The Black Lotus Martial Arts Association:  History

The black Lotus Martial Arts Association became an
actual entity in February of 1992.  Its birth wasn’t
so much a deliberate act as it was a natural
occurrence that was a number of years in the making.
The founders and early members of the organization had
been meeting and exchanging ideas and knowledge for a
number of years.
The primary founders, Shihan Donald Miskel and Sifu
Tony Roberts were the instructors of two separate
groups in the Hyde Park Community near the University
Of Chicago. Sensei Miskel had been teaching at several
locations in and around the Chicago area, had founded
several schools and had teaching quietly for many
years. His focus was self defense instruction for
civilians and specialized, individual training for law
enforcement personnel and security officers. He worked
in several areas of law enforcement, mental health and
personal security as well as performing Pastoral
duties at several churches and ministries for a number
of years. Sensei Miskel started his training in 1959
at the Jiu Jitsu Institute in Chicago and trained with
several well known and respected martial arts
instructors in a number of disciplines. He attained
black belt ranking in six different martial art
disciplines before helping to create the Black Lotus
Combative System and founding the Dante Ryu Gojute
Kenpo karate/ Ju jitsu fighting system.
Sifu Tony Roberts also started his training at the
Jiu Jitsu institute in 1959. He received black belts
in several styles of Jiu Jitsu as well as in Judo. He
also trained in the Chinese internal martial arts with
Master George Hu. Master Roberts taught a modified
system of Pua Kua, Hsing I and Tai Chi Chaun as well
as  several external forms of Kung Fu. Master Roberts
simplified the Chin Na , Suai Jaw and Jiu jitsu
techniques which he refered to as modern Pua Kua Chang
Chin Na. These techniques were later combined with
Sensei Miskel’s Jute Ryu Aiki Jiu jitsu to form the
Chin Na techniques of Yinchi Tao Chaun Fa.
Also proving instrumental in the creation of the
Black Lotus Martial Arts Association were Sensei
(Master) Robert Hackett, Master Freeman Foxx and
Sensei G. C. Guards.
The name of the Black Lotus Martial Arts Association
was the compilation of several ideas visualized in the
symbol of a water orchid. The lotus flower lives its
existence floating on water. Its roots connect it
firmly to the bottom and it is vary difficult to
dislodge. The water it lives on symbolizes Chi or Ki,
the intrinsic life force. The lotus flower floats
lightly on the water moving freely with the current
but despite its freedom of motion it is firmly rooted.
This freedom of motion and its simultaneous firm
rooting typifies the martial artist. Like the lotus he
moves with the current avoiding breakage yet is
immovable because of his strong roots. A lotus also is
comprised of a number of petals, symbolizing the many
martial arts that make up the whole. We choose, “Black
Lotus” because the organization was initially African
American in focus. We have since broadened our scope
but we retain the name to symbolize a secret hidden in
shadow, waiting to be discovered by the curious
The BLMAA initially came about to fine tune the
abilities of young black belts. Dan ratings were being
issued in much less time than in the past and many of
these new black belts were found lacking in their
skills. They had the knowledge but couldn’t always
implement their knowledge in a critical situation.
What started as an interchange of advanced instructors
with new black belts became a club and eventually an
organization. Thusly the BLMAA became a true
organization and is still growing and evolving today.
Today Shihan (Rev.) Donald Miskel ThD. Is the head
master and chairman of the BLMAA as well as the SW
regional president. GM Larry McFadden is
the Organization’s President. The new addition of
Regional Director  Master Peter Lee has spread our
influences beyond the continental United States to
Australia giving our organization an international
scope. Peter Is the Master of two International
organizations ( Thunderbolt Kenpo International and
Kenseiryu International) and has proven invaluable to
our efforts.
The BLMAA has lost several key members in the last
several years but it continues to thrive. The BLMAA is
a Christian based organization and we feel that in as
much as God is in the plan it will continue to grow
and to progress.
Our vision is to develop students strong in body,
soul and spirit. Men, women and children of strong
faith with good, sound character. We accept all
schools, systems and styles of martial arts into our
ranks. If you share our vision, please feel free to
join us. Catch the vision my martial arts brothers and
sisters. We are on a mission.



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