To whom it may concern:
I have known Daniel Pope for almost twenty years during my term of service as Pastor of The Blue Church in Springfield, PA. I have watched him grow from a brash teenage kid with lots of potential to a mature adult significantly impacting the lives of everyone he touches. He is blessed with a lovely wife and daughter, and his noteworthy achievements include all that he is currently accomplishing through his karate school, all he is doing in his various leadership roles at The Blue Church, and through his numerous community involvements.
Daniel's greatest strength is his personal discipline. He holds himself to almost impossibly high standards in everything he undertakes, and while he expects a lot of those with whom he works, his commitment to excellence makes him a teacher and motivator par excellence. He has personally made a difference in the lives of scores of families and individuals.
No once can be around Daniel for very long without quickly learning about the most meaningful relationship in his life, the relationship he has with the Lord Jesus Christ. While talking about God and the Bible may make some people uncomfortable, Daniel's faith is something so vital and real that those who might otherwise be put off by such things are soon engaged in considering their own need for a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
I consider Daniel one of my closest friends as well as one of the most committed disciples of Jesus Christ I've ever met. I am grateful for the opportunities I've personally had to interact with him, grow with him, and watch God work powerfully in his life.
I have been a student at Daniel Pope's Karate school for the past six years. Although my attendance has been sporadic due to my work schedule and other factors, what has remained constant is my desire to return to his school under his guidance and training. Mr. Pope is a master not only in karate, but also in many aspects of life.
His strong beliefs in Christian morals and family values serve as a model to all of his students. His tremendous spiritual knowledge and leadership abilities are exemplified through his lifestyle. He is a family man who cherishes and openly praises his beautiful wife and daughter.
As an instructor, he is committed to each student's physical progress. Although there are several hundred students in his school, he is aware of each of their abilities. He helps set goals and develops individualized training programs with them. He has an excellent team of instructors who work closely with him in achieving his objective with each class. For me, he has been extremely flexible with his schedule, and has been the motivational force in my conditioning.
His dedication to his students, however, goes much deeper than developing the physical aspects of karate. Mr. Pope has the remarkable ability to communicate with and connect to people. He has counseled and mentored many of his students, including myself among them. I am comfortable counseling with Mr. Pope because as I have come to know him, he has shown himself to be honest, insightful, nonjudgmental, and most importantly, trustworthy.
Perhaps the more surprising aspect of his personality is his fun-loving, adventurous side. He organizes activities for students from football games to rollerblading excursions. He has also been seen jet skiing, sailing and on Haunted Hay Rides. The mastermind of many practical jokes, you can never tell what he has planned next!
It is Mr. Pope's spirit itself that makes his school so unique. He is driven, dedicated, energetic, perceptive and generous. Probably the best attestation to his character I can give is that I asked him and was honored when he agreed to give the prayer at my wedding reception. It meant so much to me that he and his family were a part of such a special time in my life. He is a true friend.
I've known Dan Pope since we were 15 years old. As sophomores in high school, Dan was already pursuing a Martial Arts career and I was already pursuing a career in radio. I'm happy to say we've both been successful in our endeavors.
These days, I'm pursuing another endeavor in which Dan has played a major part. I've been trying to get in shape and keep my figure over the years and Dan has essentially become my personal trainer. I've never liked working out but after having four children I knew I had to do something. Luckily I enjoy karate. I dabbled in Karate over the years, but my training was interrupted with each pregnancy. Each time I gave up on my workouts, Dan encouraged me to come back. He never quit on me. That's the epitome of Dan's personality, he never reneges on his commitments.
Dan is an expert in physical fitness. I'm not always able to make a formal class, so Dan crafted a workout that I can do on my own. What's more important is that I enjoy the workout. He's taught me to become self-motivated. Having attained my fitness goals, I'm confident I will maintain my enthusiasm through life. I'm also certain my good friend and trainer will not let me slip.
Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound its Daniel Pope. At least that's how his student's see him. He is an expert in Martial Arts. When he gives students the opportunity to spar with him they immediately develop chills up and down their spine because they know that he is capable of super human feats, but in reality he is only human. He is a Christian with deep religious beliefs. He is a friend, mentor and spiritual leader to his students. He has a deep personal relationship with all his students. He is a paradox. He has dark features, bushy arching eyebrows like a demon but he is a deeply religious man. He has a mischievous sparkle in his eye that screams don't trust me and yet he is overly cautious that none of his students gets hurt. His students trust him completely. He has brown eyes that appear full of wonder until you see him spar and you realize that the eyes have deceived you because he has a strategy and a plan to accomplish, attack and defeat his opponent. His childish grin says I'm all fun and games but his punches and kicks are all serious business. He presents as an overly friendly, easygoing guy, but when you look around his school the trophies and the awards tell you he is a fiercely competitive willful driven martial artist who has achievement written all over him. If you walk in to his classes there is activity everywhere and it initially appears chaotic but you soon find out that every step in the martial arts program has been planned with deep care and each step has been carefully orchestrated and measured. He has a boyish charm that says he has just started this martial arts school, but he's been at it for 20 years. He is an intelligent, motivated over achiever with a clear sense of right and wrong. Mr. Pope has a deep commitment to his students and to the Martial Arts. He believes in conditioning and in the disciplined practice of techniques and forms. As a result of super conditioning, excellent technique, exceptional grounding in forms, as well as, the courage with which he practices, Mr. Pope, is truly a genuine Martial Arts expert and Instructor. He has numerous trophies and awards in recognition of his skills. Mr. Pope is a remarkable man and instructor with the ability to develop the best in others. His Karate and Martial Arts instruction are qualitatively above the rest.
I have been training in the Martial Arts with Mr. Pope since January 1993. For six and a half of those years I have traveled 50 minutes one way to train with Mr. Pope. I do this because, in my opinion the "Daniel Pope Karate Institute" is by far the best Martial Arts school in the area. Ranks and belts are earned here not just given out.
We have a well diverse training program. In one aspect we have sport Karate. We also have traditional Martial Arts such as Forms. We also train in self defense, boxing, kickboxing, and cardio-workouts. I previously trained with weights prior to Karate, and I must say in my opinion the Martial Arts is a harder workout and more beneficial! Our instructors are phenomenal. They are not only highly skilled but are extremely patient, and willing to help each individual achieve their Martial Art goals. We are exposed to many different guest masters and instructors, which is another statement of Mr. Pope's willingness to keep things fresh and exciting.
In our school there are no egos or negative attitudes. We are very much like a second family trying to help everyone reach their goals. I would encourage anyone interested in joining our school to speak with Mr. Pope or any of his students to verify my testimonial.
Upon first meeting Daniel Pope, I was so impressed with his character and enthusiasm that I had to take the opportunity to join his school of Karate. Being his student has been nothing but a positive experience. In his mastery of martial arts, Mr. Pope has not forgotten what it's like starting out. He is very perceptive to what new students have problems with and, along with his talented staff, provides much support. I've noticed that he and his staff are also exceptional with kids. Not matter what age though, he provides a very well rounded martial arts education along with great physical and mental conditioning. Mr. Pope accents the martial arts experience with recreational activities for students outside of class. These activities provide and informal setting for fun and additional social interaction. When Mr. Pope is your instructor, he also becomes your friend. I've thoroughly enjoyed getting to know him as a person. Furthermore, the benefits of Daniel Popes skills, knowledge, and positive energy transcend and enhance every aspect of my life.
Daniel Pope has been a major influence in my life since age fourteen. He has helped guide me in many areas, most importantly faith in Jesus Christ. Daniel is not only my dear friend but also a coach, teacher, motivator and spiritual inspiration to many of his students and encounters.
From a martial arts standpoint he has brought me to a level of competition in sport karate that few in Delaware County have achieved. Daniel Pope is one of the most accomplished martial artists in Pennsylvania with not only regional and local ratings but also national ratings. I have seen thousands of people in and out of the karate school over the years, more have stayed than left, some have opened their own schools but continue to be thankful and loyal to the man who brought out their own talents. He has an incredible way of bringing out the best in all in all who walk through his doors whether in an athletic or a personal way.
