Of The Year” September 1999.

• Earned and Awarded the Title of “Soke” of “Shorin Ryu Matsumura Soken Do” by the “International Matsumura Seito Society” in June 1999.

• Served as “President of the High Dan Board” of the “United Martial Arts Association International” 1999.

• Featured in “The World’s Martial Arts Elite”, a reference book, released Fall 2000, and in three other upcoming books.

• Inducted into “The United States Martial Artist Association Millennium 2000 Hall Of fame” as “Supreme Grandmaster Of The Year” of “Shorin Ryu Matsumura Soken Do” in July 2000.

• Inducted into “The United States Martial Arts Association Millennium 2000 Hall Of Fame” as “Grandmaster Of The Year” of “Shorin Ryu Matsumura Soken Do” in August 2000.

• Inducted into The “World Sokeship Grandmaster Council’s International Hall Of Fame” as “Millennium Grandmaster Of The Year” in September 2000.

• Inducted into The “U.S.A. International Black Belt Hall Of Fame” as “Grandmaster Instructor Of The Year” in November 2000.

• Appointed Southeastern United States Regional Association Director and Board Member for the “United States Martial Artist Association”.

• Appointed, Senior Advisor for the “Ozark Mountain Karate Association” January 2001-2002.

• Appointed, “Executive Director, President”, and “Soke” of the “International Matsumura Seito Society” in January 2001.

• Appointed, by Don Siegelman, the “Governor” of Alabama, as an “Honorary Colonel” in the Alabama State Militia. January 2001.

• Installed as “Council Member” of the “World Head Of Family Sokeship Grandmasters Council” in December 2000.

• Inducted into The “World Karate Union’s Hall Of Fame” as “Grandmaster Of The Year”. June 2001.

• Listed in the Lineage of O’Sensei Soken “Bushi” Matsumura, O’Sensei Hohan Soken and “Shorin Ryu Matsumura Seito Karate”, in the book “Unante” by John Sells 2001.

• Inducted into the “United States Martial Artist Association’s International Hall of Fame” with the “Golden Lifetime Achievement Award”. August 2001.

• Certified as “Soke”, “Head of Family”, of “Shorin Ryu Matsumura Soken Do”, by the “World Head of Family Sokeship Grandmasters Council”. September 2001.

• Certified as “Soke”, “Head of Family”, of “The International Matsumura Seito Society”, by the “World Head of Family Sokeship Grandmasters Council”. September 2001.

• Inducted into “World Head Of Family Sokeship Council” “Grandmaster International Hall Of Fame”, “Founders Award” for “Shorin Ryu Matsumura Soken Do”. September 2001.

• Associate Director for the “Mississippi Karate Association”. 2002-2003.

• Received an “Honorary Ph.D” “Doctor of Philosophy of Martial Arts” from the “University of Indiana / American College of Martial Science”

• Inducted into the “Hawaii Martial Arts Society’s” “International Hall of Fame” May 2002.

• Appointed “Alabama State Representative” of the “Hawaii Martial Arts Society”.

• Inducted into the “Worldwide Martial Arts Hall of Fame” as “Grandmaster of the Year” June 2002.

• Inducted into the “United States Martial Artist Association International Hall of Fame” as “Most Dedicated Martial Artist” July 2002

• “Instructor of the Month” March – May 2002, for the “University of Indiana / American College of Martial Science” for Lifetime Hard Work and Dedication to the Martial Arts.

• Inducted into the “World Head of Family Sokeship Grandmaster Council’s” “International Hall of Fame” as “Distinguished Grandmaster of the Year” September 2002.••

• Co-Founder – “Pioneers & Legends International Martial Arts Society Hall of Fame”.

• Inducted into the “Pioneers & Legends International Martial Arts Society Hall of Fame” June 2002.

• Appointed – Member of the “Board of Directors” of the
“World Wide Martial Arts Hall of Fame” June 2002.

• Inducted and Certified, “10th Dan / Soke” by the “World Head of Society” “Heads and Founders Society of International Styles” – Kobe, Japan November 2002.

• Received the “W.O.M.A Sports Award” (World Organizar of Martial Arts) November 2002.

• Certified “10th Dan / Soke” of “Shorin Ryu Matsumura Soken Do” by the “World Soke Headquarters” – Kobe, Japan November 2002.

