Hall of Fame honor surprised Brassette

Bill Brassette opened his Seibu-Kan Karate Studio in Grand Junction in 1976 and recently was honored with an induction in the World Professional Martial Arts Organization Hall of Fame.

A Hall of Fame induction was far from his mind.

Bill Brassette, owner and head instructor of the Seibu-Kan Karate Studio of Grand Junction, left on an airplane at 6:30 a.m. on Jan. 14, headed to New York City to watch his longtime instructor, John Roseberry, receive a promotion to great grandmaster and a doctorate of martial arts.

Brassette, who opened the academy at 1420 North. Ave., in 1976, said he landed at 6 p.m. that night, 30 minutes before his teacher’s promotion. Clad in the first outfit he could snap together — cowboy boots, a new pair of jeans, a large belt buckle and a sport coat over a Western-style shirt — Brassette left the Pennsylvania Hotel by Madison Square Garden and showed up to the World Professional Martial Arts Organization Hall of Fame ceremony — just in time to be inducted into the Hall of Fame himself.

Brassette said he immediately spoke to Aaron Banks, who established the hall in 1968.

“I said I just came to follow my teacher getting his award,” Brassette said. “I told him I’d been studying martial arts for more than 40 years. He said, ‘How many years?’ And they put me in the Hall of Fame right there.”

Brassette was a nationally ranked tournament competitor for several years. His karate studio reportedly is one of the oldest and, at 5,000 square feet, largest karate schools on the Western Slope (http://www.seibu-kan.com).

The studio specializes in traditional, Okinawan Shorin Ryu karate with programs for adults and children.

And now the studio has a Hall-of-Fame instructor.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet,” Brassette said. “After all these years, I’ve just kept working. My students are proud and my peers are proud.”


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