While attending high school, a teacher began discussing the benefits of martial arts training with him.It fell on deaf ears, as his interests laid elsewhere.After two years of conversations, Mr. Fitzpatrick stumbled Nisei Goju-Ryu dojo of Kyoshi, Earl Monroe in 1970. Kyoshi Monroe, by now a triple black belt in Judo, Ju-Jitsu and Goju-Ryu, was a hardnosed, no nonsense instructor.A student of Master Frank Ruiz, Monroe believed in long workouts and strong sparring.You had no choice but to improve.
The move to Iona College in New Rochelle separated Mr. Fitzpatrick from Kyoshi Monroe; fortunately, his Goju journey continued.He joined the U.S.A. Goju Karate Club supervised by Master Albert Gotay.Mr. Fitzpatrick came up through the ranks as an Urban Goju-Ryu karateka.Upon graduating from Iona in 1975, he asked Master Gotay, a direct student of Chief Grand Master Peter Urban, for permission to work with the Grand Patriarch.Master Gotay directed him to Goju Hall, NYC. Training at the Honbu (headquarters) dojo was truly an enlightening experience for the young karateka.Masters of Goju-Ryu would stop in and train on a regular basis; but most fascinating of all were the classes of the Grand Master.Mr. Fitzpatrick was promoted to black belt by Urban in 1976.
Lacking a place to train in his hometown, he asked permission to open a dojo in New Rochelle and it was granted.Goju Hall II was opened in 1976. By 1977, Mr. Fitzpatrick began working with Master Frank Ruiz, founder of Nisei Goju-Ryu at The University of the Streets, NYC and reunited with Kyoshi Earl Monroe at Nisei Ni, Mt. Vernon, N.Y.He founded the New Rochelle Karate Institute in 1978 and reconnected with the Nisei System. In 1978, at Kyoshi Monroe's suggestion, Mr. Fitzpatrick began training with Prof. Albert Dandridge; a member of Nisei Ju-Jitsu and a Ju-Jitsu dojo brother of Kyoshi Monroe.Mr. Fitzpatrick traveled through the ranks eventually being promoted to black belt in 1988.Prof. Dandridge maintained weekly contact with Mr. Fitzpatrick.
A tournament competitor and referee, he began competing in 1974.Included in his tournament record are 1st place fighting wins in 1974, 1975, 1978, 1981, 1986 and 1988.He was also the Grand Champion of the 1981 tournament.Mr. Fitzpatrick retired from tournament competition as a 4th degree black belt in 1988. Additionally, Mr. Fitzpatrick sponsored five open karate tournaments from 1984 until 1988 hosted by the Metrofit Athletic Club.
Mr. Fitzpatrick has also instructed at several colleges and schools throughout metropolitan New York area.He has been an adjunct professor of Physical Education at Concordia College, City College of the City University of New York and Sarah Lawrence College; where he inaugurated and taught martial arts courses.He also developed and taught martial arts after-school programs for the New Rochelle School District and Scarsdale Union Free School District, NY.
By 1999, Mr. Fitzpatrick realized that it was time to self-incorporate his own organization.Again, with Chief Grand Master Peter Urban's consent, Mr. Fitzpatrick began Nisei Goju-Jitsu, an eclectic synthesis of his Goju-Ryu and Ju-Jitsu experiences.Mr. Fitzpatrick was promoted to 10th degree black belt by the Grand Patriarch in 2002.He deepened his repertoire by training in Bujinkan Tai-Jutsu in 1992 and obtained his black belt rank in 2007.Upon his retirement in 2012, Prof. Albert Dandridge appointed Soke Fitzpatrick, inheritor of Nisei Ju-Jitsu.