• Granted “Lifetime Membership” in the “GENKI RYU DO” Martial Arts System, by Soke Felix Revette, 10th Dan, President, July 2002.

• Inducted into the “Mississippi Black Belt, Hall of Fame” January 2003.

• Elected to “Board of Directors” “Mississippi Karate Association” , January 2003.

• Received Certification from the “United States Police Defensive Tactics Association” in the use of the “Controller” (Kubaton).

• Inducted into the “World Wide Martial Arts Hall of Fame” for “Outstanding Contribution to the Martial Arts” June 2003.

• Inducted into the “United States Martial Artist Association International Hall of Fame” for “Outstanding Contribution to the Martial Arts” July 2003.

• Inducted into the “World Head of Family Sokeship Grandmasters Council’s”, “International Hall of Fame” as “The Continued Excellence in Teaching Award” August 2003.

• Awarded the “Alabama State Flag” flown over the Alabama State Capital Building, in his Honor, June 12, 2003, for his “Achievements in the Martial Arts”. Awarded by Alabama Governor, Bob Riley.

• Established and Opened New “International Matsumura Seito Society” Hombu and World Headquarters, in Childersburg, Al June 28, 2003.

• Commissioned Deputy Sheriff and Training Officer of Conecuh County, AL, by Sheriff Tracy Hawsey July 2003.

• Awarded “Ph.D, Doctor of Philosophy in Asian Martial Arts”, by the “Delaware State Council of Higher Arts Education and Applied Science”. September 2003.

• Inducted into the “World Wide Martial Arts Hall of Fame” as “Martial Artist of the Year” June 2004.

• Inducted into the “World Karate Union, International Hall of Fame” as “Golden Lifetime Achievement Award of Honor” June 2004.

• Nominated for “The Masters Hall of Fame” in Garden Grove California by Soke Edward Badiang.

• Featured in the New Reference Book “Martial Arts Personalities of the World” by Prof. Dr. Song Swee Hee.

• Inducted into the “World Head of Family Sokeship Grandmaster’s Council’s Hall of Fame” as ” Grandmaster of the Year” September 2004.

• Inducted into the “United States Martial Artist Association International Hall of Fame” as “Supreme Grandmaster of the Year” September 2004.

• Established and Opened New “International Matsumura Seito Society” “Hombu and World Headquarters”, in Oak Grove, Alabama July 2004.

• Recognized and Listed in “Who’s Who in Martial Arts” July 2004.

• Appointed “Supreme Advisor” for “Nintai Do Matsumura Shorin Ryu Karate Do” 2005.

• Recipient of the “B.O.B.” Award.

• Appointed President and Executive Director of the “B.O.B.” Society.

• Inducted into “The World Wide Martial Arts Hall of Fame” ” For Outstanding Contribution to the Martial Arts” June 2005.

• Inducted into the “United States Martial Artist Association International Hall of Fame” as “Platinum Lifetime Achievement Award” for over 40 years of Martial Arts, July 2005.

• Appointed “Supreme Advisor” for the “White Dragon Society, 2005.

• Appointed “Supreme Advisor” for “Shebo Hento Ryu Karate Do”, 2005.

• Inducted into the “World Sokeship Grandmasters Council” “International Martial Arts Hall of Fame” as “Alabama National Grandmaster of the Year” September 2005.

• Received “Instructor Certification” from the “United States Police Defensive Tactics Association” in the use of the “Controller” (Kubaton).

• Appointed “Supreme Advisor” for the “Ji Kai Martial Arts Karate Do System”.

• Inducted into “The United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame” July 2006.

• Certified 10th Dan, Soke by the “United States Karate Alliance, USKA” May 2006.

• Inducted into”The “World Head of Family Sokeship Grandmaster’s Council’s” “International Martial Arts Hall of Fame” “Historical Figure Award” May 2006.

• Inducted into the “United States Martial Artist Association’s International Hall of Fame” as “Supreme Grandmaster of the Year” July 2006.

• Appointed “Supreme Advisor” for the Musha Kai Ryoshi Ha Shito Ryu Karate Union.

• Inducted into the “Nintai Do Hall of Fame” December 9, 2006.

• Inducted into “Action Martial Arts Magazine’s” “Hall of Fame and Spirit Awards” as “Grandmaster – Outstanding Contribution to the Martial Arts” January 2007.

