Universal General Mixed Martial Arts located in Portsmouth, VA. We decided on our name long before we put our plan into action. Our name has a special meaning to Coach Rob and is a tribute to the karate school he was raised in: Universal Pasha Karate (UPK). He credits this school with saving his life during his youth in Camden, NJ. UPK’s meaning is defined below.
UNIVERSAL – Including or covering all or a whole without limit or exception.
PASHA– General, or a high-ranking official.
KARATE – “Kara” means empty in Japanese and “Te” means hand, so Karate is defined as an empty handed self-defense system. We use what we are blessed us with, our magnificent body, mind, and spirit.
And so, Universal General Mixed Martial Arts (Portsmouth, VA) was born. A name designed to honor Coach Rob’s lineage and further define ourselves as a school that honors the traditions of Martial Arts while moving forward by providing innovative Mixed Martial Arts instruction.
Robert Wilson is a 4th degree Black belt in Karate under Grand Master Robert Dickerson; and a Black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Professor Gustavo Machado. Robert was first introduced to the world of martial arts in 1975 at the age of 4 by Goju Ryu Master Anthony Lingo in Camden, NJ. After watching plenty of Bruce Lee movies he was excited to practice all the moves he saw on TV! His grandfather took him to his first boxing match and later strapped on his first set of gloves at the age of 7. At 10 he entered his first real boxing gym in the South Bronx of New York.
In 1985 Rob returned to his home in Camden, New Jersey and began studying Universal Pasha Karate, a style that integrates Kyokushin and Shotokan karate, Boxing, and Bando (Burmese kick boxing), under Grand Master Robert Dickerson at Universal Pasha Karate School (UPK). It was here that he would learn the dedication and sacrifice required to become a true martial artist and ultimately earn his first degree black belt. He continued to train at UPK until he joined the Navy in 1992. Robert still goes home to train in his home town several times per year to stay proficient in the art.
In 2004 Robert began training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Gustavo Machado. He knew immediately this was the piece that completed his martial arts puzzle. Through Iraq and Afghanistan deployments as well several underway periods he continues to train and has attained the rank of black belt. In 2007 Robert became a certified boxing coach under USA Boxing. In 2012 Robert retired from 20 years of dedicated service in the U.S. Navy. In 2015 Robert became the President of the Local Boxing Commission in Virginia (LBC12). He is excited for his future in the ever evolving world of Mixed Martial Arts; and is eager to share the knowledge he has gained over the last 40 years.