Richard Poage 5th danIn Memoriam, Richard M. Poage
Renshi 5th Dan
3rd Dan Kobudo
Co-founder of Peaceful Warrior Martial Arts, Sensei, Mentor & Friend



 Jeff Allred 6th danIn Memoriam, Jeff Allred
Renshi 6th Dan
3rd Dan Kobudo



Tiffany Richards 1st danTiffany Richards
Sensei 2nd Dan Kenshodo

Tiffany Richards is the co-founder of Peaceful Warrior Martial Arts. Sensei Richard Poage and her came together because of their love for martial arts, camping, four-wheeling, shooting and so much more. He was her partner; in business and in life. Her wish is to carry on Sensei Poage's legacy and honor him by continuing his teachings.

Tiffany has trained since 1998. She began her study under Dennis Laycock at American Karate Studios in Kenpo, Shotokan and Tae Kwon Do. During that time, she also trained in Goju Shorei with Sensei Frank Sasso. In late 1999 to present, Tiffany took to Kensho-Do with Grand Master Alex Santa Maria. The system is a blend of both hard and soft styles, and combines Chinese Kenpo, Shorei-Ryu, Tai Liu Chuan Fa, Limalama, Aikido, Jeet Kune Do, Pananjakman, Aiki Jujitsu and more. A short-term move back to her hometown in 2000 prompted her to open her own school where she taught kids karate and women’s kickboxing.

In addition to Peaceful Warrior Martial Arts & Healing Center, Tiffany owns an on-site corporate wellness firm, The Back Rub Company ( The firm provides companies' employees with chair massage, fitness classes, wellness workshops, meditation, cooking demos and more.

Tiffany began her career in holistic healthcare the same year she started training martial arts, and toured with Cirque du Soleil from 2002-2003 working with the artists as their personal massage therapist and fitness coach. Upon her return from tour, she transitioned into opening The Back Rub Company, and took a hiatus from training martial arts. In 2008, she went back to training and today credits martial arts as an integral part of her life. Martial arts has helped her to stay grounded, focused and in shape.


Andrew Wert 4th danAndrew Wert
Renshi 5th Dan
1st Dan Kobudo

Andrew Wert has studied Shorin-ryu Shorinkan karate under Sensei Eddie Bethea since 1991. Prior to his karate study, Andrew studied Tae Kwon Do for two years. Both his fourth degree and fifth degree were awarded to him in Okinawa. The fourth degree in the presence of Hanshi Shūgorō Nakazato, the fifth degree in the presence of Hanshi Minoru Nakazato, as well as many other distinguished Okinawan masters. In addition to his karate rank, Andrew also holds a first degree black belt in Kobudo. Andrew regularly teaches kumite (sparring), kata, advanced classes as well as general karate. He often helps students understand why the kata works by relating kata movements to self-defense and kumite.

"Balance wins the fight. The fruit of balance of body is power, speed, leverage and a greater possibility of over powering your opponent. From a balance of mind and spirit comes focus, timing and meaning."


Cameron KessnerCameron Kessner
Sensei 3rd Dan
1st Dan Kobudo

Cameron Kessner has been training karate since 2006 under Sensei Richard Poage. He considers himself a perfectionist, with a love for attention to detail. From form to power, he constantly tries to hone his martial art. He also holds a 1st degree black belt in Kobudo. Cameron has taught kobudo, beginner and advanced karate, and our little warriors program. He was a proud member of the tournament team and competed on state and national levels, earning the title of national champion five consecutive times. One aspect he has found to be crucial in his own martial arts journey is the perseverance to continue training despite injury, life or even loss.


Noah Legel 2nd danJames Mitchell
Sensei 1st Dan
1st Dan Kobudo



Brent ArmisteadBrent Armistead 1st dan
Sensei 1st Dan

Brent Armistead has trained Shorin-Ryu Shorinkan his entire career, beginning as a student under Sensei Richard Poage in 2011. He received his black belt in 2016, and taught Little Warriors and Youth classes for a year before heading off to college. He also helped coach the tournament team. Pulling from his experience competing at the state and national level, a few years he calls his “glory days,” he let his athletes think for themselves and develop their own style of competing. Though he has been away at college, he hopes to continue training regularly once he is finished.


JM PugatJM Pugat
Sensei 1st Dan

 Two years after JM migrated to the United States from the Philippines, he began his study in karate under the guidance of Sensei Poage. For nine years, he has worked diligently to ensure that the techniques that he has learned are done to the best of his abilities. JM often enjoy challenges when it comes to training karate and exploring kata applications. With his love for martial arts, the guidance of Sensei Poage and the other senseis at the dojo, he earned his Shodan at the age of 20. Today, he continues his training in Peaceful Warrior Martial Arts while managing the Little Warriors Program, providing private lessons, and attending college for architecture.


Carlos Bartolomei 800 72Carlos Bartolomei
Sensei 1st Dan
3rd Dan Aikido

In 1974 Carlos was introduced to training while living in New York and has pursued it ever since. Throughout the late 1970’s and 80’s Carlos studied several traditional Japanese martial arts, attaining mid to upper Kyu ranks in two types of karate as well as Judo.

