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30 May 2007
JSU Professor of Special Education
Receives Martial Arts Instructor of the Year Award

Pictured here, from left, are Ms. Hill; Grandmaster John Chambers, president and founder of Martial Arts USA; and Dr. Larry Beard, Male Instructor of the Year, Associate Professor of Special Education, Jacksonville State University who serves as the faculty advisor of JSU's Judo/Yudo Club.

Dr. Larry Beard, associate professor of Special Education, Jacksonville State University, was recently inducted into the World Head of Family Sokeship Council Hall of Fame as the Male Instructor of the Year in martial arts. Black Tie ceremonies were held in Orlando, Florida. Dr. Beard was recognized by the World Sokeship Council for his contributions to the martial arts spanning over 40 years.

The World Head of Family Sokeship Council (WHFSC) is an exclusive union of the top Grandmasters of 9th or 10th degree black belt ranking or the equivalent from around the world who wish to communicate and support one another. Membership includes some of the best martial artists in the world and at least 19 different countries are included among its membership.

The WHFSC was founded in May of 1993 by Professor Frank E. Sanchez of Guam and is, without a doubt, the most elite Grandmasters/Soke organization in the world with the most recognizable martial arts names in history of any Soke or Grandmasters council currently in existence. Some of the more notable members include Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Jackie Chan, Bill Wallace and Reylson and Rickson Gracie.

Dr. Larry Beard, a faculty member in JSU's Department of Curriculum and Instruction, holds an eighth dan (blackbelt) in judo/yudo, eighth dan in jujitsu, and fourth dan in karate. Dr. Beard has been teaching martial arts for nearly 40 years, including the last five at JSU.

Dr. Beard's coach, John E. Chambers, president and founder of Martial Arts USA said, "A natural—a person who appears to have been born to master a particular sport—is a very rare commodity. The highest compliment or praise that I could give any martial artist would be to call that person a natural. Larry Beard is a natural." 

See previous articles covering Dr. Larry Beard's achievements: For more information about the WHFSC, visit their Web page at WHFSC.

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