Sensei Daniel Middleton began his martial arts career in February of 2013 in Sensei Jason Geiger’s garage. Sensei Boyd would come work out with them twice a week after attending classes at the Newton Aikido Club. These sessions started with weight training, P90X, running, and sparring. Around the same time, Sensei Boyd took Mr. Middleton out to California for a missions trip, and in an almond grove, he began to show him some of the Aikido principles. After their return, Sensei Boyd asked Jason Geiger and Daniel Middleton to join his Cheonjikido class which, at the time, only consisted of one other student. In May of 2013, Catawba Valley Martial Arts officially opened at the Hickory Granary, and Sensei Middleton has been actively involved since. In October of 2014, Daniel Middleton and Jason Geiger traveled to Dhaka, Bangladesh to help Sensei Boyd conduct some martial arts demonstrations as a platform for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In March of 2016, Sensei Middleton earned his brown belt in San Pedro, California before the last students of Nam Suk Lee, the patriarch of indigneous Chang Moo Kwan. This was in conjunction with Sensei Boyd’s Chang Moo Kwan Nidan test.
Sensei Middleton received his black belt at Catawba Valley Martial Arts on January 14, 2017 after a grueling 3-day test that involved 20 kata, 100 Ippon Kumite, 100 Advanced Ippon Kumite, 5 weapons kata, up to 4-on-1 kumite, various types of randori, including 8-on-1 and 3-on-1 armed, spontaneous knife attacks with a double-edged live blade, presentation and bunkai application of a traditional form of his choice, and an oral presentation of a written thesis in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the rank of shodan. All of this was done before a board of ranking martial arts instructors representing Cheonjikido, Tomiki Aikido, and Chang Moo Kwan. In addition to the formal test, Mr. Middleton completed First Aid/CPR Certification and all Cheonjikido academic requirements.
Daniel Middleton is a strong fighter, a solid teacher, and has had the privilege of personal one-on-one training with Sensei Jack Mumpower: a former student of Kenji Tomiki and Hideo Ohba and the patriarch of Tomiki Aikido in North America. He helps run Catawba Valley Martial Arts when Sensei Boyd is involved in overseas missions.