Coach June Castro Michalowski, Owner and Manager of


In the systems of Kenpo Karate and Shaolin Kenpo, her family lineage is considered Martial Arts Royalty. June’s father is the legendary, late Great Grandmaster Ralph Castro, the founder of Shaolin Kenpo and a recipient of numerous Hall of Fame Awards. He is credited for opening the first Kenpo Karate Studio in 1958, he has taught tens of thousands of students and promoted over a hundred of Black Belts. In 2017, he was presented a “Lifetime Achievement Award” by the prestigious Martial Arts History Museum.
Growing up in the Martial Arts made for a very unique childhood. Coach June addressed the Father of American Kenpo, Ed Parker, as “uncle,” because her father and Ed Parker serve in the US Coast Guard together and were longtime friends. They were two local boys from Hawaii and original students of the famed, Professor William K.S. “Thunderbolt” Chow, the founder of Kenpo Karate at the historic Honolulu Self Defense Club. In addition, June’s father is credited by Martial Arts Legend and good friend, Bruce Lee, as the only person to have ever blocked his iconic back fist.
One of Great Grandmaster Ralph Castro’s original Karate Gi’s and early Black Belt is on display at the Martial Arts History Museum.
After moving to the Los Angeles area Coach June continued her Martial Arts. Initially, she trained on her own and also worked out with a high ranking Black Belt under Ed Parker at a Kenpo Karate studio on the Westside. Very soon after, she found her way to training in Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do Concepts, also referred to as the JKD Concepts. One of the best advice given to her when she began training was from the renowned JKD Instructor, Dan Inosanto, Bruce Lee’s top student and protégé. Sifu Dan was also a Black Belt in the art of Kenpo Karate under Ed Parker. He told Coach June to put her previous training on the back burner and learn as a true beginner. Not that one art was better than another, just different and in the concept of Jeet Kune Do; you add and blend what is useful in the various ranges of combat. It was training in the JKD Concepts that Coach June’s learned formal Boxing, Muay Thai, Filipino Kali, Indonesian Silat, Savate and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
The end result after over seven years of simultaneously training in so many different Martial Arts? Coach June felt proficient in only “one” art, the martial art she trained in most of her life, Shaolin Kenpo. She realized she had become the proverbial, “Jack of all trades and master of none,” which did not sit well with her, because she held herself to a higher standard. After a discussion with one of her Coaches, she accepted the fact that she needed to focus on just one or two martial arts in order to reach a level of excellence.
Although the weaponry of Kali and ground defense of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu helped her expand her fighting skills and both had merits in combat, Coach June choose to focus on Boxing and Muay Thai. Through diligence and hard work, she honed her skills in a competitive, hard hitting male dominated field more than a decade before the Kickboxing Fitness Craze came to mainstream America.
At Fairtex Gym training with the famed, Apidjej Sit-Hirun, “7” Time Lumpinee Stadium Champion and known for having the hardest kick in the history of the sport of Muay Thai.
In 1998, Coach June first met Kru Walter at a Kickboxing Fitness Gym that they both taught at in Encino, California. He taught Muay Thai at 4:30pm and she taught Boxing at 5:30pm. Coach June asked Kru Walter who he learned from and he replied, “I am from Sityodtong Camp in Thailand.” As an active fighter, his training and teaching style offered a combative perspective.
It was through Kru Walter’s Coaching and guidance that Coach June achieved a much higher level of training in both Boxing and Muay Thai and the rest is, as they say is history.
Kru Walter, Coach June with 5-Time Lumpinee Stadium Champion, Kongtalanee Payakaroon