Instructor Bios

Grandmaster Bobby Lynn

   *** Started my training in Kenpo Karate under Master Fred Bagley in October of 1973 at United Studios of Self Defense – East Boston ***

July 22 & 23, 1978 –  1st Degree Black Belt – United Studios of Self Defense – East Boston under Instructor Bob Pearlswig (took over for Master Bagley in 1977).

In the winter of 1978, I relocated to Watertown, and started my training at the Waverley Karate Club under Shihan Rocky DiRico.

 1979 – Graduated from East Boston High School, and in the fall, I was accepted as a student at Emerson College – Boston, Mass.

December 10, 1980 – 2nd Degree Black Belt (Nidan) under Shihan Rocky DiRico – Watertown, Mass.

January 13, 1984 – I was promoted to 3rd Degree Black Belt in American Kenpo (Sandan) by the International Kenpo Karate Association (no. 10145) under the legendary Great Grand Master Ed Parker, in Revere, Mass., and also by Shihan Rocky DiRico – Watertown, Mass.

1985 – Graduated from Emerson College – Boston, Mass. with Bachelor of Science in both Mass Communications/ TV & Radio Broadcasting & Psychology.   

Activities and Societies: WERS, WECB, Emerson Independent Video, WQTV-68, etc.

January 26, 1990 – 4th Degree Black Belt (Yondan) under Shihan Rocky DiRico – Watertown, Mass. 

Months after the test, I was awarded the title of RENSHI (Disciplined Instructor).July 17, 1997 – I was promoted by the legendary Professor Nick Cerio to 5th Degree Black Belt in American Kenpo Karate – Warwick, Rhode Island.

April 1998 – Inducted into the Rocky DiRico’s Kenpo Karate Hall of Fame.

November 7, 1999 – The Martial Arts Collective Society – (Sacramento, California) under the tutelage of Hanshi Bruce Juchnik & another Kenpo pioneer, Professor Paul Yamaguchi, internationally recognize and acknowledge my 5th Degree Black Belt (Godan) in Kenpo Karate – Medford, Mass.   

Prof. Yamaguchi was one of the original Black Belts ever to be promoted by GGM James Masayoshi Mitose – the man who started it all!

1999 – Became a Certified Defensive Tactics Instructor for the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Training Council – West Boylston, Mass., which later was renamed Massachusetts Police Training Council.  I am currently a Sergeant with the Bentley University Police Department, and have been employed there for the last 30+ years…Patrol Supervisor for the 11p-7a shift.  Additionally, I am a Certified Defensive Tactics Instructor, and actively teach at the Massachusetts State Police Academy – New Braintree, Mass. for both the Special State Police Officers & State Police Municipal Academies….. August 2017 recertified as a LEVEL 3 Massachusetts Police Training Council Certified Defensive Tactics Instructor, instructing at the In-Service level, Reading, Mass.

2002 – The World Martial Arts Federation recognizes “Bob Lynn’s Kenpo” as a professional and valid school.

During this time, I had the opportunity to train in Shaolin Long Fist and Yang style T’ai Chi under Dr. Zibin Guo in Waltham, Mass.   Dr. Guo has since relocated and is the Chairman of the Biology Department at the University of Tennessee / Chattanooga. 

October 16, 2004 – Inducted into the World Martial Arts Federation Hall of Fame for Kenpo Master Instructor of the Year.

November 22, 2004 – I was promoted by another legend – Professor Larry Garron, who is my current Martial Arts Instructor – to the rank of 6th Degree Black Belt (Rokudan) and was also awarded the title of SHIHAN (Master Instructor).  Professor Garron is a former professional football player for the Boston (New England) Patriots.

November 21, 2008 – another very special day in my Kenpo life occurred in Burlington, Massachusetts when Grand Master Steve Nugent (with guidance and verification from Senior Grand Master S. George Pesare) promoted me to 8th Degree Black Belt (Hachidan).  I was also awarded the title of PROFESSOR (Honorific title meaning qualified expert, one who has reached the highest level in their field, based on contributions to research, training, teaching and administrative processes).  SGM Pesare is the man who brought Kenpo Karate to New England, and was Prof. Cerio’s first Kenpo Instructor.

August 4, 5 & 6, 2011 – I was inducted into the Kenpo International Hall of Fame in Las Vegas, Nevada.

June 2016 – Promoted to 9th Degree Black Belt (Kudan) and title of Grandmaster under the auspices of the IKCG and GM Nugent.

March 2019- Inducted into the U.S.A. Martial Arts Hall of Fame, Newark, NJ, as Kenpo Grandmaster of the Year, as well as being inducted into Cervizzi’s Martial Arts Association Hall of Fame.

June 2019-  Inducted in to the International Kenpo Council of Grandmasters Hall of Fame.

August 2019-  Was featured instructor at the Gathering of Eagles/Kenpo International Hall of Fame, Miami Beach, FL.

Tournament Career Highlights

1981 – East Coast Karate Championships – 1st place Kata & 3rd place Middleweight fighter

 In 1981 was ranked #3 Middleweight Fighter in Region 12 / New England under K.R.A.N.E.)

1982 – Superstars Karate Championships – Black Belt Hard Forms 3rd Place

Outlaw Karate Championships – 1st place Forms & 3rd place Fighting and overall — Grand Champion Black Belt Forms

 1983 – East Coast Karate Championships – 3rd Place Black Belt Forms

Cynthia Rothrock / George Chung Championships – 2nd Place Black Belt Kenpo Forms

 1985 – Kenpo Karate Championships – 2nd Place Black Belt Forms East Coast Karate – Kung Fu Championships – 2nd Place Black Belt Forms

Battle of the Superstars by Barbara Niggel – 3rd Place Black Belt Kata

 1986 – Ocean State Karate Championships – 3rd Place Black Belt Kenpo Forms

 1986- Kata Finalist in Black Belt forms – Boston National’s Tournament

1987- Kata Finalist in Black Belt forms – Boston National’s Tournament

 1997 – 3rd Annual World Kenpo-Kempo Tournament – 1st Place Black Belt Senior Kata (ages 35-42)

 MISC….

Co-Founder, lead and backing vocals and rock/blues harmonica player for ANY GIVIN DAY, a classic rock band, which plays throughout New England. 

 Proud father of son Bobby III and daughter Taylor 

Shihan Chuck Thyne

Shihan Thyne began studying martial arts in early 1980 under Grandmaster Rocky DiRico in Watertown, Massachusetts. He also trained under Grandmaster Bobby Lynn, and has been a loyal and dedicated student of Grandmaster Lynn’s ever since. He is the senior instructor of Bob Lynn’s Kenpo Karate and the longest tenured student of Grandmaster Lynn’s since 1980. He is currently a Rokudan; a 6th Degree Black Belt in American Kenpo/BLKK. Shihan Thyne was also a senior instructor for over 10 years at New England Karate Academy in Worcester under Grandmaster Alan D’Allessandro. Shihan Thyne has attended numerous Masters seminars, including one with Professor Paul Yamaguchi, who is one of the original 7 black belts of Great Grandmaster James Mitose. Shihan Thyne’s competition highlights include the 1986 Nick Cerio’s USA vs AFRICA Tournament.

Shihan Mary Callahan-Gros

Shihan Callahan-Gros also started her Martial Arts training in 1980 under Grandmaster Rocky DiRico in Watertown, Massachusetts.  While under the direction of GM DiRico, she also trained with GM Lynn, and have continuously trained under GM Lynn in the Kenpo system. Shihan Callahan-Gros is currently a Godan; a 5th Degree Black Belt in American Kenpo / RDSKK.  She also trained with a former student of GM Lynn’s, Shihan Pat Matthews in Kenpo and Small Circle Jiu Jitsu.  Shihan Callahan-Gros has extensive experience in teaching and competition, and she always maintains a positive attitude of always being the student. She adds, “The martial arts are the perfect outlet to develop one’s mind, body and spirit.  The Martial Arts, to me, are a way of life”.

Stephen A. Taranto, Jr., J.D.

Stephen has been in law enforcement for almost 40 years.  He is retired from a large metro-Boston Police department and has also worked in Federal Law Enforcement.  Currently he is the Director of Public Safety for a large University in Boston.  Stephen is also retired from the Military. 

Stephen is a senior instructor for the state’s police training agency where he conducts instructor-level training in several disciplines.  One of those disciplines is Police Self Defense and Defensive Tactics.  Stephen lecturers nationally on law enforcement and security related subjects and is a Graduate–Level Adjunct College Professor. 

Stephen began his martial arts training over 40 years ago where his first instructor was his father.  His concentration was in the art of Jujitsu.  He has practiced several martial arts and considers Kenpo his base art.  Before joining BLKK Stephen studied for many years under Kenpo Instructor Master Ronald Gately of Masters Self Defense Centers.  Stephen has attended and presented at many seminars and specialized training sessions.  Seminars he has attended  include seminars by Senior Grand Master S. George Pasare.  Stephen currently holds the rank of 3rd Degree Black Belt in BLKK and in 2019 was awarded Renshi title by Grand Master Lynn.

Stephen has been married for 35 years and has two adult daughters.  He is a graduate of Western New England College and he holds a JD from Massachusetts School of Law.