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Incredible new 7th Degree Black Belts – Laura Sanborn and Joe McKersie!

I am so proud of (Senior Master Candidates) Master Laura Sanborn and Master Joe McKersie!

They embody the values and ideas at KarateBuilt Martial Arts and in life…

Master as a title is sometimes misunderstood. It doesn’t mean – at least in our system – great at kicking someone’s butt (though they would probably do a thorough job of it. It doesn’t mean memorized a bunch of stuff and can repeat it (though they certainly have to know a TON of stuff). It means Master INSTRUCTOR. It means that the person has mastered the skills needed to pass skills and knowledge on to others.

That means knowledge and skills keep going on. That means the knowledge lives and grows because of THEM.

Sr. Master Candidates Sanborn and McKersie are perfect examples of people who personally keep growing, and care a lot about the people around them growing. Enough to dedicate 10’s of Thousands of hours to learning. Enough to overcome injuries, personal challenges, sometimes disappointment, even severe allergies… oh and training to test for 7th degree during a pandemic! And also… even overcome me yelling and pushing them!

The students, the instructors and all the families are incredibly proud of both of them and are happy for their well deserved promotion. For them I am sure it’s on to the next phase of training!!!

I look forward to you getting there! Sincerely,





Ch. Master Greg Moody, Ph.D.

P.S. If you are new to Songahm style Master rankings, you may be confused by the “Candidate” part of their titles.

The way the system works, is when you achieve 6th degree Black Belt, you have to wait a year and go through a “mastership training” period before the title of “Master” is conferred upon you. The same happens at 7th degree Black Belt (you wait a year and become a Sr. Master) and 8th degree (1 year and Chief Master). There are, then, 2 interim temporary transition titles. When you become a 6th degree Black Belt you are automatically a “Master Candidate”. When you pass the minimum requirements and get accepted in the mastership training program, you become a “Master Nominee”.

Therefore our new 7th degree Black Belts are officially “Sr. Master Candidates” and will become “Sr. Masters” in a year if they complete the training (which they will!). and KarateBuilt Martial Arts have been selected the nation’s #1 martial arts schools for EIGHT YEARS IN A ROW!

KarateBuilt L.L.C. was founded in 1995 by Dr. Greg Moody, an 8th degree Black Belt and Chief Master Instructor, KarateBuilt Martial Arts and Karate for Kids offers lessons for pre-school children ages 3-6 and elementary age kids ages 7 and up are designed to develop the critical building blocks kids need – specialized for their age group – for school excellence and later success in life.

KarateBuilt Martial Arts Adult Karate training is a complete adult fitness and conditioning program for adults who want to lose weight, get (and stay in shape), or learn self-defense in a supportive environment.

Instructors can answer questions or be contacted 24 hours of the day, 7 days a week at 866-311-1032 for one of our nationwide locations. You can also visit our website at

About Dr. Greg Moody:  Greg is an eighth-degree black belt and chief master instructor.  He has a Ph.D. in Special Education from Arizona State University (along with a Master’s Degree in Counseling and a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering – he actually is a rocket scientist). He has been teaching martial arts for over 25 years and has owned eight martial arts schools in Arizona and California. Chief Master Moody is a motivational speaker and educator and teaches seminars in bullying, business, and martial arts training, around the world. See more at

The KarateBuilt Martial Arts Headquarters at KarateBuilt LLC is in Cave Creek, Arizona at 29850 N. Tatum Blvd., Suite 105, Cave Creek AZ 85331. You can locate the Chief Instructor, Master Laura Sanborn there directly at ‭(480) 575-8171‬. KarateBuilt Martial Arts serves Cave Creek, Carefree, Scottsdale, and Paradise Valley Arizona as well and Grand Rapids, MI.

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