Dan Popp

Dan began the study of Isshin Ryu Karate in 1982 training under his father. He was elevated to the rank of hachi-dan (8th degree black belt) by Grandmaster Toby Cooling in April 2022. Dan was named the 2008 Male Instructor of the Year by the International Isshinryu Hall of Fame and subsequently inducted into the Isshinryu Hall of Fame in July 2013. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Order of Isshin-Ryu. Dan’s training in martial arts also includes Modern Arnis and Kombatan. He is a student of these stick fighting arts originating in the Philippines under the direction of Grandmaster Rick Manglinong, where he currently holds the rank of Lakan Anim (6th degree black belt) in SMP Arnis. For the past fifteen years, Dan has been a student of Chi-Ryu Jiujitsu training directly with the founders: Grandmaster Isham Latimer, Master John Costanzo and Master John McDonald. Dan holds san-dan ranking (3rd degree black belt) in Chi-Ryu Jiujitsu.

In 1990, Dan began his study of Kendo under Sensei Duk Yeong Kim, progressing to the rank of yon-dan (4th degree black belt). In tandem with Kendo, Sensei Kim provided Dan instruction in the art of Shodo or Japanese calligraphy. Although his Kendo/Shodo sensei passed away in 2007, Dan continues to practice Shodo to honor his teacher. Dan’s works have been exhibited at Mulberry Art Studios in Lancaster, PA and at Gallery at Second in Harrisburg, PA. Nationally his commissioned works can be found in Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Texas, and Virginia. His international commissions include Australia and Canada. Dan has recently started combining the traditional aspects of Shodo by introducing acrylics on larger canvases to expand the possibilities of his art. He is also branching out into abstract subjects with emphasis on building texture into his work.

He is the author of five books which are available on Amazon: Sensei’s Final Lessons – A Memoir, The Floating Brush: Learning Japanese Calligraphy from a Kendo Master, Order of Isshin Ryu – One Family, One Dojo, Essence of Reflection, and Chi-Ryu Jiujitsu – Energy Way of Gentle Technique. Dan’s writing credits also include the former Bugeisha magazine: No. 10 (September 2021), No. 11 (January 2022), No. 14 (October 2022), and No. 16 (April 2023).

A 1994 graduate of The Pennsylvania State University with a B.S. in Professional Accountancy, Dan was employed in 1999 by the National Credit Union Administration where he still serves as a federal examiner specializing in IT audits. He holds several IT and information security audit certifications including CISA, CGEIT, and CRISC. He has two daughters, Britteni and Kayla, and was recently married to his wonderful wife, Connie, in March 2024 in Mexico and now has a step-daughter Carolina and granddaughter, Constanza who live in Mexico.