Grand Master Lawrence Hall
Grand Master Lawrence (Larry) Hall was born on July 7, 1960 in Reno, Nevada. His interest in the martial arts
dates back to his teen years. In high school Master Hall found his idol Bruce Lee's fighting style captivating.
Master Hall began training in Kempo Karate Chun Fa with Chuck Valentine at the age of 17. He met Master
Archie Alexander (who promoted Hall to first degree in July of 1988) and Master Joey Walker at a
tournament. Impressed with their movement, Hall trained for 8 years in the Goju-Shorei Kifaru Karate
System under Master Joey Walker. During this time Master Archie and Master Walker introduced him to
Master Steve Muhammed and Master Donnie Williams. Motivated by Muhammed, Hall wanted a stronger
Kenpo foundation and returned to study with Chuck Valentine where he received a black belt in January of
1988. During this time cross training was not accepted. This created tension and animosity between
instructors, and Master Hall chose to isolate himself in Goju-Shorei. He felt that Goju-Shorei had the feeling
of Kenpo with its ties to Master Muhammed and Williams, through which he was further educated by
joining B.K.F.

Master Hall received a third degree in Goju-Shorei from Master Stanford McNeal and he choose to
cross-train in Shotokan karate, because Shotokan had a strong foundation in all the arts he was familiar
with. He began to train with Clyde Kanekoo who was an eighth-degree black belt. Master Hall received
private lessons and later received his first Masters degree under Master Kanekoo.


The Creation of Goju-Kenpo

When Master Kanekoo left the area, Master Hall was unwelcome in other martial art studios because cross 
training was not an accepted practice at the time. Therefore, Hall trained independently with different 
individuals who he felt would help him continue to grow. It was during this time that Master Hall studied the 
history of Bruce Lee and his system and Hall decided to create a system mirroring Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do.

In the martial arts world of the time, it was political suicide to take the purity of Chinese, Japanese, and
American systems and merge them together. Therefore Master Hall was stripped of his rankings by his
previous instructors. These rankings were later reinstated, but by then Goju-Kenpo had been born. The
name Goju-Kenpo does not truly represent the system, as it is a universal system with no prejudice.

Goju-Kenpo incorporates different philosophies from many different systems. Master Hall worked with
Eddie (Junior) Sanchez, Billy Menzera and Jay Quinahan, who put the Tae Kwon Do into the system, Ruben
Espinoza and Archie Samples who introduced Master Hall to Sensei Gouhl, who placed the Okinawin Shorin
Ryu weapons branch into the system, Charlie Michaels, who put in the Judo and Master Abracie, who put in
the escrima/arnis. The student's studying with Master Hall's at this time were Stefan Raulston and Kevin Vokes.


Goju Kenpo Today

Goju-Kenpo is recognized through the governing body of the Shaolin Martial Arts World Federation who
certified Master Hall to fifth degree black belt in Karate-Kickboxing. Grand Professor Billy Vargas promoted
Master Hall to this rank in October of 1991.
Even though Master Hall promotes Goju-Kenpo, he remains loyal to the Goju-Shorei system. He attributes
much of his success to Master Stanford McNeal who took him under his wing, acting as his guide and
instructor. Says Master Hall, "I wish the best for and a very special thanks to Master McNeal for letting me
stay and train at his home in Las Vegas."