The Secret to a Healthy Life is in the Roots and Our Bodies

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Writer / Janelle Morrison

Owner Marvin Massey of Carmel Martial Arts

The term sensei in Japanese martial arts means teacher. Marvin Massey, founder of the Carmel Martial Arts Academy and Massey Martial Arts, is a sensei of healthy living as well as an expert in martial arts.

Massey began his training in karate as a member of the U.S Army. Over the last three decades, Massey has trained in and has earned a 7th degree black belt in an Okinawan based system of karate called Shorei Goju Ryu. The style of karate taught is adaptable to virtually any age, gender, body size and shape.

Massey has over 20 years of teaching experience and is a certified reflexologist, massage therapist and Reiki master/instructor. He is also a member of the Herb Society of Central Indiana, an organization that focuses on the education and implementation of natural herbs in people’s daily lives and diets. Massey and approximately 65 gardeners meet once a month in Carmel and volunteer their expertise at local gardens, schools and community events.

Massey, now 74 years old, does not take any prescription medications and is an active instructor at his karate dojos, usually found sparring with his younger students with much ease.

“Studying martial arts is my life’s work,” Massey said. “It is a journey, and when I get up in the morning, I don’t feel like I have to go to work. As my favorite icon, Benjamin Franklin once said, ‘My vocation is my vacation.’ I am always researching and trying out new things on myself before I recommend anything to anyone. I have and continue to study natural herbs and foods. Obviously, I am not a medical professional and can’t diagnose anyone. I can only recommend.

“When I got my 3rd degree black belt, I was told now that I had achieved the ‘teacher’ status, it is the theory in martial arts that if one can hurt somebody, they have to be able to heal that person. If I knock somebody out, I need to be able to resuscitate them, and that started me on my path of alternative medicine and the health aspect of it.

“If you study the history of karate, yoga and other arts, they all have a basic core, and it is a lifestyle principle. It is about correct living and correct spiritual living. Spirituality doesn’t necessarily mean going to church or following a specific religion but rather how you go about living your life. I think as a society, we are moving the other way, and we get caught up in things that are really not that important.”

Massey has a garden in his backyard and promotes the farm-to-table trend that we see in our communities via the Farmers Markets.

“The food that you grow is full of your energy,” Massey explained. “It comes from your soil that you till, nurture and harvest. That energy is tremendous because of what you have done with the earth and the seed to make the plant. It is time we all start gardening again. Our food supply has been altered for years, and anytime that you alter anything, there is a side affect. Antibiotics help the world, and we certainly need them for a short-term solution to an illness. For ailments that are chronic, I believe that we need to find alternative ways to solve them with more natural solutions and reevaluating our lifestyles.”

In addition to healthy eating and natural supplements, Massey emphasized the importance of creating the balance in our hectic lives. Through martial arts training and specifically the style of karate that he teaches, Shorei Goju Ryu (hard soft style), his students learn to incorporate technique and method from other martial arts systems. He prepares them to be educated for any given situation and to be well rounded.

He instructs programs designed for youth, ages 5-6 years old and a class specialized for adults. He also emphasized the importance of families training together as an activity at which they are building their family bond in addition to better lives, and he offers a schedule to accommodate today’s busy families.

Massey concluded, “A family that kicks together sticks together. I am dedicated to education and to sharing with others what I am learning during this long university experience that is life.”

For more information about the Carmel Martial Arts Academy, call 317-574-0841. For Massey Martial Arts in the Geist area, visit For meeting times and information on the Herb Society of Central Indiana located in Carmel, visit