GRANDMASTER AMEER (ALFRED DENNIS)
Grandmaster Ameer has been studying and training in the Martial Arts since 1957. He is most noted for studying the Martial Arts style called Kyokushinkai under the great Grandmaster of the Kumite (fighting style), Masutatsu (Mas) Oyama. Mas Oyama is noted for defeating over 50 bulls with his bare hands and is accredited to be one of the originals to introduced Karate to the United States of America in 1952.
Grandmaster Ameer was first introduced to Kyokushinkai in 1957 by one of Mas Oyama's Chief Instructors, while he was in the United States Air Forces stationed in Hawaii. While in Hawaii, he became fascinated with Karate and started his Karate training. In the early 1960's, he went to New York City to one of Mas Oyama's schools under Mas Oyama's top instructors directed by Mrs. Yang to further his Karate training. His prior training while in the United States Air Force and his training in New York earned him his 1st Dan (Degree) Black Belt from the Kyokushinkai School of New York. He was asked by the Kyokushinkai Organization of New York to start a school (Do-Jo) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was donated boxes of Karate uniforms from Mrs. Yang, of which Grandmaster Ameer took much pride in and has always kept some of them as memorial history. When I use to visit Grandmaster Ameer's home with his lovely wife and five children, I would always admire all of the certified Black Belt certificates he proudly displayed on his living room wall of his home. His home was one of very few homes you could visit and witness a wall of wonderful accomplishments. His ranking certificates from the Kyokushinkai School of Karate dated back to the early 1960ís. Grandmaster Ameer was also one of the very few African-Americans back in the early 1960's who had authentic certificates of ranking from what many call a legitimate oriental Martial Arts Association or school. He has also studied and earned black belts in many styles such as Judo, Jujutsu, Shotokan and he also trained in Aikido for 2 years in Turnersville, New Jersey.
In 1964 Grandmaster Ameer started his own Karate school called AL'S KARATE CLUB -1964 - 1969 in West Philadelphia. He has taught the Martial Arts in many community centers and Y.M.C.A'S in the Philadelphia and South Jersey areas. He has been known previously as the COMMUNITY STUDIO OF SELF-DEFENSE- 1969 - 1970, AL-ALI-KHAN'S WAY OF SELF-DEFENSE- 1970 - 1971, and also THE SANCHIN SELF-DEFENSE SYSTEM - 1971 - 1975. In 1975 he changed the name of his Karate School to the AMEER'S SELF-DEFENSE SYSTEM.
Grandmaster Ameer was known for doing the great breathing KATA (Form) called the SANCHIN. He never stopped learning, training, sharing and teaching. Grandmaster Ameer also taught us Judo, Jujutsu, Kendo, Kick-Boxing, Security, Military Drill and First Aid. He developed a great number of Master Black Belts and Black Belts who made great accomplishments in the Martial Arts and society.
Since the passing of Grandmaster Ameer (Alfred Dennis) on August 29, 2004, I, Robert H. Dickerson being Grandmaster Ameer's highest ranked Black Belt, owner, chief instructor and Grandmaster of the Universal Pasha Karate School. We will always keep the true legacy and history of Grandmaster Ameer (Alfred Dennis) ALIVE.
These are just a few who received their Black Belts and Master ranking from our great Grandmaster Ameer (Alfred Dennis).
Grandmaster Early Kelley - (Shotokan)
Grandmaster Carl Beaman Sr. - (Bando)
Grandmaster Robert H. Dickerson - (Universal Pasha Karate School)
Master George A. Dickerson
Master Warren A. Dickerson
Female Master Wanda A. Dickerson
Master Salome Bey - (Universal Way Academy, Williamstown, New Jersey)
Master Zumar Redd - (Professional Security for many Celebrities)
Master Malvi Redd - (Professional Security for many Celebrities)
Master Karriem Redd - (Professional Security for many Celebrities)
Master Nate X- (Professional Security for many Celebrities)
Bro. Harees Hasson El- (Moorish Science Temple & Nation of Islam)
Grandmaster Ameer always stressed safety and respect for all in his Karate schools. HE WAS DEFINITELY A TRUE GRANDMASTER OF THE MARTIAL ARTS.
LIST OF Grandmaster Ameer's (Alfred Dennis) ACCOMPLISHMENTS
1957- 1961- U.S. AIR FORCE, Based in Hawaii (Mas Oyama Karate Instructions)
1961- Received his black belt in Kyokushinkai
1961-1964 Mas Oyama Karate under the direction of Mrs. Yang ( New York City)
1961- He join the Nation of Islam (Temple #12) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Alfred 4X Dennis)
1962- Nation of Islam (Temple #12) Philadelphia Martial Arts Instructor & Top Security Officer
1962 - 1975- Professional Security Trainer and security for the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, Imam Warith Deen Muhammad, Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, Minister Jeremiah Shabazz, Muhammad Ali and many other greats and celebrities.
1964- Received 3rd Degree Black Belt in Kyokushinkai Karate
1964- Started his own Karate Club in West Philadelphia
1964- 2001- Trained many Pennsylvania and New Jersey Police Officers
1965- Helped train famous boxers, in the development of their inner strength or KI
1967- Earned and received his Black Belt in Shotokan Karate
1968- Taught self-defense class at the Jewish Old Folks Home in Edison, New Jersey with great honors
1968- Earned and received his BLACK BELT MASTER'S DEGREE
1969- 2001- Trained the security for the largest Labor Union in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (LOCAL 332 / Sam Staten)
1971-1974- Chief Karate Demonstration Master for all of Temple #12 / Muslim Bazaars at the Blue Horizon in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with the famous MUHAMMAD ALI, MINISTER JEREMIAH SHABAZZ, JOE TEX, DELPHONICS, FIVE STAIR STEPS, KOOL & THE GANG, and many more.
