As many young children growing up in the 1990's, Brandon was intrigued by the martial arts on television with characters such as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Power Rangers. But unlike other children, the passion for the martial arts was building up inside of him. At the age of seven Brandon received his first karate uniform for his birthday. After persisting and begging his parents to join karate for two years, he finally was handed a white gi and in 1993 the martial artist, Brandon Allen, was born...
Within his first few lessons, his sensei asked him how far he wanted to take his martial arts experience. Being the ambitious and imaginative child that he was, he answered, " I want to be a master, I want to be a champion, and I want to have a dojo." So far he has proved himself true to his word. His enthusiasm for the martial arts started to take effect on his entire family and soon his sister and mother had enrolled themselves as well.
In 1994, Brandon and his family decided to compete in local karate tournaments. Brandon did not fare well in the beginning of his career, but he embraced the competition aspect of martial arts and never gave up. When asked about his desire to compete, Sensei Brandon commented, "You have a dream, so get it! I loved training in martial arts, and competition was a part of it. I had dreams of being a champion, and my father always told me, you finish what you start, no matter what. When I would finally win a division I would set a new goal to be the state champ, then regional, national, and so on to worlds! I think deep inside, if I were to quit, then all of my martial arts training was for nothing, because we NEVER QUIT!"
In 1998-1999, all of his hard work and dedication paid off as trophies started taking over the house. By the year 2000, Brandon entered the National Black Belt League (NBL), competing in his first national tournament in Chicago at the A.K.A Grand Nationals with the competition team Midwest Force. He met many friends along the way, the Burns from northern Michigan, Ski Alison, Willie Hicks, Travis Plowden, the Stones, Pitlocks, Craig Henningsen, Chris Brewster, Ty Hinds, Brendon Huor, Mike Chat, the Leikers and so many more. He trained with martial arts greats such as, Master Sharkey, Master Plowden, Master Roberts, and Master Price. By 2002 he was finishing top three in the NBL in 15-17 year old black belt Korean forms, open and musical forms, open weapons and team and individual sparring. In 2002 in Panama City Florida and in 2003 in Houston Texas he took home his first world titles in the NBL. In 2004, Brandon crushed his ankle under 500 pounds only six weeks before worlds in the World Sport Karate Federation, hindering his 4 number one seeds. But that did not stop Brandon. He had trained too hard and too long to give up now and competed anyways. He walked out of the tournament with his first World Champion title in Korean forms. Brandon became a champion. One of his dreams now under his belt. He reached a level of status in the Martial Arts Community that many admire him for. People gravitate towards his kindness, determination, and passion for the arts. One of these people was Grand Master Charles Platten of Toronto, Ontario Canada who later in life will impact Brandon's career and training in a whole new way.
In 2004, American Martial Arts became a part of the Allen family. The previous owner saw the genuine spirit and unconditional love for the martial arts in the Allen family and she entrusted her business to them. A week after Thanksgiving in 2004, the Allen family dojo became a reality and another dream of Brandon's was completed. Brandon and his family have embraced martial arts as a way of life. "Teaching is what a higher ranking belt should be doing, and not necessarily just black belts. All of us who hold a rank above someone else have a responsibility to set an example in and out of the dojo. As a sensei we have started the journey of completing ourselves. Therefore it is up to us share our experience with anyone we can to help develop better people and a better community. To know that we can make a difference is huge to me. We will sacrifice everything to help improve the quality of life. This is what we teach...LIFE!" To this day, Brandon continues to teach and motivate many at Allen’s American Martial Arts.
Brandon first met Grand Master Charles Platten in 2001 during a seminar in Toledo, Ohio. They did not meet up again until 2004 during world titles, where Grand Master Platten gave Brandon some tips on his open form that carried Brandon to a second place performance. This was the beginning of a wonderful friendship. So far, Brandon had accomplished two of his goals that he set for himself as a small boy standing in front of his very first sensei back in 1993. Now, fourteen years later in 2007, Brandon was standing in the room with a living legend in martial arts. Not only that, Grand Master Platten was ready to take Brandon under his wing. This was it, the moment athletes dream of.
