Jonathan Potter, a 5th Degree Black Belt in American Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan Tae Kwan Do, has been involved in the Martial Arts since he was 11 years old. Mr. Potter started his path in the Martial Arts with Mr. James Boecker, who instructed him from 1993 to 1998. He then moved to Oklahoma, where he earned his Black Belt under Dale “Apollo” Cook. While going to college, Mr. Potter studied and worked out with various Martial Artists, including the American Bushido-Kai Karate Association. In 2005, he met Mr. Brian Bryan, an 8th Degree Black Belt in American Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan Tae Kwan Do, and begin to train under him; eventually earning his 3rd Degree Black Belt. Jonathan Potter graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in Management Sciences and Information Systems. Jonathan is often called “JP” by his friends.
I was born September 12th, 1982 in California to a loving family. I grew up most of my life in Texas, from when I was 3 until 15. I was raised in the Church and a Christian household, and came to know Jesus when I was 5 years old. For most of my life I walked shakily with the Lord. When I started high school, I begin to let my anger and dislike of school to grow. Halfway through my freshman year of high school, my family moved to Oklahoma.
When I was 17, I ran away from my parents, sisters and home because of pride and thinking that I could do things better than what my parents were telling me to do. I moved in with people that weren’t doing the best of things. They would drink many nights, getting drunk; they would do illegal drugs. During the entire time I was there, I could always feel the presence of God in my heart, telling me not to do those things and to go back home. I thank God today for that, because I never did the drugs and I never harmed my body. After a few months, I returned home to my parents.
I relate this story with the parable Jesus told in Luke of the prodigal son. In the story, after the son has taken his portion of his father’s wealth and spent it all and participated in many things in the big city, he was left with nothing and working with pigs, eating what they ate for food. He finally returned home, and his Father welcomed him home with open arms, even with all the bad things he had done. It is great to know that God is just like that. That no matter what you have done, no matter how bad of things, he will always be there waiting to welcome you home and to forgive you.
Later, after a few years of college, I decided to start working out again. I hadn’t been praying much, and my walk with the Lord was faltering. I met a group of people who worked out in the Martial Arts that began each class with prayer. I started to work out with them and my relationship with the Lord grew. Through this group, I ended up meeting Brian Bryan, and saw that I could use what I loved to do, the Martial Arts, to tell others about Jesus Christ and how he died on the cross for our sins. I went on my first Mission Trip with the Combat Team to Brazil. I’ve been going on Mission Trips every since.
It is amazing how God can use the skills and gifts He gave us in such amazing ways. I look forward to the future Mission Trips and seeing in what ways God will use me to further His Kingdom. Now that I’m in the Texas area, I hope to do demonstrations in the Dallas Area through the Combat Team, and grow up a Team in the area.