Master Tommy True

9th Dan, Senior Board Member

Master True (9th Degree) began studying Isshin‑ryu in 1963 under Grand Master Harold Long. In 1964 Master Long and Mister Bobby Dodd opened Master Long’s second dojo in Harriman, Tennessee. Mister Dodd turned the school over to Mister True in 1966, and it now holds the distinction of being the oldest continually-operating Isshin‑ryu dojo in the state of Tennessee.

The Roane School of Isshin‑ryu teaches only traditional Isshin‑ryu, adhering closely to the techniques originally developed by Shimabuku as he taught them to Grand Master Harold Long, and as he taught them to Master Tommy True.

Master True’s notable awards are I\induction into the Isshin‑ryu Hall of Fame (IHOF) in 1988, IHOF Instructor of the year in 1982, and the IHOF Spirit of Isshin‑ryu Award in1987. Master True is widely recognized as an unapologetic supporter of the ways of Grand Master Long and considers his most significant promotions to be when Long awarded him his sho-dan rank in 1965, his roku‑dan rank in 1981, and his ku-dan rank in 1998. Master True served as President of the International Isshin‑ryu Karate Association for eight years.

He is retired from the Y-12 National Security Complex where he worked in electrical engineering for 37 years. Prior to that, he served in the United States Air Force for four years. Master True lives in Kingston, Tennessee with his wife Kay. They have one daughter, Lisa, and a granddaughter, Tayler.