Professor Harry Baker's 10th Degree Black Belt has been recognized and approved by the America Karate Association (AKA) on September 25, 2021 based on his original promotion to Professor/10th Dan in December of 2018.
Under Professor Ibrahim Sharif's East Orange School of Martial Arts
Professor Baker received his Black Belt in Kenpo Karate back in November of 1983
Professor Baker has received Black Belts from or has direct lineage to Grandmasters/Professors Ibrahim Sharif, Ed Parker, kalii Kano Griffen, Moses Powell, Ronald Duncan and more.
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Professor Baker prioritizes youth and speaks to science based martial arts.
Harry Baker, Jr. an East Orange native, began his martial arts career in the state of New Jersey under his first Sensei: Mr. George Pryor, who was later to be known as Ibrahim Sharif. It was in 1975 with Sharif and Sensei Bernard Truesdale in the East Orange School of Martial Arts that Baker received his first brown belt in Shito Ryu. Shortly thereafter Baker’s life and professional career took him to the state of Massachusetts. Having a love for the martial arts, he sought out a new school and found Grandmaster Kalii Kano Griffin’s Iron Dragon where he was formally introduced to both Chinese Kenpo Kung-Fu & Ed Parker’s American Kenpo.
Traveling back and forth between two states, in 1983 Baker received his 1st degree Black Belt in multiple forms of Kenpo under Griffin and Parker as well as Bernard Truesdale at the East Orange School of Martial Arts where Shito Ryu/Shotokan was taught at the time. Baker’s ranks were recertified/recognized by the American Karate Association and the International Kenpo Karate Association in the same year.
By 1984 Baker had returned to New Jersey and opened a school on Central Ave in East Orange and developed a science based martial arts system using karate as a catalytic mechanism to teach the sciences. Baker realized that a science-based program would give young students career opportunities as they progressed in the martial arts. This was done under the Griffin’s Iron Dragon school banner when Baker had his second dan in Chinese Kenpo. While maintaining a link to Griffin, Baker eventually branched out on his own changed the name of the school to Baker’s Red Iron Dragon. Although Baker studied with several teachers, by 2008 both of his Kenpo Grandmasters (Ed Parker & Griffin) had died leaving him with the honorable Ibrahim Sharif as his primary source of martial arts knowledge.
Nonetheless, prior thereto, because Baker was permanently back in New Jersey in the late 1990’s he had returned to the mentorship of his first teacher Master Ibrahim Sharif who in 1997 awarded Baker his 5th Dan in Shito Ryu & Combat Ju-Jitsu. Baker continued to train with Sharif until present day moving up through the ranks until Baker eventually earned his 10th Dan in 2018.
Mr. Sharif himself was one of the few, if not the only senior black belt to study and earn rank under the great Professor James Cheatham, Professor Ronald Duncan and Dr. Moses Powel. Moreover, it was at a gathering of masters from all over the world designed to honor and promote Master Kevin Thompson to 10th Degree Professor wherein Professor Kevin Thompson elevated Ibrahim Sharif to the rank of Professor & 10th Degree.
Several years later, in front of many witnesses at AJ Walkers School of Martial Arts in Orange, NJ, on December 15, 2018, Professor Ibrahim Sharif promoted Harry Baker to the rank of Professor 10th Dan and issued him his Red Belt. On September 25, 2021 the American Karate Association (founded in 1964) acknowledged Baker’s Professorship by issuing a 10th Dan rank certificate of approval in the art of Chito Ryu further cementing his standing in the martial arts community.
In addition to earning the standard Dan ranks, Baker was on a constant journey for knowledge and excellence. Accordingly, in 2008, Baker was inducted into the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame and earned his Doctorate of Martial Arts Philosophy, Ph.D. from the University of Asian Martial Arts Studies. Baker also wrote a proposal to the Plainfield and East Orange Board of Education which included 15 different public schools for martial arts and archery instruction under his direction. During that time there was an attempted child abduction in the Plainfield NJ school system. This unfortunate incident helped drive the need for Baker’s self-designed Danger Stranger Program. There were over 600 public school students who received the benefits of this and general martial arts programing. For his work with the youth, he received the Work & Community Award from Pfizer (Pharmacia) and was featured in a video for which former United States Secretary of State Colin Powel praised his efforts.
At the time of this writing, Baker, now one month away from his 71st birthday, has spent the majority of the last 50 years teaching over thousands of children both in the New Jersey and Connecticut public school systems and his own private dojo. He has groomed multiple Black Belts with his top two students being Sifu Rodney Armstrong and Sifu Kahlil Sabu Rashidi. Notably, Baker also taught Eldridge Hawkins, Jr from the young age of 7 who grew up to become the former Mayor of Orange, NJ. Shihan Eldridge Hawkins, Jr. an AKA certified member, is a recognized martial arts leader in different organizations throughout the United States including but not limited to the United States Ju-Jitsu Federation which attributes his success in large part to Baker’s ongoing instruction.
Professor Baker who was born and educated in East Orange, spent 27 years in pharmaceutical sales, served as a substitute teacher, where he was praised for his ability to teach science and math when teachers were out for extended periods of time due to illness or pregnancy and completed his degree in Biology and Physical Science at Upsala College, East Orange, NJ. Accordingly, it only makes sense that he has been teaching science-based martial arts since 1977 with the ultimate mission of reaching and teaching at least one million children.
With a mind for Ninjitsu and weaponry passed down conceptually from Professor Ronald Duncan through Professor Ibrahim Sharif, Baker specializes in archery. As such, in addition to the traditional martial arts certifications, Baker is a Certified Archery Trainer/ Instructor, (USA Archery, National Field Archery Association, American Shooters Association), Certified Archery Instructor for the National Archery in Schools Program and President of Golden Eagle Archery Academy with 45 years’ experience in archery and teaches his advance black belts to use the archery as a means to teach hunting and survival skills. He served as the Director of K-9 Training for New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway Police Division (2004-2007) and served as Trial K-9 Decoy for the Garden State Schutzhund Club (1990-1994). He is President of K-9 University and creator of the K-9 Kids Danger/Stranger Program. Professor Baker feels that the K-9’s are ultimate uke’s which gives the higher rank students the ability to engage in real combat.
For a time, Baker taught his own evolved version of Chinese Kenpo/American Kenpo/Chito-Ryu/Combat Ju-Jitsu including many different elements until 2003 when he ultimately created the Fusion Kenpo Ju-Jitsu System. Fusion Kenpo captures the very best of everything he learned from all his teachers thereby “fusing” it into his own style that is carried on by his students today. His science based martial arts system is the foundation, structure, and direction of his encrypted vision. His mantra to all his students is: “the martial arts must be taught with an educational component which transforms into growth and educational opportunities.”
Presently, with over 53 years in the martial arts Professor Harry Baker has reopened a traditional dojo at the UFC Gym in Orange, New Jersey where he, with the assistance of his senior instructors, continues his lifelong journey imparting his wisdom in the martial arts onto others.