1972- Trained two students who guarded the WHITE HOUSE in Washington, D.C.
1973- Trained the famous boxer Muhammad Ali's wife (Belinda Ali) Karate techniques in Deer Lake, Pennsylvania
1979- Honored for his community service by the Philadelphia Housing Projects for teaching Karate in the Richard Allen projects, Bartram Village, and many other Philadelphia Housing Projects. Ameer's Self-Defense System (Karate School) at that time was located at 2109 Ridge, Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19121.
1984- Started the Ameer's Self-Defense System in Camden, New Jersey for his student Mr. Robert H. Dickerson's Unity Community Center of S.J. Inc.
1985- He helped his student Mr. Robert H. Dickerson start his own school at the Unity Community Center of S.J. Inc., called the UNIVERSAL PASHA KARATE SCHOOL
1990- Honored at Rutger's University in Camden, New Jersey by 12 of his Master Black Belts and Black Belts and received a GRANDMASTER Plague for his 30 or more years of dedication to the community and the Martial Arts.
1996- Inducted in two prestigious Martial Arts Hall of Fames
1996- On September 7, 1996 Grandmaster Ameer gave out the highest rank of 8th Degree Black Belt to his student Robert H. Dickerson, for his accomplishments in Camden, N.J. and nationally.
My personal experience with Grandmaster Ameer and how meeting him was a blessing
I will always remember the time when my younger brother Warren found Grandmaster Ameer's Karate school on Old York Road in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1971. My two brothers George and Warren and myself were very excited to hear of this famous Karate Black Belt, whom many called the Black Oyama. As a writer, I always believe that you should honor and recognize those who sacrificed and made things possible for you to achieve great things through their struggles. It was a brother from the Nation of Islam, named Harees Hassan El, who introduced Carl Beaman Sr., to Grandmaster Ameer. My brother Warren met Carl Beaman, and he told my brother Warren how to find Grandmaster Ameer. That was the beginning of the greatest part of my life. My brothers and I trained very hard under Grandmaster Ameer whom at that time we all called Brother Alfred. I was once told by Grandmaster Early Kelley in 1973 that we were the hardest training brothers he had ever seen in America. Grandmaster Early Kelley and Grandmaster Ameer were both in the United States Armed Forces. Grandmaster Early Kelley would visit many Karate schools all over New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and he would come back to our Karate school in North Philadelphia and remind us of how powerful and hard we were, and especially myself and my two brothers who trained under Grandmaster Ameer.
As I traveled in the early 1970's, I started to witness what Grandmaster Early Kelley saw as he compared us to many Karate schools. We loved training in Karate and Boxing everyday. There were no days off from training. As of today, I try to keep close to the same type of training at my Karate school, called the Universal Pasha Karate School in Camden, New Jersey.
Meeting the woman of my life
While I was training in Grandmaster Ameer's North Philadelphia Karate School
on the corner of 29th & Poplar Streets in September of 1973,
a man came in and watched us train. There were approximately nine
young men including myself training in the school that day. When the class was over he came to me and said: Brother,
there is something about you I like, I want you to meet my daughter, who I
later learned was
actually his step-daughter. I asked him
when do you want me to meet her. He replied that he will get back to me. I asked
him his name and he said Brother Gordon Shabazz, who we later
founded that we had the same last name of Dickerson. We couldn't trace our
relationship, but we did learn that both of our Dickerson families in North
Philadelphia were from the same areas in Maryland. After he left, I asked
Grandmaster Ameer if he knew Brother Gordon and he said yes. He explain to me
that Brother Gordon
was a Boxing coach.
THE MORAL OF THE STORY
The Martial Arts (Karate) is a way of life. It has a built in mechanism that develops the whole person through body, mind and spirit. This beautiful girl, Wanda Annette Johnson ended up being my wife. I remember the sweet moment of taking her to her 12th grade prom in May of 1974. I also remember the night, which was Wanda's eighteenth birthday on March 27, 1975, I took her to my Boxing match at the Blue Horizon on Broad Street in Philadelphia. It was the Joe Frazier Silver Gloves Boxing Tournament and I was really happy that night because I won by a first round knockout. Wanda and I got married on September 27, 1975 in North Philadelphia. We were blessed with four beautiful children, two boys (Jamal and Nasir) and two girls (Atiya and Ayanna), through God's grace and blessings, all of our children have achieved high academic accomplishments as college students, cosmetology graduate, college graduates, school teachers and business managers. I met my wife in the Martial Arts and I promise to prepare a place just like Grandmaster Ameer did for my family and others. The Universal Pasha Karate School has many marriages and families today that happen in or because of the Karate school.
I promise to keep this story and legacy with updated photos and information. Perhaps, one day I will write my life story. SCROLL DOWN to observe some historical photos.
Inspiring words from Brother
Harees Hasson El which we will
always treasure, respect and follow:
WHAT GOD PUT TOGETHER LET NO MAN PUT ASUNDER
HOLY BIBLE / Matthew 19
6. Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
Twain - means two
Asunder- into parts or pieces - apart or separate in directions or position
Brother Sensei Robert H. Dickerson
Robert & George Dickerson & GM Ameer Oct 1974 Master Warren Dickerson 07/1984 Wanda Dickerson & Grandmaster Ameer 12/10/1976
photo represents to me (Robert Dickerson) the beginning of my true mission of
This photo taken 31 years later in January