Anthony Whitmer – Midway Budo Dojo Martial Arts Club

About our Nominee

Anthony is an accomplished and self made man. He moved out at the age of 17 with only $5 to his name and made something of himself. Anthony served our country in the United States Army for some time. Upon reaching home, he decided to take up martial arts. Anthony has spent his life doing what he loves and continues to learn as much as he can daily.

Living in our area for 24 years, Anthony loves our community and it’s people. His pride is in his work and his students.

Q & A

Q: What inspired you or led you to your current career/owning your business?

Like many kids in the late 60s and early 70s, about the time Lee hit it, you’d watch him on screen and just be wowed. It was amazing what they could do. Unfortunately, he passed in 73 after filming Enter the Dragon. Its still considered the best martial arts film ever made. I, like so many of my contemporaries at the time, I picked up a set of nun-chucks and started playing with them. It came easy to me. I can still do it, but I have a half frozen shoulder now, so it makes it kind of tough. It made me want more.

I realized you can learn a lot by yourself, but at the same time, it helps to have some guidance. I started looking for a dojo. I grew up in a rural area on a farm basically. I got into the military and was in the army for 4 years and served all my time overseas. I looked at several schools, but I just couldn’t find any that I liked, especially around military bases. I didn’t find an instructor until I got back home to the states. There was a guy teaching in my home town, so, I got in with him. That was in November of 1979. I earned my first belt in late January of 1980. I earned my first black belt from my original sensei in August of 1984.



Q: How long have you lived or worked in Navarre?

I moved here December 27th, 1996.  I’ve been here 24 years.


Q: Who is the most interesting person/business owner you’ve met here in Gulf Breeze/Navarre?  Who would you like to see nominated as a Face of Gulf Breeze/Navarre?

I’d have to go with Van.


Q: What advice would you give a crowd of people starting their own business?

Do some good research. It also has to be a passion for you. You make your own luck by research and preparation. Expect the worst, but hope for the best.


Q: What current/former local business makes you the most nostalgic about (or what is most iconic in) Gulf Breeze/Navarre?

Sunset Bar and Grill on Pensacola Beach. It’s not around anymore. See, I moved here in 1996, but I had vacationed here before I moved here. My first time on the beach was in 1992 and I went there. It used to be attached to what is now the Best Western. It used to be a private motel. It had a rough reputation.


Q: Where do you see yourself (and your career/business) in 5 or 10 years?

Hopefully, here, doing the same thing. Because I love to what I do. I really enjoy working with the kids and teaching them. All of my black belts are successes.


Q: What is your favorite restaurant in Gulf Breeze/Navarre, and what do you love there? (What is your favorite dish, and where do you get it?)

Casino Beach Bar and Grill. My favorite is the same day cut Mahi-Mahi. If I want quick and greasy, I go to Tops.


Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be?  And why?

That’s a no brainer. I would go to the Shaolin Temple in Henan Province, China. Another thing that would be cool, some people might think it’s weird, but I would like to see live sumo wrestling. In Japan, they do the championship every two months and there are only 600 professional sumo wrestlers there. There are only 4 right now that are top rank. There’s only been 72 ever to top rank.


Q: What is your favorite movie OR what is the first movie you remember seeing in a theater?

The best movie ever made was Seven Samurai.


Q: What is something on your bucket list?

That’s a tough one. I’ve done a lot in my life. But I think I want to go on a temple trip. I would like it to be international, but I can settle for local.


Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about Gulf Breeze/Navarre?

It’s location. It’s Florida, but it’s not. I’m not a huge fan of the mid-summer here, but the rest of the year is amazing.


Q: Choosing anyone alive and a non-relative: with whom would you love to have lunch?  Why?

I would like to sit down and have tea with the Dalai Lama. I listen to him talk a lot. He goes live on Facebook every Friday night and he seems really interesting.


Q: What is your favorite music or 3 bands that you would love to see live?

There’s only one kind of music, rock and roll. The first band I ever saw was Aerosmith, and I’d love to see them again. They were a back up band when I saw them. Also, I love the Rolling Stones. I also like Ted Nugent.


Q: (Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?

I’m a high school drop out with two college degrees. I’m self made. I left home at the age of 17, with a $5 bill in my pocket. I also have 17 degrees of black belt, in different styles. I have a 3rd degree in karate, a 4th degree Japanese Sword, a 2nd degree Tae Kwon Do, and an 8th degree in my style. That’s what my students awarded me.


Q: What 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?

Castle, sanctuary, and feng shui.


Q: If you were cast into a major motion picture and had your choice of anyone to be your co-star, who would you choose?

I would choose John Wayne. Either him or Clint Eastwood. It would be a tough choice, because Clint is pretty awesome too.


Q: If you had a full-time staff member that was fully paid for, who would you choose? Chef, Housekeeper, Driver, Coach, Physical Fitness Trainer, or Nanny?

I think at this point in my life I would pick a trainer.


If you’re interested in Martial Arts, go to Anthony’s Dojo, Midway Budo Dojo Martial Arts Club!

Address: 5668 Gulf Breeze Pkwy Unit B3,

Gulf Breeze, FL  32563

Phone:    850-499-5826

Facebook: Click here! 


Be sure to check out what our other nominees had to say!

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