Daniel Pope has the compassion and patience to help people with many areas of life whether it is getting in physical shape, losing weight solving personal problems, or helping one to make business decisions. He speaks of the "Greats" in martial arts, those who have brought sport karate to where it is today. He admires the "Greats" in football, hockey and other sports, In my mind, he is definitely among them.
Daniel is also the friend and spiritual inspiration. Since day one he has spoken of Jesus and the Faith he has in our Lord. He is not shy, soft spoken or embarrassed as many of us are at times to speak the Lords name. At the drop of hat, even before it falls, Jesus comes from his mouth. The Daniel Pope Karate Institute gives one a feeling of wholesomeness, safety and goodness. Daniel Pope tells it how it is, and asks for only open communication, honesty and loyalty. He is open, hones and loyal to everyone he meets and stands firm to his word, no matter what.
I am thankful to Daniel Pope for all of the time he has spend with me over the years.
Approximately 1-1/2 years ago, I strolled apprehensively into the Daniel Pope Karate Institute. Unsure of what to expect, a dark man in a Karate uniform greeted me warmly. As we discussed my fitness goals, I overwhelmingly felt that this was the place for me. Mr. Pope took time with me; that is what set him apart from many others. As my training began, his patience was so apparent. If you needed extra help with a certain pattern or self-defense move, Mr. Pope volunteered his time. If you needed a supportive listener to help you through a tough time, again Mr. Pope was there.
He is your resident Jack-of-alltrades. He seems to know a little bit about everything. As I moved up in the ranks of Karate, Mr. Pope approached me about the prospect of going to a tournament; I was thrilled. I had been waiting and hoping that I would be able to represent our school in competition. Of course I was nervous. Over a month before the tournament, Mr. Pope and I began training intensely. He is a perfectionist; this is what makes his students succeed. He drives you to want the best from yourself. He drives you to push yourself farther than you ever thought possible. On the actual day of the tournament, I was a wreck. I had butterflies and everything (something I thought I was too old to get). Again Mr. Pope and the people in his school were there for moral support. The feeling of comradeship that day was amazing. The people in our school stood by watching and coaching me to make sure that I did my best. The day was a success; I walked away with two (huge) first place trophies and one third place.
I would not have been as successful if I did not have the coaching of Mr. Pope. Currently, I am still training hard with Mr. Pope three times a week. I am looking forward to the next competition where I can demonstrate all that Mr. Pope has taught.
In October of 1997, seven months after the birth of my second son I joined the Daniel Pope Karate Institute.. And "Why the Daniel Pope Karate Institute?", quite simply, Mr. Pope answered the phone that day when I started calling karate schools listed in the yellow pages.
I often asked myself was it just luck that he happened to answer the phone? Or was this "meant to be" , and I wholeheartedly believe that I was meant to find Mr. Pope's school. Moreover, he is completely dedicated to his school and the meticulous education of his students.
My life has improved dramatically since that time for a variety of reasons. Physically, I had an old neck injury that "flared up" after the birth of my son. He was also born by c-section, and these two complications, in addition to caring for a 2yr old, left me in terrible shape. Emotionally, I was very unhappy with myself and the physical deterioration I felt as well as feeling completely overwhelmed as a mother. My husband and I were trying to weather the stress to our marriage that our new family had created. Professionally, I had to come to terms with the fact that I could not give my family what it needed and also continue teaching and working as a nurse.
Needless to say, after my first lesson with Mr. Pope I was addicted to Martial Arts. Mr. Pope is an expert, perfectionist and your biggest cheerleader. He keeps things fun and different and is always available. Since joining, I have not had any problems with my neck. I feel so empowered as a woman since learning self defense techniques, and I have NEVER been in better shape in my life. I am now 34 years old and had another baby in May, 1999. I worked out one week before I delivered and returned within 5 weeks!!! I feel amazing!!!!! I can say that I am a better mother and wife since joining karate.
