SENSEI MICHAEL HERWAY
Sensei Michael Herway is Urban Kempo's founder and head instructor. Competitive by nature, he played the gamut of sports as a child, eventually focusing on basketball and football which he played into college. In undergrad he developed a passion for the humanities and traded in his cleats and high tops for books. After completing his MA in American History, Michael decided against the academic path in favor of the martial arts. "I went up to New York City where I had attended undergrad to meet with my first great mentor. We took a long walk along the Hudson, and I was sure he was going to encourage me to pursue academics after all of the time he'd invested in me. But he simply reminded me that while I have two callings, most people never discover one. To rest on it, trust in myself, and then move on it passionately." The arts have served Michael perfectly as a healthy balance between the physical and conceptual. Most of all, however, the arts have given him a space to grow a familial community, and discover and cultivate a new relationship with mentor and trainer, Grandmaster Paul Taylor, as well as assume the privileged role of mentor himself, to his protege Soraya Garcia-Semedo.
GRANDMASTER PAUL TAYLOR
Grandmaster Taylor is a 10th degree black belt and head of the Board of Masters at Z-Ultimate Self Defense Studios, as well as the founder of the Kenpo Lineage Association. He first met Sensei Mike in China in 2008 and awarded him his black belt in 2009. He has served as his exclusive instructor and mentor since 2013. GMT travels from California bi-annually to interact with and train the Urban Kempo students, and oversees the promotion of every Urban Kempo brown and black belt. In addition, students of Urban Kempo are invited to train at Z-Ultimate dojos across the country. So whether in Virginia, California, Colorado, Washington, Arizona, Minnesota or Utah, we are able to continue our practice in a familiar environment.
Urban Kempo is the only Kempo school in the DC area that enjoys a direct lineage through a Grandmaster.
Sensei Sean began studying Shaolin Kempo in California under Grandmaster Taylor's team at age five. He met Sensei Mike roughly a decade-and-a-half ago when Sensei Mike began studying Shaolin Kempo in Old Town, and worked alongside of him for a short period before enlisting in the USMC at the age of 18. Stationed in Japan for most of his service, he visited Urban Kempo periodically during his leave visits home to his family, who live in Maryland. Eventually Sean was stationed back in California, where he resumed his studies with Z-Ultimate Self Defense Studios. Sensei Sean is one of the best instructors in the country, and while he heavily considered the prospect of staying on the West Coast and teaching with Z-Ultimate, he decided to return to the DC area to be with his family. On one special day in April 2018 Sean called up Sensei Mike and asked with an air of humor and excitement, "Hey, is that offer still on the table?" This was a no-brainer. Sean is a HUGE addition to the Urban Kempo team as he not only carries a decades-old knowledge-base of Urban Kempo's Shaolin system, but he has been teaching both kids and adults since before he was an adult himself. Sean has been family to the Urban since it's inception, and you will no doubt enjoy his laid back, charming smile that exudes a humble confidence that only a true martial artist can. If you enjoy the finest, then you'll enjoy Sensei Sean, and you'll no doubt want to pursue your martial arts journey at Urban Kempo!
CONTACT OR VISIT US!
3000 N Washington Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22201 (on the corner of Highland and North 10th)