Grandmaster Phil Little studied Isshinryu Karate under the late North American Pioneer, Grandmaster Harold G. Long for over three decades. During his competition years, Hanshi Little was known as a fierce opponent and well-rounded Karate-Ka, competitive in Kata, Kumite and Weapons.
On September 23rd, 1998, prior to his passing, Grandmaster Harold G. Long conferred upon Hanshi Little the rank of Ju-dan, 10th Degree Black Belt and requested that Hanshi Little carry forth the Shimabuku-Long lineage of Isshinryu. He also signed and dated his personal red belt and presented it to Hanshi Little. At the September 23rd meeting with Little, Grandmaster Long and the Long family, Grandmaster Long entrusted Hanshi Little with the honor and responsibility of carrying forth his lineage. He charged him with the mission of furthering the challenge given to him in the early 1950’s by Grandmaster Tatsuo Shimabuku, Soke, to advance Isshinryu Karate and spread his teachings throughout the United States and beyond. At this time he conferred his blessing on the formation of the United States Isshinryu Karate Associationä (U.S.I.K.A.). He called it, “The Isshinryu Association of the Future.”
Grandmaster Harold Long passed away on October 12th, 1998, and through his Last Will and Testament, bequeathed his personal Isshinryu Karate files, awards and memorabilia to Hanshi Phil Little. Hanshi Little chose to remain at Ku-Dan (9th Degree Black Belt) out of respect for Grandmaster Don Nagle, a fellow Pioneer and Comrade of Grandmaster Long until the passing of Grandmaster Master Nagle on August 23rd 1999. Hanshi Phil Little then resumed the original conferred rank of September 23rd 1998 of Ju-dan.
In its founding year, the U.S.I.K.A. proved itself a force to contend with at the Isshinryu Hall of Fame Tournament, the largest gathering of Isshinryu Karate-Ka worldwide. The Association established itself as a competitive force of over 100 Karate-Ka strong. Members were victorious in Overall Team Competition, Kata Grand Championship, Men’s Kumite Grand Championship, and Overall Grand Champion as well as many additional division championships in Kata, Kumite, and Weapons.
Hanshi Little’s professional achievements are many:
- 1st generation and Hanshi to Grandmaster Harold G. Long, Ju-Dan, Pioneer, Isshinryu Karate
- Inheritor of the Harold G. Long lineage, Shimabuku-Long Isshinryu® and promotion to 10th Dan awarded by Grandmaster Harold G. Long personally, along with a letter of authenticity signed and witnessed in the presence of his family.
- President and Founder, United States Isshinryu Karate Association
- Founder of Isshinryu Tactical Solutions / Instinctive Tactical Solutions (I.T.S.)®
- 4 time International Karate Champion
- Co-author of Okinawan Weapons and Bo Fighting Techniques with Grandmaster Harold G. Long
- Co-author of Okinawan Weapons, Sai and Tonfa Fighting Techniques with Grandmaster Harold Long
- Isshinryu Hall of Fame Member, Inducted 1992
- Isshinryu Hall of Fame “Dojo of the Year” awarded in 1984 and 1996
- World Head of Family Sokeship Council International Hall of Fame, Inducted 1997 of Silver Lifetime Achievement Award
- World Karate Union Hall of Fame Member, Inducted 1997 as Karate Man of the Year
- World Head of Family Sokeship Council International Hall of Fame, Inducted 1998 as “Outstanding Contribution to Isshinryu Karate”
- World Head of Family Sokeship Council International, Made a Member of The Sokeship Council 1998
- Universal Martial Arts Hall of Fame Member, Inducted 1998 as Grandmaster of the Year – Weapons
- World Head of Family Sokeship Council International Hall of Fame, Inducted 1999 Grandmaster Instructor of the Year, Isshinryu Karate
- World Karate Union Hall of Fame Board of Directors 1999 elected and presented the Sword of Honor by a special presentation by Grandmaster Don Nagle in Memory and Honor of Grandmaster Harold G. Long
- Universal Martial Arts Hall of Fame Induction 1999 for Organization of the Year (United States Isshinryu Karate Association)
- World Head of Family Sokeship Council International Hall of Fame, Recognizes Internationally by Induction 2000 “Inheritor of the Shimabuku-Long® Lineage of Isshinryu Karate”.
- Australian Martial Arts Hall of Fame, Inducted 2000 Hall of Fame Member and added as a Sokeship Council Member
- World Karate Union Hall of Fame Inducted 2000 Most Distinguished Board of Director
- World Head of Family Sokeship Council International Hall of Fame, Inducted 2001 “Ambassador of Isshinryu Karate-Do”
- Action Martial Arts Magazine Hall Of Fame Inducted 2001 “Grandmaster of the Year, Isshinryu Karate-Do”
- International Police Tactics Instructors Association, Vice President and South Carolina State Director
- Past Chairman and Board Member of the Isshinryu Hall of Fame
- Past Vice President of the International Isshinryu Karate Association (I.I.K.A.) Resigned 1998
- Member of the United Isshinryu Council
- 2002 Appointment to the “Advisory Council of the Police Martial Arts Association International”
- 2002 Universal Martial Arts Hall of Fame. Induction as “Grandmaster of the year, International Police Tactics, (I.T.S.) ™ Instinctive Tactical Solutions ™. Isshinryu
- 2002 World Head Of Family Sokeship Council Hall Of Fame International, Induction as, “Pioneer of Isshinryu – Instinctive Tactical Solutions (I.T.S.) ™
- 2003 World Head Of Family Sokeship Council “Board of Advisors”
- 2003 International Martial Arts Hall Of Fame, “Board of Directors”
- 2003 Inducted into the International Martial Association Hall of Fame and recognized as the Inheritor of the Grandmaster Harold G. Long’s Lineage (Shimabuku-Long Isshinryu) by the I.M.A.A. President Grandmaster Gary Alexander and the I.M.A.A. Board of Directors
- 2003 World Karate Union Hall of Fame “Outstanding Board Member of the year Award”
- 2003 Induction into the Texas Martial Art Hall Of Fame
- 2004 The World Karate Union Hall of Fame’s “Most Distinguished Board Member”.
- 2004 “Leadership Award for Isshinryu Karate” by the World Head of Family Sokeship Council Hall of Fame.
- 2005 Elected and Ordained as an “Elder” in the First Presbyterian Church of Anderson South Carolina
- 2005 Appointment as The “Southeast Regional Director” Alabama Florida Georiga SouthCarolina Tennessee and Mississippi for the United States Police Defensive Tactics Association
- 2005 Inducted as “International Grandmaster of the Year” by the World Head of Family Sokeship Council Hall of Fame.