Carlos moved to Arizona in 1984 and while a student at ASU he studied the grappling art of Aikijutsu until after graduation. Then in 1989 he was introduced to Shotokan Karate in Phoenix and trained under both Chuck Coburn Sensei as well as Shojiro Koyama Shihan – both world renowned international champions in that particular style.

In 1994 Carlos was introduced to the Japanese martial art of Aikido through a friend, which was somewhat similar to his previous training in Aikijutsu. The art fascinated him and he continued it for 22 years, during which time he was fortunate enough to train at many dojos and seminars across the country with students from around the world – led by the art’s highest-ranking instructors from Japan, the U.S. and Canada.

Carlos received his second and third Dan ranks from one of the most renowned martial arts instructors in the world - Yoshimitsu Yamada Shihan of the New York Aikikai - one of the last remaining original students of the founder of Aikido. Recently, Yamada Shihan was the subject of a National Geographic special due to his dedication to the proliferation as well as preservation of the traditions and qualities of the art.

In 2016 after a brief respite due to injury rehabilitation, Carlos came full-circle back to Karate and has found his home at the Peaceful Warrior dojo, where he hopes to learn and grow through the traditional Okinawan art of Shorin Ryu as well as be able to pass along some of his knowledge and experience to up-and coming students.


Andrew Rodgers 800 72Andrew Rodgers
Sensei 1st Dan

 Andrew Rodgers is our “Director of First Impressions” always offering a smile and a great attitude when students and parents walk through the doors of Peaceful Warrior. He manages the front desk, assists with administrative work and teaches! Andrew has studied Shorin-Ryu Shroinkan karate under the instruction of Sensei Poage since 2006. In addition to training with Sensei Poage, Andrew has trained with many other instructors at the Peaceful Warrior dojo. He has participated in numerous competitions through the USKA in New Mexico, California, Texas and Arizona. Andrew is constantly honing his skills in Shorin-Ryu Shroinkan Karate and also is an assistant instructor working with various age groups within the dojo and also helping students with ADHD.

His favorite quote is "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee."


Missy Keast 3rd kyu 600 72Missy Keast
Senpai 1st Kyu

 In 2011, after her third daughter was born, Missy Keast decided to try something different.  Karate was the answer. Fortunately, she chose to check out Peaceful Warrior Martial Arts & Healing Center. Luckily, this was no strip mall karate center. Instead, it was, and still is, a Dojo focused on the purity and traditions of Shorin-Ryu. Missy immersed herself into the traditions of the art to include learning Japanese. This new passion and culture has given her a sense of confidence. Missy is profoundly Deaf and only uses American Sign Language to communicate. To balance her commitment to the art, Sensei Richard M. Poage learned ASL and trained with her for eight years with private and group lessons. Her trip with the Dojo to Okinawa in memoriam of Richard M. Poage in 2019 reinforced her commitment to the art and also made her realize that the journey is just beginning. When not "Kicking Class" at the Dojo and on her husband, she runs ASL Inside, LLC. She founded ASL Inside to deliver online ASL curriculum for thousands of students in the United States and Canada. Missy is also spreading the art of Shorin-Ryu and self-defense to the deaf adult and children population who are looking to master the art of self-discipline.

She loves the words of Confucius – “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”


Noah Legel 2nd danRoyce Russell
Senpai 1st Kyu



Noah Legel 2nd danDruv Ravikumar
Senpai 1st Kyu



Noah Legel 2nd danDrew Wert
Senpai 2nd Kyu



Kyoshi Eddie Bethea Peaceful Warrior Martial Arts Scottsdale ArizonaEddie Bethea
Kyoshi 8th Dan

Eddie Bethea is Sensei Poage’s immediate Sensei and visits Peaceful Warrior Martial Arts annually.

Eddie Bethea’s interest in martial arts was piqued years before he left to serve his country. Relatives who had served in the military would talk about judo after coming back from World War II. Later, the television show “Wild Wild West” caught his fancy with all the kicks and choreographed stunts. But it wasn’t until his first tour in Okinawa that Bethea took his first karate class. On the bus ride from one air base to another, Bethea saw a simple sign that caught his attention. The sign said “Karate Gym.” After he was processed into the new base, he started to take karate lessons.

Bethea began training with Shugoro Nakazato, a man who would play a significant role in Bethea’s life for the next three decades. During his training with Sensei Nakazato, Bethea never trained with any ranks lower than a brown belt. This accelerated his learning, although it was very punishing at times. With a newfound passion in life, Bethea had almost unknowingly taken the first steps in what he now calls his life’s mission. It didn’t matter where he was stationed; he found time to continue his training wherever he went. He took military leaves and returned to Okinawa to study with Sensei Nakazato. Although his time was limited, the visits and intense training sparked Bethea to continue with his training on his own.

By January 1968, just two years after his first lesson, Bethea was promoted to fourth degree black belt and received his certification from his Sensei to be an instructor. He currently holds the rank of eighth degree black belt and owns Bethea’s Karate Studio in Kokomo, Indiana.