Dan began the study of Isshin Ryu Karate in 1982. Currently holding the rank of Nana-dan (7th degree black belt), 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, founded by Toby Cooling in 1971. Dan’s training in martial arts is diverse and he holds the following yudansha ranks: Order of Isshin-Ryu (7th degree), Manasyu Karate (5th degree), SMP Arnis (4th degree), Kendo (4th degree), and Chi-Ryu Jiujitsu (1st degree).
He studied the art of Shodo, or Japanese calligraphy, from his Kendo sensei Duk Yeong Kim. Although his Kendo/Shodo sensei passed away in 2007, Dan continues to practice Shodo to honor his teacher. His Shodo 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 also promoted two tournaments for the World Kumdo Association (Korean Kendo) in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The 1st World Kumdo Association tournament held in 1998 and the 2nd U.S. Open Kumdo Championships held in 2001 where he received the Kumdo Ambassador Award.
He is the author of three books which can be ordered through Amazon or the publisher in both print and Kindle:
- Sensei’s Final Lessons – A Memoir, published in 2012 by Outskirts Press.
- The Floating Brush, Learning Japanese Calligraphy from a Kendo Master, published in 2014 by Kamel Press.
- Order of Isshin Ryu – One Family, One Dojo, published in 2018 by Kamel Press.
Sensei Popp has two publications in process at this time, one of which will present the martial art of Chi-Ryu Jiujitsu, founded by Masters Isham Latimer, John Costanzo, and John McDonald. Dan is currently an editorial contributor for Bugeisha magazine, a quarterly publication focusing on the traditional aspects of the martial arts.
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 resides in Harrisburg, PA with his two daughters, Britteni and Kayla.