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Dan Timlin


A look into his life

Dan Timlin was born and raised in Lansing, Michigan.  His love of the Martial Arts began at the early age of 5.  His mother would occasionally take him to her classes at Michigan State, where she was attained her master’s degree.  During these visits they would walk by a room in the IM building where Dan would watch the Judo and Karate Classes that were taking place. 

When the television show Kato was released, Bruce Lee captured Dan’s interest from day one.  Dan talked his father into ordering a book for him that was advertised on the back of a comic book, it was titled Ketsugo Jiu Jitsu.  When the book arrived in the mail, Dan began to practice on his brother in their basement, throwing him all around.  By this time Dan was 7 years old and fell in love with the Martial Arts.  His father was a boxer in the Navy and began teaching Dan how to box and he loved it!

In junior high school Dan began taking lessons from a teacher that had an after-school Karate Class, Okinawan Shoran Ryu, he earned his 5-degree black belt in this art.  Dan earned several additional instructor levels in multiple Martial Arts.  Dan’s love of Bruce Lee’s art (Jeet Kune Do) kept him continually interested from the time he was 7.  He continued to follow Bruce Lee and his teachings.  Dan would read everything he could get his hands on that had anything to do with Martial Arts. 

Remember, at that time there was no internet or YouTube or anything like this.  He would train like Bruce and do whatever he could to use the training methods of Bruce.  Bruce Lee passed in 1972 and his Art was carried on by his closest student, Dan Inosanto.

Fast forward to his graduation from high school, Dan went to college and had already decided he wanted to open his own Martial Arts School as his career.  In those days people thought he was crazy for pursuing this goal.  It did not stop Dan.  Dan went to his Instructor from Junior High School and asked his permission to open a school and to go and train with Dan Inosanto.  His instructor gave him permission and wished him well and the best of success.  Dan was his instructor’s number 1 student; Dan was his pride and joy. 

At this time, Dan Timlin and I met, Labor Day, September 1977.  We began dating and fell in love.  I went to college and when I was done with college, I decided to pursue Dan’s dream with him of owning his own business, a Martial Arts School.    

Dan worked diligently, day and night, 7 days a week to make things happen.  Dan Timlin was always ahead of his time, in many areas.  He put the system together so students could learn quickly and has the best.  He took the common denominators from all the arts he learned and put them into one system so students would not have to try and train in all the arts.  They could get it at Dan Timlin’s Academy.  

In addition, Dan Timlin wanted to teach students that Martial Arts was not all about the fighting, it was about the entire person.  Dan Timlin was very educated in several philosophies.  Dan was a reader and researcher.  Dan had a very high IQ, and he was a kind and gentle soul as well as a tough, hardcore Martial Artist, he developed the balance in his life and wanted to help others do the same.  Dan incorporated the philosophy of self-development into his teachings of the Martial Arts. 

Dan wanted to open Martial Arts up our youth because he would say, “Children are the future of this country, and they need the best of worlds, the best self-defense, and the great philosophy to live by.

This is just a short overview about Dan Timlin, my husband, my best friend, the love of my life and my soulmate.  Dan Timlin passed on July 25, 2020.  I have dedicated my life to him and his legacy.  This non-profit organization is just one aspect of what I am doing to preserve Dan’s Legacy.

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