On Saturday – July 29, 2017 Sensei Brian Pena was declared and confirmed as the Owner and Headmaster of Zen Shotokai Karate and Kobudo by Ms. Maria Kimmey, wife of the late O’Sensei Virgil Kimmey, 10th Degree Blackbelt (Judan) who passed away May 22 in the year of our Lord 2002 and was also at this time gifted O’Sensei Virgil Kimmey’s gold ring which was used as his personal seal for certificates and awards dating back over 50 years. This proclamation was acknowledged and confirmed by O’Sensei Virgil Kimmey’s senior student since 1967, O’Sensei Mike Hess, 10th Degree Blackbelt (Judan), as well as Mr. Larry Bullard, Mr. Charles Burris, Mr. Sam Chapman, Mr. Bill Daniels, Mr. Jerome Johnson, Mr. Marty Knight, Mr. Danny McCall, Mr. Jerry Piddington, Mr. Ricky Smith, Mr. Ricky Taylor, and Mr. James White.
On Thursday – November 1, 2018 Ms. Maria Kimmey and Sensei Brian Pena signed a legal ‘Consent and Authorization’ witnessed by O’Sensei Mike Hess and Ms. Allison Pena authorizing Sensei Brian Pena to affix the signature and seal of O’Sensei Virgil Kimmey to certificates and other awards provided to his students who have obtained excellence in Zen Shotokai.
“For you see though, it’s not the rank or title that matters, but who signs your certificate – these are people that believe in you, and I feel honored that these incredible men and women believe in me. Thank you to everyone that pushes me to work hard every day to improve myself and my students.” – Sensei Brian Pena