On June 1, 1973 at 13 years of age, Rocky, along with his father and sister, began his study of Karate at Fox Gardens Isshin-Ryu Karate Club in Aurora, Illinois under Sensei Jessie Gallagos. One year later Rocky’s father Ron and Frank Barnes, a 2nd degree Isshin-Ryu black belt, opened Champion Karate Studio in Aurora, Illinois. On February 8, 1975, while a student and junior instructor at the newly founded school, Rocky’s hard work, dedication and perseverance earned him the rank of 1st degree Black Belt. Throughout his martial arts career Rocky has thrived on competition. This is evident with the hundreds of awards and trophies he has received through competing and winning in area and national tournaments (Karate and Kickboxing). In November, 1980 Rocky began training in full contact karate (now known as Kick Boxing) under the guidance of his manager / trainer A. Keith Smith. Within one year, Rocky had fought his way to both the P.K.A. (Professional Karate Association) and the W.K.A. (World Karate Association) Illinois State Amateur Championships.

During a short stay in Boulder, Colorado, Rocky continued his full contact karate training under Dohn Tobin where he went two for two adding additional wins to his record of 9-1-0. Rocky highlighted the Denver, Colorado Golden Gloves Boxing Championships when he fought the Idaho State full contact champion Rick Shines in front of a crowd 8,000. Rocky knocked Shines out in the 2nd round with a back kick to the abdomen, and received a standing ovation from the crowd.

In March of 1983 Rocky returned to Sugar Grove. He now teaches full time at Champion Karate Studio with father and school co-founder Ron Troutman. Ron and Rocky have taught the martial arts to thousands of students. Ron and Rocky’s objective is to have the best and biggest Isshin-Ryu Dojo in the state of Illinois.

Other highlights of Sensei Rocky’s career include winning the Grand National Grand Championship of Isshin Ryu Karate held in Enfield, Connecticut in July of 1985. Sensei Rocky first had to win his light weight division. He then had to defeat the middle weight and the heavy weight champions to gain the Grand National Grand Championship title for kumite. Sensei Rocky is also the 1987 Grand Champion of the Battle of the Black Belts held monthly at Rocky’s Dojo and Gym, Inc., Sugar Grove, Illinois.

From the 80’s and into the 90’s, Sensei Rocky still competes in both Karate Tournaments and Kickboxing events. Even though Sensei promoted to 5th degree Black Belt on March 20, 1997, he says “I will compete til it isn’t fun anymore”.

Since 1975, when Rocky became a black belt, he has trained and worked out with some of the highest ranking and best martial artists in the world. This includes Isshin-Ryu and other styles of Karate and Kung-Fu.