Daniel Pope is a dedicated man. He is dedicated to his students, school, family, and most importantly his faith in God. It is this dedication that I most admire about Daniel Pope. After a few months of training, my commitment to the program and myself was dwindling. Daniel Pope noticed this change, and talked with me about it on a personal level. We set new goals together and committed ourselves to reaching those goals. Mr. Pope was not obliged to give this extra time to me; that is just the way he is. He wants to bring out the best in a person physically, mentally and spiritually.
Choosing the right Martial Arts instructor for my daughter was an important decision. Daniel Pope of the Daniel Pope Karate Institute made my decision and easy one. Aside from Daniel Popes most impressive list of credentials, he is a good, moral human being.
Daniel Pope is very involved in all of the classes that are taught at his school. He steps into the classes and interacts with the students. He cares about each and every student professionally and personally. Most of all I respect his "Goal of Training", which is to get each and every student to maximize his or her fullest potential. It is an honor to work with him and be his friend.
I have been a student at Daniel Pope Karate Institute for a year and a half. What encouraged me to join and had kept me here is Mr. Pope’s dedication to his work and students. He gives everything he has and the knowledge of his many years of Karate at every class, allowing his students to learn from his expertise. Mr. Pope also takes time with his students to get to know about each and everyone of them, giving the class a much more individual and personal feel.
This is your long lost student writing to say hello. I hope that you had a nice holiday with your family. I hope that Vicki and Rachel are well. I just wanted to let you know that I haven’t forgotten about you and karate. I also wanted to thank you for all the time that you spent not only helping me with karate but also helping me with my life. There aren’t many karate teachers out there who would give up so much of their time for a student. I am very grateful for your friendship. If it weren’t for all of those talks we had over three and a half years ago about the direction my life was heading in, my messed up religious beliefs and my drinking my life would probably be so different now. If it weren’t for you I probably would never have considered dating Brendan. I’m glad that I did. You’ll be happy to know that we finally got engaged on August the 8th. Life is very good these days. We both work a lot, his business is a lot more work than we thought it would be.
Well I don’t want to take up too much of your time. Take care of yourself and Thank you again for caring.
Your student for life,
September 16, 1994
Dan, I want to thank you for your love and concern for the kids. It is evident in all you do with them. From many comments I know that they enjoy your enthusiasm (especially in the review game!). Parents have expressed as well their gratitude for having a class their children enjoy rather than having to be forced to attend. May God continue to pump you up as you share His life-changing Word with the kids! Thanks again.
In Christ’s name,
December 3, 1993
Dear Lion Dan:
As you are aware, our annual White Cane Drive has come to a very successful end. We are most grateful to you and your students who came up with another tremendous effort again this year. The Daniel Pope Karate Institute Kick-A-Thon has raised over $30,000 for our White Cane Drive. We want you all to know that we think this is great:
Surpassing our goals will allow us to reach out and help even more people who are less fortunate than ourselves.
Again, our most sincere thanks for a job well done.
Very truly yours,
Edward J. Smeader, Jr.
June 3, 1993
Many thanks for coming out to our program on May 26 and working with the children.
Learning breathing and relaxation skills is very important for asthmatic children and of course, they loved the karate moves you demonstrated.
Thank you again for giving so generously of your time and expertise to help make our program a success!
Lori C. Patterson
July 8, 1999
Many, many thanks for your witness and karate demonstration at our Bible School Picnic. You presented a wonderful and inspiring program.
It has been encouraging to see how the Lord is working in your life. Thank you for sharing with us and the people of Southwestern Church. Our pastor and others were very impressed with your ministry.
We really appreciate the gift of your time and effort.
Hope to see you and your family sometime soon.
Love in Christ,
Frank and Barbara Kolb
July 6, 1999
On behalf of us at Nova Gardens, we would like to express our appreciation for the tremendous contribution that you have made to our residents. There is no question that you positive energy and expression of great caring has made an impact on all of them. You enter into your activities with great passion and this is reflected by your ability to engage the most despondent resident and awaken them to an interest in life.
We hope that we will be able to use your services again sometime in the future.
We wish you well and we know that you will always be a person lights up the lives of you serve.
Beverly Bernstein Joie, M.S.
Director of Community Relations.