Like many legends, Grand Master Platten was in search for others willing to carry on the legacy. Brandon was the candidate. Of course, the legacy of Grand Master Platten will not be an easy task. But if anyone can live up to it, it's Brandon Allen. From Brandon's first experience with Grand master Platten, he "gratefully accepted and learned new forms of humility and what it really takes to be a black belt which I had for so long. I learned and continue to learn new levels of appreciation for the arts, the families in our dojos, and life. My family which includes all the martial artists I know and my students mean more to me than anything in the world." From 2008 to 2009 he spent most of those years in Toronto training with Grand Master Platten, and Brandon says he will continue to do so until “I reach the purist form of a martial artist I can, just as Grand Master has done."
During those years Brandon was privileged with several more opportunities. In 2007 he visited the tournament scene again and wrapped up several top five finishes at the NBL worlds. Including a second in choreographed self defense, and third in Korean forms. Brandon was also blessed to help instruct Ontario’s correctional officers. Additionally, Brandon co-authored a close-quarter combat manual with Grand Master Platten for the Canadian Armed Forces, along with instructing the manual to the Canadian Armed Forces at Base Camp Borden. This occurred in 2009 and led straight into an invitation to fight for team USA against 25 other countries in the inaugural year of the World Karate/Kickboxing Council. Where in October of 2009 in Dublin, Ireland, Brandon won Gold in semi-full contact continuous fighting and korean forms, and a Silver medal in team point fighting.
Brandon now holds his 4th dan black belt in American Kenpo Karate, 6th degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and 4th dan black belt in Chukido-Kwan and Hapkido. To this day he continues his pursuit of learning other styles and deepening his knowledge in his current arts. He is a part of the Martial Arts Teachers Association, World Kong Shin Bup Association, and World Black Belt. Brandon is a true martial artist. Not only in the sport, but in life. He demands the best from himself and by doing so, others demand the best in themselves.
"Martial arts is a way of life. Anyone who practices any art to the fullest will see improvement in all areas of life. A martial artist never compromises their integrity, they hold true to their morals, and will sacrifice. I think sacrifice is what more people need to get a grasp of in the world today. Our family along with Grand Master recently presented my father with an honorary black belt, because we do not know anyone who sacrifices as much as he has to support our martial arts dreams. Martial Arts can show a person how to conquer anything. God has blessed the human mind and body is capable of anything, recovering from great illnesses, overcoming disabilities, and doing the impossible. Martial Arts helps set the frame of mind to help mold amazingly wonderful people, with no prejudice, into their God given excellence." When asked who motivates him most in martial arts, he answered, "God, my wife and kids, my family and Grand Master motivate me. Their support is comparable to none. Without them I would have nothing. Everything I do is driven by what they have instilled in me. I continue my training and learning in hopes of bringing home the best for my family, Grand Master, and our students! I do not know what I, or my family would do if we could not help mold and change lives through our dojo. Thank you to all of our students, family and staff who make it happen.”
Today you can find Brandon teaching with the rest of his family at Allen’s American Martial Arts. He employs his martial arts skills at a local high school where martial arts instruction is delivered to special needs high schoolers in efforts to help them function better academically. Brandon still trains every day, is still competing, and training the next generation of world champions. He married his beautiful wife Grace in May of 2011, and has two wonderful kids Emma and Brandon Jr.. When asked what his greatest accomplishments have been Brandon says, “Accepting the blessing of the salvation of Jesus Christ, meeting, falling in love with, marrying and supporting my Amazing Grace, and raising my awesome children. Nothing compares to my family. I love them so much.” Brandon goes on to say he hopes he can be an even better man after God’s own heart, a husband and a father than what he has done in martial arts.
"The only reason they say perfection is impossible, is the ones before us didn't work hard enough. No matter what level you are or experience you have, there is always something more you can strive for. A necessity of life should be to always grow and improve."