MILTON – A legacy project more than two years in the making, the Milton Sports Hall of Fame’s first class includes athletes John Tonelli, Scott Hogarth and Ed Whitlock, builder Carole Murray and team the Campbellville Merchants Baseball Club.
Admittedly an unsettled teenager in Vancouver in 1969, Scott Hogarth stumbled across a man performing martial arts in a small storefront window.
He was immediately inspired.
“Fortunately, I found something positive to be addicted to,” said the local karate master. “He (Isao Yabunaka) was my first instructor. He showed me the path and how a warrior should present himself.”
That chance encounter wasn’t just meaningful — it was life-changing.
Having run his Milton-based Fighting Griffin Martial Arts Club with wife and fellow master Tammy for more than 35 years now, Hogarth has done just about everything in the world of martial arts.
An 11-time world champion and holder of seven different black belts — focusing on traditional Okinawan Go Ju Ryu Karate and Hapkijitsu — Hanshi Scott has awards almost too numerous to mention.
With a unique look to match his martial arts prowess, he’s been an actor, stuntman and fight choreographer in about a dozen action movies, working with such industry standouts as Billy Blanks (TC-2000).
Among his more notable distinctions are his Masters Hall of Fame Golden Lifetime Achievement Award and the Sport Karate Museum Dragon Image Fighting Award.
A lifelong passion for martial arts has also seen him help create rules and regulations for competition and refereeing, as well as teach thousands upon thousands of students at both his club and via introductory training sessions with Halton District School Board.
But when asked about the most gratifying aspect of his time in martial arts, Hogarth doesn’t look to any of his countless awards or accolades.
“The best thing is the friends I’ve made. I’ve got tight friendships all over the world,” said the former firefighter and ambulance driver. “I enjoy visiting them and continuing to learn everywhere I go. It’s amazing.”