Shihan Mike Franco (5th Degree Blackbelt / Godan) started training at the age of 8 under his father, Shihan John M. Franco Sr, in Toppenish, Washington. While training hundreds of students at TMAA (which he opened at age 24 with Sensei Sarah) Shihan Mike has continued his own training with a variety of sensei including his father (until Shihan John’s death in 2013) and Hanshi Morris Mack—founder of the American Shudokan Association—(until Hanshi Mack’s death in 2017). Other instructors who have had notable influence were Shihan Tereo Chinen, Spokane; Shihan James Tawatao, Las Vegas; and Shihan Akio Minakami, Seattle.
Shihan Mike loves seeing people succeed both in and outside the dojo. Since 1998, teaching karate has allowed him to combine the two passions in his life: exploring his own growing hunger for deeper knowledge of karate and his desire to see people succeed in life. It is his calling to coach and mentor students through their respective journey to achieve their goals and dreams. This approach has seen Shihan Mike and Sensei Sarah use Shudokan Karate to help hundreds of students be better leaders in their homes, school, church, or wherever their journey leads them.
Introducing sport karate into his training was fundamental in sharpening Shihan Mike’s body and skills. Throughout his martial arts career he has become a very accomplished competitor. Aside from winning various national and international gold medals from 1992-2016, he has also coached many national champions between 2013-2018. Shihan Mike is the head instructor at both the Richland and Hermiston Dojos. He also teaches at the Yakima School of Karate weekly.
Sensei Sarah Franco (2nd Degree Blackbelt / Nidan) started taking small self defense classes when dating Sensei Mike Franco in 1997 from his father Sensei John M. Franco Sr. at the Toppenish School of Karate. She started her first white belt class when engaged to Sensei Mike in May of 2000 at the Trinity Martial Arts Academy in Kennewick, WA on S. Washington Street. She started instructing the kickboxing program in August of 2001 because it was her favorite class and Sensei Mike said he was no longer going to teach the class and if she wanted the class she would have to teach. She was taught primarily from Sensei Mike but enjoyed learning from Sensei John Franco, Shihan Mack and various seminar guests at National and International competitions. She loves karate as a venue to work out physically and practice her self defense. She is passionate about karate because she believe EVERYONE needs to learn and practice SELF DEFENSE on many levels so that when confronted with darkness in the world every person will have the tools they need to WIN. From her students she expects them to grow physically, emotionally and spiritually. She enjoys teaching students to think P.E.E. (Practical, Easy, Effective). Sensei Sarah co-owns TMAA and the Yakima School of Karate with Shihan Mike. She primarily teaches at the Richland Dojo.
Sensei Logan Winn (2nd Degree Blackbelt / Nidan) started taking Karate in 2007 when it was offered as a new class at the homeschool co-op she was attending, Three Rivers Homelink. Logan started training with Shihan Mike Franco and has since enjoyed learning from Sensei Sarah and Nathan Franco. Her passion for Karate stems from her own personal empowerment and confidence that she now lives in, as a direct result of the challenges she has overcome in karate and the community she was surrounded by at TMAA. For her, everyday is a new day in training, regardless of experience, to come with empty hands and receive new knowledge in training hard. She expects the same from all her students, weather 4 years old or 84, that they would come with open hands, willing to work hard, and that they would speak the truth over themselves and others as they do it. She has specialized in bo staff training and competitive karate, winning a National Championship in 2012 for the bo. Her greatest passion however is making self-defense accessible to vulnerable communities, and considers learning how to best serve those communities her highest priority. Sensei Logan currently holds the position of General Manager at Trinity Martial Arts Academy. She teaches at the Richland Dojo.
Sensei Steve Stoneking (2nd Degree Blackbelt / Nidan) is an instructor at the Richland Dojo.
Sensei Sam Breshears (1st Degree Blackbelt / Shodan) is an instructor at the Hermiston Dojo.