Family Self Defense Center 



Family Self Defense Center, FSDC, has been providing instruction in Isshinryu Karate since its inception in 1992. Its roots began in a small room at the VFW Hall in Highland, MI, moving to a 3400 square foot facility, also in Highland, in 1995. In 2008 FSDC had the distinction of forming a partnership with the City of Novi, moving the school to their current location, the prestigious Novi Civic Center for their classes, tournaments and black belt testing.

Chosen as one of the “Top Five Isshinryu Dojos in the Country” by the National Isshinryu Karate Hall of Fame Board in 1999, 2002, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018, F.S.D.C. promotes a “family friendly” atmosphere for all ages and abilities in the study of traditional Isshinryu Karate and Okinawan and Padded weaponry. The school also boasts over 25 black belts who train and teach at the school along with many national champion students who serve as teaching assistants. Over the past 25 years, FSDC students have amassed thousands of trophies at local and national tournaments, and hundreds of national recognition awards. Several students have also opened satellite schools to continue the FSDC teaching methods throughout the world. FSDC promotes community involvement, participating in many City events throughout the year, including the Memorial Day and Labor Day parades, various City wide Festivals and the holiday extravaganza, Light Up the Night. FSDC also encourages charity work throughout the year, assisting the Novi Youth Assistance program and FSDC’s partner charity, Families in Defense of Youth, to provide quality training to all.

The founder of the school, Master “Z” Szelap, a 9th degree Grand Master Black Belt in Isshinryu and inductee into the Isshinryu Hall of Fame, has been teaching for over 35 years. Co-Owner Master Chris Szelap, an 8th degree Black Belt, joined FSDC in 1995, instructing for over 25 years. Both have been certified by the world renowned Cooper Institute, and were chosen “Top Contributors” nationally for their instruction of Isshinryu Karate three times each, along with several National nominations for Male and Female National Instructors of the year, most recently in 2016. Master Z received the Top Master Sensei in the Country award in 2012 and 2014, and both Master Z and Ms. Chris were nominated top five in the same category in 2014.  

In July of 2016 Mr. Z became one of only 134 Masters to that date who have been inducted into the prestigious Isshinryu Hall of Fame in the past 60 years. In 2012, Ms. Chris was inducted into the Midwest Women’s Martial Arts Hall of Fame, becoming a charter member of this organization.