PerfectlyPlanned Interview: Sensei Roy Pugh, Ultimate Warriors

Sensei Roy Pugh teaches a self defense class for women.

“I teach ladies who want to learn to defend themselves. A woman’s self defense mind set can be developed through proper instruction and mental conditioning.”  Don’t live in fear of being assaulted, grabbed, squeezed, thrown down or mugged, he advertises on his fliers. Educate yourself.

This is my new favorite place in Maplewood.  Kids in the neighborhood are always walking by and stopping in.  Students in his school walking with their friends to and from the corner store or on their way home or to a friend’s house often yell as they go by ‘That’s my karate teacher!’ or ‘I take karate there!’

Today I stopped in to catch-up with Sensei Roy Pugh.  Two boys from the neighborhood came in with questions on self defense. One of the boys relayed the story of a friend who had created a commotion at a dance, forcing their group to defend themselves against boys looking for a fight.  It started over a girl, (or rather, a jealous boyfriend, as the story goes). Either way, the story ended with both boys practicing today at Ultimate Warriors. They got a walk-in lesson on the correct fighting stance & how to punch – the right way.

The above pictures are of Senei Roy Pugh and his son Roy Jr.  Below is my interview with Sensei Roy Pugh, owner of Goshi Shun Ultimate Warriors Karate.


W. S. Hughes: How many years have you trained in Karate?

Sensei Roy Pugh: I always said when I’d get to 35 I’d stop counting.

W. S. Hughes: Could you tell me about your training background?

Sensei Roy Pugh: I started training at 16 in Salt Lake City.

I hold three black belts in Karate.  I have a 1st degree black belt in shotokan, a 4th degree black belt in afrijistu, and a black belt in goshi shun.

I’ve fought in tournaments in New Mexico, Denver, Utah, Alabama, Maryland & New Jersey.

W. S. Hughes: How long have you taught Karate?  What ages do you teach?

Sensei Roy Pugh: I’ve taught Karate for 6 years.   When it comes to training and confidence I believe it’s not the student, it’s the teacher.  I teach ages 3 and up.  I enjoy teaching and keeping kids of the street.

I love to train both kids & adults.  Kids compete in tournaments, at other schools, and learn how to defend themselves.

W. S. Hughes: Why did you decide  to name your school ‘Ultimate Warriors?’

Sensei Roy Pugh: I chose the name ‘Ultimate’ as unlimited – what you can do. ‘Warriors’ refers to someone who works hard and is tough.

W. S. Hughes: Do you live in Maplewood?

Sensei Roy Pugh: I’m  a resident of both towns.  I have a school in Maplewood & live in South Orange.

W. S. Hughes: We’ve talked before.  I know you’re southern. And a gentleman.  You’re from a large family.  Could you tell me another detail about yourself that I don’t know?

Sensei Roy Pugh: I was born and raised in Alabama.  I went to school at George Wallace Community College and joined the Army at age 25.  I was married at 19 and I have 6 kids, 3 boys & 3 girls.

I moved up here in 1983, and I’ve lived in South Orange for 13 years.

Sensei Roy offers Karate & self-defense classes for men and women, ages 17 & up, Tuesdays & Thursdays, from 7:30pm to 8:30pm, and on Saturdays from 12pm to 1:15pm.  Address: 415 Boyden Avenue, Maplewood, NJ 07040

Do you have a business in Maplewood that benefits our community in a special way?  Email me at if you’d like me to feature you and your business on this blog at no cost.

© 2010 W. S. Hughes l Updated 12.12.11



4 Comments Add yours

  1. Mike says:

    I enjoyed this article thanks for contributing 🙂 Cheers! Good job!

  2. Resident Planning Geek says:

    Hi Mike,
    Thanks! Nice of you to provide the link to your site. ;o)

  3. Renee Gillens says:

    Sensei Roy Pugh is an excellent instructor. My 6 year old daughter Gia as been training with Sensei since she was 3 years old. She loves training and gets sad when she misses a class. She has competed in numerous tournaments and have won numerous trophies and medals. I would recommend Goshi Shun Ultimate Warriors to everyone.

    Renee Gillens

    Proud to be a parent of an Ultimate Warrior

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