Founder of JSU Taekwondo Karate Club honored for 40 years at helm

The Clarion-Ledger


Lindsey Horton couldn’t fight back the tears this weekend as he was honored for 40 years as chief instructor of Jackson State University’s Taekwondo Karate Club. Students from as far as Bermuda returned to Jackson to celebrate the man who

Lindsey Horton has been chief instructor at the Jackson State University TaeKwonDo Karate Club for 40 years. / Special to The Clarion-Ledger

taught them the rules of martial arts and life. Several thousand students have joined the karate club since its founding in 1971.

“This program has the opportunity to reach a lot of young people,” Horton, 59, said. “I use taekwondo to get their attention because you have to get their attention before you teach them anything.”

Horton, an eighth-degree black belt and deputy chief of the Jackson Police Department, was introduced to taekwondo at an early age. His brother was a military man stationed in Korea.

“He would come back and talk to us about his experience,” Horton said. “The word alone amazed me – taekwondo.”

Horton took lessons at the YMCA throughout middle school and high school before enrolling at Jackson State. A snare drummer in the Sonic Boom Marching Band and a first-degree black belt, an 18-year-old Horton incorporated taekwondo into his personal workouts and caught the attention of his fellow bandmates.

“They observed me working out and approached me,” Horton said. “One workout led to many workouts, and at that time everyone wanted to be Bruce Lee, myself included.”

Horton soon got the green light from university officials to start the club, which was only open to students and faculty at the time. The club is now open to all ages 5 and up. Former students reflected on how Horton has shaped their lives. Robert Cook, who founded the spinoff Metro Karate Club in 1978, said Horton holds a special place in his life for several roles including as an instructor and law enforcement colleague.

“I have never been disappointed in any of those capacities,” said Cook, deputy director of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks.

Recalling the first day he met Horton in 1974 at JSU, Cook said he saw “this guy who wasn’t big in stature doing some amazing things.”

Many said Horton was the father they never had, the man who taught them the true meaning of respect, discipline and integrity. This past Father’s Day, he received 67 text messages, more than 40 cards and countless phone calls.

“I’ve been truly blessed, perhaps more than I deserve,” said Horton, who has received recognition from state, local and county officials.

Cook said Horton has made a significant difference in so many lives not just for teaching how to kick and punch “but for the life skills he teaches, by living by example.”

He’s taught that “your word is your bond, that your character is what you do when no one is watching,” Cook said.


11 thoughts on “Founder of JSU Taekwondo Karate Club honored for 40 years at helm

  1. This man would be a great leader for JSU’s police department, because the current leaders are very ineffective.

    • Mr. Horton job well done. I have known you since 1975, nothing but a class act. It is and has been a pleasure to fellowship with you and your wife at the JSU home football games. You are what Dr. King also spoke of, to serve mankind in a positive manner. Hal & Dorothy Merritt, Gulfport

  2. For a long time, you are the real educator and man!!!!
    Long time ago, I got second degree black belt in Taekwondo but now I may be 0.
    Many young students like Taekwondo but not many student could not get a chance to learn.
    They are lucky students because they met you.

  3. A true story… Fans in Jackson have a bad habit of standing in front of the exits at the football games. They also tend to block the view of people seated in the first 5 to 6 rows of the stands. Well we were playing Southern or Grambling some years ago and the stands were full. The Announcer had repeatedly asked people to move away from the exits and be seated. Well out of some 48,000 people in the stadium. A guy and his wife were at the game on about the 4th row could’nt see the game so they asked one of the people standing to move over a bit. The stander then let loose a string of profanity and assorted threats. Little did he know that the person he was cursing and threatening was 4th or 5th degree black Belt/ JPD Officer Lindsey Horton. Well everyone who knew Sensei, said to themselves and others… Watch This. Knowing what was about to happen.
    Lucky for the stander, someone else who knew who Sensei was, ran up and grabbed the guy and drug him off, telling him that he was about to be thoroughly dusted off AND go to jail as a bonus. Talk about fools luck. Out of 48,000 people to tangle with he chose Lindsey Horton.

  4. Thank you Sensei, You have given so much to your students. Some give money,but You gave your students a path to life and awareness of their own potential. I once had a conflict with two of his former students. I Bested them. but I was really concerned because I knew Sensei would not have approved of their behavior. I later found that he had already admonished on other issues and they were not in the club anymore. Too many fly by night Martial instructors come into Jackson and don’t teach their students values. Just techniques. Sensei, Thank you for keeping our art as it should be. Full of Dignity and Respect for others.

  5. Thank you Sensei I cannot tell you in a few words the effect your teaching. Thank you for the guidance, the discipline and the respect.

  6. Congratulations Sensei on a job well done! I took karate BRIEFLY in 1975 and later enrolled my son in the program when he was about 10. As a single parent, I appreciate everything that Sensei taught him about life and martial arts. I know most of the family and they are all wonderful, down to earth people.

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