Dr. Raheem Ali Gardner started his martial arts career at 11 years old in June of 1967 with Sensei Edward W. Boze in Newark, New Jersey on Lyons Ave at the Intercepting Fist School of Martial Arts. His style of martial arts was Jeet Kung Chi Goju, Ketsugo Karate. Dr. Gardner had received his purple belt on June 28, 1971. This was during the time when schools did not promote every 2 to 3 months and the average student did not make black belt in one or two years - you had to work for it.
In September of 1973, Dr. Gardner had changed karate schools from the Intercepting Fist School of Martial Arts to Sunny Side Dojo on 43rd Street in New York, New York under the teaching of Grand Master Ron Van Clief. At this time, Grand Master Ron Van Clief was a 6th Degree Black Belt. Under Grand Master Van Clief, Dr. Gardner was now learning the art of Chinese Goju Ryu; he would have to start his rank over from white belt.
In January 1975, Grand Master Ron Van Clief promoted Dr. Gardner to the rank of green belt. Dr. Gardner already had a minimum of eight years of training by this time and still had not received his black belt. As a child Dr. Gardner was very competitive and would go to karate tournaments all over the tri-states area. There were many karate tournaments that would be held at the Boys & Girls Club on Hawthorne Ave. In Newark, New Jersey where the competition would be the "Best In The World". People like the Kareem Allah from the KA system, Grandmaster Moses Powell, and Grandmaster James Fame, Mr Boze (founder of the Turtle System), Master Earl Ross, Little KA 8th. Wonder of the World, Robert White, Happy Robot Crump, and many more. This was the best of the best everywhere in the world.
After 10 years of training had gone by, on September 21, 1977, Dr. Gardner would receive his black belt in Goju Karate. In October of 1977 while traveling to El Paso, Texas, Dr. Gardner met Grand Master Charles Dixon, founder of Shaolin Goju and President/CEO of Shinjimasu International Martial Arts Association. Grand Master Charles Dixon had trained Dr. Gardner up to the level that he is at today. In December of 1977 Dr. Gardner would have a karate tounament in Honolulu, Hawaii where he would win first place over and over again until 1981. Dr. Gardner has competed in over sixty tournaments all over the Island. In March of 1981 Dr. Gardner again would compete all over the world fighting now under Shinjmasu International Martial Arts Association and the guidance of Grand Master Charles Dixon.
Dr. Gardner was stationed in Fort Stewart, Georgia when Grand Master Dixon would have a talk with him about teaching others the arts of Goju. He had informed Dr. Gardner that he was ready, and now the arts of Karate would not be all about him anymore; he would need to give back to his community and teach the styles of Jeet Kung Chi Goju, Chinese Goju, Shaolin Goju Karate. In August 1982 Dr. Gardner would open his own karate school in Bremerhaven, Germany and have over 100 students. Outside of Grand Master Dixon, Grandmaster Raheem Gardner was the first student in the Shinjimasu International Martial Arts Association to become an international instructor. The school in Germany was filled to capacity and operated from November 1982 to July 1987.
In 1987 Dr. Gardner would have orders to be stationed in Dallas, Texas as a United States Army Recruiter where he would have to slow down his martial arts career, but not for long. Dr. Gardner would compete in various places in Texas winning 1st and 2nd place at numerous tournaments. In 1991 Dr. Gardner had orders for
New Haven, Connecticut. It would be here that Dr. Gardner would engage himself in a new art and karate school - the Newhaven Martial arts Academy in Guilford, CT. He learned Tang Soo Doo Muk Do Kwan, excelled for 24 months, and later was promoted to 1st Degree Black Belt.
March of 1993 Dr. Gardner then traveled to Fort Benning, Ga and opened Columbus Karate Academy; two years would pass and Dr. Gardner would open Columbus Karate Academy Full-Time. Dr. Gardner's clients would be, US Army Soilders,Columbus Police Officers and many other law enforcers; In 1995 Dr. Gardner would began to accept children into the Columbus Karate Academy.
In 1996 Dr. Gardner's students competed in The Battle of Atlanta. Three of Dr. Gardner's sons won 1st place, 8 students won 2nd, 3 placed 3rd, and 4 came in 4th. At the Battle of Atlanta Dr. Gardner had been introduced to Grandmaster Billy "Superfoot" Wallace. He asked Dr. Gardner if he had ever been to any tournaments in Florida and was told that his student's could be well on their way to Disney Sports Arena. In October 1999, Dr. Gardner had received news that his student's would represent the state of Georgia live on Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports where his students would eventually win over 16 gold medals.
In 2002 Dr. Gardner's student's would go on to compete in the World Tae Guek Won World Masters Cup Karate Championship; winning 48 World Master's Cups the following year he would go on to win 22 World Master World Cups. In 2003 Columbus Karate Academy would represent it's state once again on Disney ESPN Wide World of Sports finishing with 11 gold medals and 5 silver.