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Shihan/ Fuku Kancho Jerome J. Gumbs Yondan

Maryland Branch Chief/Fuku Kancho

  Jerome J. Gumbs was born on July 21, 1964 at Harlem Hospital in New York City.  Jerome was the youngest of five siblings.  H was raised by his mother (Dora Gumbs), Father (James Gumbs), along with  two brothers and two sisters on 125th Street and 2nd Ave; just a few blocks from the famous Apollo Theater.  At the age of 10, he and his family moved upstate, Monticello New York to get away from the increasing drugs and crime in his neighborhood.


   While high school Jerome was  on the track team and played football, but his desire was to learn martial arts.  After graduating from high school, he went to Sullivan County Community College to study computers, and while there he connected with a friend named Jeff  who recenty got out of the Army (Special Forces) and was a karate instructor.  Jeff taught Jerome kung Fu (Tai chi Kun do) and combat fighting, he also he learned humility and the importance of side stepping and endurance in sparring.  Jerome was Jeff’s only student for a year before they started teaching high high school students.  Jerome had a lot of admiration for Jeff and noticed most people were intimidated by Jeff because he was 5’ 11, a solid 230lbs and moved as fast as a cat.  Jerome also learned that Jeff was asked to be one of Mike Tyson’s sparring partners because he was so fast with his hands and feet, but he refused because boxing wasn’t his thing, kung fu was his passion.


   Jerome left college and joined the Air Force in December 1986.  His first assignment was at Yokota Air Base Japan.  Jerome was in search of a marital arts system that would meet his needs and challenge him.  He tried several different martial art styles before joining the Kyokushinkai class taught by Sensei Clymer.  He liked this system because he could kick to the legs, use knees, and elbows.  He also learned how to use power with speed.  Jerome entered his first full contact tournament and did okay against the heavily favored Japanese fighters.    Jerome trained harder for the next tournament and  finished in 2nd place after two double overtime semi-final and final fights during his brown belt test in spite of the fact that he injured himself after the third of six fights.


   Jerome went on to receive his black belt in May of 1989 and that same year he married his wife Lisa in September.  Idris placed  Jerome in charge of the class after he left Japan and Jerome taught the class for 3 years to include teaching off base at Sensei Nakia’s dojo.  He was recognized as an outstanding instructor by Shihan Josei Yamada, head of the Kanto Plains area Kyokushinkai Dojos.  Shihan Yamada and Jerome also became good friends and he asked Jerome to host a BBQ on base for the top fighters in the Kanto Plains area which was indeed an honor for Jerome.


   Jerome left Japan and was assigned to Castle Air Force Base, California.  While there he decided to expand his marital arts trainnig and enrolled in a Chinese martial arts school.  Upon leaving California, he was stationed at Andrews AFB, Maryland and decided to become a certified physical fitness trainer and due to his training skills he became his unit’s best physical trainer.  The commander named Jerome’s training style “Gum-Bo or Jerome-Bo” because he incorporated kicking and punching in his training.  Jerome had his first son Jerome T. Gumbs (JT).  He trained his son in the basics of martial arts then enrolled him in Tae kwon do under Master Lynnette Love, the 1988 Tae kwon do Gold medalist.  Jerome’s second son Jason also joined Master Love’s class.  Currently JT is a third degree black belt  in Tae Kwon Do and a first degree in Kaifuku Kerai Shin, and Jason is a 2nd degree black belt in Tae kwon do.


  When Jerome returned from Korea, he found a Kyokushinkai school an hour away and he quickly joined the class.  He trained under Master Robinson a 5th degree black belt.  Jerome quickly gained the respect of Master Robinson and his classmates and was allowed to teach clases in Master Robinson's absent.   Jerome taught the class the way he did in Japan and received praises from all the students.  Master Robinson asked Jerome to start teaching the class at least once day a week and didn’t require him to pay for classes any longer.  Jerome had to stop training because he severely sprained his ankle and later the school closed.  Many people asked Jerome to teach again but he didn’t have the time because he was still in the military and going to college.  Fast forward a few years later, Jerome completed his Master’s degree in Information Assurance and learned that Idris started his new style, Kaihuku Kerai Shin.  Kancho Clymer asked Jerome to join his new style and to start teaching again.  Jerome gave it much prayer and thought, then decided to move from Kyokushinkai and join Idris in his new style because he liked the Core Principles and the training stayed basically the same as Kyokushinkai.  Jerome is a believer in the old adage, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it”.

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