Mr John Wilkerson

Profile of Presenters

Mr John Wilkerson – 3rd Degree

Florida, USA


Mr. Wilkerson began his training in 1983 at a local Tae Kwon Do school in Lakeland Florida.

During the late eighties and early nineties he focused on medieval weaponry, and spent much of this time digging deep in to the nuances of body movement for generating striking power. His bladed weapon of choice became the Glaive or Nagamaki.

He returned to the more traditional arts in the mid nineties, and started his Hapkido training under Sun T. Choe. He stayed with this program for nearly a decade and eventually became the schools primary Hapkido teacher. He was twice awarded Hapkido instructor of the year.

The late nineties brought another new training direction, and Mr. Wilkerson pursued the use of small arms for self defense.

By 2010, he began training in Aikido and Shorin Karate. This addition of new styles allowed him to pressure test his techniques, and structure new approaches to already learned skills. He found the addition of hard grounded karate blended perfectly with the gentle touch of Aikido. His Hapkido benefited greatly from the experience.

In 2012 he started Gold Tree Martial Arts. The school focuses on Hapkido as its base style, but is heavily influenced with the striking concepts from karate.

Mr. Wilkerson is a theory based teacher and expects students to be able to execute techniques and concepts from several different starting positions, and under diverse conditions. He also teaches weapons early in the curriculum. This allows older students to become competent with the cane or short stick before they reach a point in which they may need it for daily support.

He is an active member of several martial arts groups around central Florida, and can be found attending or teaching impromptu sessions throughout the area.

He owns and manages the Martial Art Black Belt discussion group on LinkedIn. The group hosts over 14,000 black belt members. He also writes for his blog under the name:

He can be reached through his school website: