OCT - 2008 


Interview by Shihan Eddie Morales

Online Magazine


In opening I would like to say, it is my honor and privilege to bring this interview to you with Grand Master Pierre T. Rene.

Grand Master Pierre T. Rene began his Martial arts training in the late 1950’s and has continued to be a driving force for our youth and his Community.

Grand Master Rene through time, research and endless dedication developed his own system after having practiced the Traditional Art of Shotokan Karate for many years.

He has produced various Karate champions’ and Master Instructors aside from running a successful television show and recently beginning a new endeavor with his Online Magazine “Martial Arts Warrior.”

I have heard about Grand Master Pierre T. Rene for many years and thought because of his wealth of knowledge and experience, he would be a great interview to present to our readers here at

 The following is my interview with what I consider in every sense of the word a true “Pioneer” of the Martial Arts.  This is a man that was presented the keys to many cities for his contributions to society.


                                          When did your Martial Arts training begin and who was your first instructor?


Grand Master Pierre T. Rene: I began in the year 1955 / 1956. My first instructor was the streets of Brooklyn New York, which led me to start training with Sifu Russell until 1965 and the US Army thru 1967.


I eventually trained with my brothers who were being taught by Grand Master George Cofield of the Shotokan System at Tongs Dojo located on Saint Marks Street in Brooklyn New York.



                         When did you develop your own system and what was your motivation?


Grand Master Pierre T. Rene: My own system was developed back in the year 1975. I was convinced that you could not attack or defend yourself against a person or persons with the thought of always going straight forward at an object, which became evident to me when I was competing...

There are times when you have to go up, over and around your opponent if need be to win a match or when protecting yourself in the streets. The Shotokan System did not offer any other means of attack.


           Can you name some of your most dedicated students Past and Present?


Grand Master Pierre T. Rene: Eric Green, Winston Massey, Byron Miller,

Roger Clark, Derek Lovell, Derrick Williams, Tony Perry, Steve Beal, Troy

Barcia, Wesner Pierre, Tashia Cortes, Shayrela Moore, Harry Gomez,

Charlie Gomez, Hector Cruz, Ruda Williams, Glenn Perry, Kah&kei,

Kenzie, Treasure, Shade’, Casper, Bolden, Prince, Tito, George Harris,

Bobby B, Denny Dejohn, Itchy, Gary G, Tyrone T, Kenny Lovell, Kenny

Moore, Josey, Horace, Devine, Tamaria, Ben Gabriel, Barry Brick, Leroy,

Mike West, Erma, Lance, Lennox Campbell, Craig Mason, Craig

Solomone,Simone Solomone, Yah Yah , Danny Perez, Jay , Dahwanye

Ashman,Millie, Brandon Harze, John, Dean, Quan, Leahton Shark, Marie

Bouquet, Key-sha Rene’, Sammy M, Mario and Roger. What went into the development of the Chinese Shotokan System?


Grand Master Pierre T. Rene: The Technical development comprised of Circular movements, leg locks, throws, ride hands, palm heels strikes, back thrust kicks, hook kicks, bites, scratches and elbow strikes.


                             What are your thoughts on Kata training?


Grand Master Pierre T. Rene: I don’t believe in it. How do you feel about your students competing in tournaments?


Grand Master Pierre T. Rene: I love the spirit of competition. Did you yourself compete frequently?


Grand Master Pierre T. Rene: Yes


          Who were some of the most memorable competitors you fought in your early days of competition?


Grand Master Pierre T. Rene: Sam McGee, Jimmy Santiago, Donnie Collins, Swifty and the Wilder Twins from Tongs Dojo, Joe Hayes and Fred Miller just to name a few. Do you think that tournament competitors are better today or better in the early days of karate tournaments?



Grand Master Pierre T. Rene: Because of the non - equipment use back then and all the equipment used nowadays I would say the older days of competition were better for that reason.

The competitors of today are just as good as back then but the equipment is the difference.  More black belts were attracted to kumite (Fighting) back then, where today the attraction is kata (Pre-arranged Movement). Its all karate, but im just saying how it was back then.


                                      I remember back when Master Fred Hamilton put together an open challenge full contact bare fist bare feet tournament. My question is, do you think tournaments today should follow these rules?


Grand Master Pierre T. Rene: NO, because of the legalities which is probably one of the reasons for all the protective equipment today, which is ok. That was then and this is now and you have to embrace the change because its part of life.

There are many ways to train and if full contact is your thing these days then so be it. If you follow other rules , that's fine too as long as your always moving forward and improving with minimal injury.


               What were some of your favorite techniques when you were competing?


Grand Master Pierre T. Rene: My favorite techniques were Back kicks, hook kicks or a reverse punch.



                                    You said you didn't believe in kata practice, did you practice kata in your early days of training?


Grand Master Pierre T. Rene: Yes I did, but the reason I stopped kata practice was because the pre-determined moves.  When I fought, no one attacked me in the same manner.

I gained more from basics and Kumite, which is what I  practiced by choice.


               Then, what your saying is, you worked on allot of basics?

Grand Master Pierre T. Rene: Definitely! basics are the key that worked for me.



                                                       Our research shows that you run a successful television show, can you tell our readers about this endeavor?


Grand Master Pierre T. Rene: They said it couldn’t be done in the beginning. I created, co produced and hosted the most successful Martial Arts TV show in the United States.

The TV show is called Masters Of The Martial Arts which is in its’ fourth year of production. I am happy to say that I have won 1st place in sports programming in television, which is the same as an Emmy award in broadcasting.


 In your opinion, what does it take to become a good teacher?


Grand Master Pierre T. Rene: It takes plenty of experience to handle the subject matter, and a need to share knowledge about the subject. What do you believe is the most important aspect of Karate training?


Grand Master Pierre T. Rene: Conditioning, Consistency, and setting a Goal.


 Do you still train your students now the way you did when you began your training and if so, what is the difference between then and now?


Grand Master Pierre T. Rene: YES, the training is the same; the difference is the air conditioning we have today. What are your thoughts on Mixed Martial Arts?


Grand Master Pierre T. Rene: To each his own.




 What would you say is your biggest accomplishment in Martial Arts or life itself?

Grand Master Pierre T. Rene: My Television show  Masters Of the Martial Arts and my online Magazine  Martial Arts Warrior.

Another accomplishment is my annual Martial Arts Parade here at Orange County Parks & Recreation in Barnett Park.



                                                    What are your hopes for the future of Martial Arts?


Grand Master Pierre T. Rene: My hopes for the future of Martial Arts are very high. It’s about giving back as much as I can of myself to this world, my students and the Martial Arts.

                        Do you have any words of encouragement for Martial Artist and people in general that are reading this interview?


Grand Master Pierre T. Rene: If we learn to master ourselves we can master our destiny as well as our future.







                                       Thank you Sir for this interview, we here at wish you the best and know you will continue to be a strong force in the Martial Arts world.