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Janitor doubles as martial arts expert

October 08, 2009
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FORT WALTON BEACH, FL — W.C. Pryor Middle School janitor Mike Mitchell is much more than a master of the custodial arts, he is also a master of the martial arts, according to the Northwest Florida Daily News.
The man Pryor students affectionately know as “Mr. Mike” — the man who keeps the peace during lunch and constantly maintains the school’s grounds — is a high-ranking member of the elite Black Dragon Fighting Society, the story stated.
According to the story, The Black Dragon Fighting Society, started by John Keehan in the 1960s, is an association of highly-trained fighters across a myriad of fighting disciplines, from Japanese Shodokan to French Kickboxing.
When Mitchell took up a position as a janitor with Pryor 13 years ago, he had no idea he’d become a mentor to so many students, the story noted.
Mitchell said: “They’re very respectful now and they like it. It makes them better kids too because they know I don’t put up with any mess when they’re bullying other kids around. It has its advantages. It’s something you work for and you want to keep it.”
Mitchell, who was recently initiated as a 7th Dan, meaning he’s received seven promotions through his 20-year fighting career, practices some of his moves while performing his custodial tasks; it is not unusual to see Mitchell rhythmically twirling a rake or a mop in between cleaning strokes, the story added.
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