• Inducted into”The “World Head of Family Sokeship Grandmaster’s Council’s” “International Martial Arts Hall of Fame” “Continued Excellence in Teaching Award” May 2007.

• Inducted into the “United States Martial Artist Association’s International Hall of Fame” as “Man of the Year” July 2007.

• Established and Opened New “International Matsumura Seito Society” “Hombu and World Headquarters”, in Sylacauga, Alabama October 2008.

• Member – Masonic Bodies – Blue Lodge, Scottish Rite, York Rite, Zamora Shrine.

• Member – Zamora Shrine Clown Unit.

• Appointed “Member of the Council Scientific” of the “World Sokeship Council Seishinryoku Kai”.

• Appointed “International Representive Alabama/USA” for the “International Okinawa Seishinryoku Karate Do Kobudo Association”.

• Awarded 5th Dan in “Okinawa Seishinryoku Karate Do”.

• Recognized “Soke, 10th Dan” in “Shorin Ryu Matsumura Soken Do” by the “World Sokeship Council Seishinryoku Kai”.

• Appointed “World Director of Representatives” for the “International Seishinryoku Karate Do Kobudo Association”.

• Awarded “Life Member” of the “World Seishinryoku Kai Society”.

• Awarded “Referee of the Year” “Kata and Weapons” by the “Mississippi Karate Association” January 2008.

• Certified 10th Dan / Soke by the “World Ju-Jitsu / AIKI-Bujutsu Federation” February 2008.

• Awarded Lifetime Membership in the “Nippon Yawara Ryu AIKI-Ju-Jitsu Renmei” February 2008 by Hanshi Seigfried Boedeker 10th Dan.

• Certified 10th Dan / Soke of Shorin Ryu Matsumura Soken Do by the “International Council of Headmasters & Sokeship Renmei” March 2008.

• Certified 10th Dan by “The Worldwide Martial Arts Spirit of Bushido-Brotherhood” “Zen Budo Bugei Rengo Kai” March 2008.

• Elected “President”, “Coosa Valley Shrine Club” January 2010.

• Inducted into “The United States Martial Artist International Hall of Fame” with the “Pioneer Award” for long study and training in the Martial Arts since January 12, 1965. July 2009.

• Awarded 5th Dan in Ji Kai Iai Do by Kyoshi Butch Lambert and Ji Kai Martial Arts.

• Awarded 6th Dan in Nintai Do Matsumura Aiki Te by Kyoshi Clint DuPlechian.

• Inducted into “The United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame” August 1, 2009.

• Featured in the Registry and Book “Cambridge Who’s Who”. The publisher of Executive and Professional biographies. August 2009.

• Awarded “Lifetime Membership” in the “Universal Black Belt Society” and recognized as 10th Dan Soke / Kaicho in “Shorin Ryu Matsumura Soken Do” by Hanshi Bill Solano, December 2009.

• “Action Magazine’s Hall of Honors” as “A Goodwill Ambassador to the Martial Arts”, “Exemplary Contributions & Dedication” January 2010.

• Honored by Proclamation – by the Office of the 11th President of the International South Shaolin Wuzuquan Association of China, March 2010.

• “Action Martial Arts Magazine’s Hall of Honors & Spirit Awards 2011” as “Goodwill Ambassador to the Martial Arts 2011 for Exemplary Contributions”. January 2011.

• Recognized as “Lifetime Member” in the Registry and Book “Cambridge Who’s Who”. The publisher of Executive and Professional biographies. September 2010.

• Elected President – Coosa Valley Shrine Club, 2010 – Present.

• Member – Zamora Shrine Clown Unit.

• Member – International Shrine Clown Association.

• Member – Dixie Shrine Clown Association.

• Member – South Eastern Shrine Clown Association.

• Inducted – Goodwill Ambassador to the Martial Arts 2012, “Action Martial Arts Magazine” Hall of Honors.

• Inducted – “World Head of Family Sokeship Council” Hall of Fame: “Platinum Anniversary Grandmaster Member” 2012.

• Featured in the Book “World Head of Family Sokeship Council” by “Masters-Rising Sun Productions”.

• Goodwill Ambassador to the Martial Arts 2013, “Action Martial Arts Magazine” Hall of Honors.

• Elected and Installed as “Worshipful Master” of “Coosa Valley Masonic Lodge #929”, July 2013, for the year 2013-2014.