I am Iron Man or Toper as he is more commonly called. Mike is an 80’s guy grooving to the smooth tunes of Earth, Wind, and Fire or Chicago (Hey, at least Peter Cetera had a theme song for Karate Kid). His favorite food is a Jack Stack Ham & Beef Sandwich, which he accompanies with a nice portion of his favorite cartoon, Veggie Tales.
Beginner - Advanced
Independence, Cornerstone Church
Hello, my name is Mike Tope and I will be your child’s karate instructor for the semester. After thirty-one years, I recently retired from public school education. Several Hickman Mills students may know me, as I have worked in every school as an assistant principal or instrumental music teacher. I still have a love for music and play drums most Sundays at First Baptist Church in Raytown.
I began studying Matsubayashi-ryu Shorin-ryu karate in 1973. While I have studied some Aikido, Chinese weapons (Wushu – fan, broadsword, straight sword and staff), my primary study has been under Sensei Yuriy Gevorkov. Our primary focus is on the Heian series of shotokan empty hand katas. If you go to the class website you can see my brother, Randy, and I performing Pinan katas in tournament competition. The Pinan katas are very similar to the Heian katas. You can also see us sparring when I still had hair on top of my head. I am a 1st degree black belt in Shindo-ryu. Shindo-ryu incorporates elements from several fighting styles. Empty hand katas primarily focus on Shotokan interpretation of the Heian series and our kicks are primarily Taekwondo kicks.
As a former teacher and assistant principal, I believe it is important for students to learn to stand up to bullying in the right way, in and out of school. Our main objectives will be #1 anti-bullying / safety/stranger awareness and #2 have fun. Some of our learning will be through games. Along with this, discipline and respect will be our semester long focus. ACTIVSTARS has given me the opportunity to combine my love for the martial arts along with being a positive role model to children while teaching them important values.