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REAL Essentials Career Class 2024

Collage of Real Essentials participants holding participation certificates.

Thank you so much to the following community leaders that came out to participate in the REAL Essentials Career Class. All the students enjoyed the class very much. Interviewers were Jeronda Robinson with Gadsden Board of County Commissioners, Betty Kellum with Betty Kellum Realty, Candice Dowdy and Jessica Dice- both with Capital City Bank, Kay Pelt-Walker with Leon County Volunteer Services and Corey Herron with Chick-Fil-A. It is with the-support and education of programs like A Better Body non-profit offers, that enables our teens to grow into responsible successful individuals. Special thanks to FedEx Cares for sponsoring this event and to Alpha's Upkudo for the use of their facility.

Latest Updates
June 2nd, 2022

Sensei’s Brandon Keefer, Justin English and Daniel Boydston all passed their 2nd Degree Black Belt tests on May 11, 2022

Master Anne Radke promoted to 7th Degree Black Belt PhD in Martial Arts. March 22, 2022 pictured with Grand Master Gary Baker

Sarah Warren class at Lafayette UPKUDO promoted May 2022 carrying on the tradition. Since 1992 Master Anne and her students have been teaching for over 30 years.

Three pictures: class photo with 2nd Degree blackbelts, picture of Master Anne and Grandmaster Baker, group shot of Lafayette UPKUDO class

2022 Personal Safety Victors not Victims Seminar
May 25, 2022

Personal Safety Victors not Victims Seminar participants learned the 3 As of self defense Awareness, Assessment and Action. Participants learned to get out of chokes, grabs and different attacks. Pictures and videos are on Alpha UPKUDO's Facebook Page.

We also have now 40 enrolled students in the ABB 4ME program which teaches UPKUDO karate and the cognitive, emotional and social aspects of mental health. This program started in May 2021 with 7 students and has grown significantly due to the success of covering topics and activities to strengthen the family and help all feel accepted loved and included.
  1. Respect for self and others
  2. Self-confidence and self-control
  3. Stress reduction, physical activity
  4. How to ask questions and express themselves properly
  5. How to relax when upset
  6. Problem solving skills
  7. Following rules and instruction from instructors
  8. Flexibility and balance
  9. Recognizing their strengths
  10. How to deal with rude mean and bully behavior/learn self-defense
  11. Receive praise and encouragement
  12. Teambuilding/working with a partner
Group photos from recent classes

Course Teaches Life Skills
Gadsden County Times
By Anne Radke
November 21, 2018

As part of the REAL Essentials Life Skills course, students at Crossroad Academy located in Quincy recently learned about distracted driving.

FHP Lt. Derrick Rahming recently visited the school and talked to students about drowsy, distracted, and impaired driving.

The students were given the opportunity to wear Fatal Vision (DUI) goggles, which simulate how a person’s balance, vision, judgement, and reaction time are impaired by the influence of alcohol and drugs. Impaired driving is simply not worth the risk of losing your life or the lives of others.

The students also participated in a demonstration with Anne Radke. The activity involved doing simple tasks such as putting on a shirt or walking to get to their vehicle while impaired, allowing students to feel the confusion, lack of control and poor judgement caused by being under the influence.

In a separate class the students met with several professionals simulating mock job interviews. Each interviewer asked students questions and offered advice on how they could enter in the job market.

The REAL Essentials course was approved by the Gadsden County School Board for Anne Radke and Geremy Gerald to teach in Gadsden Schools. More than 250 students have graduated the course over the past five years, building character, learning how to make better decisions, how to set goals, overcome obstacles, make better choices and prepare for a career or continuing education.

The course does not cost the county, schools or parents anything sing it is a nonprofit program of A Better Body located in Havana. For more on how you can enroll your teen in the course, contact Anne Radke at 850-566-4544 at A Better Body in Havana.

Difference Maker: Anne Radke
The Herald
By Judy Conlin
October 11, 2018

Anne Radke has lived four miles outside of Havana for 31 years and has two grown children. Since 1999, she has owned and operated a karate school at 1412 Florida-Georgia Highway, just southeast of Havana, which she said she named "Alpha" as a testament that she "puts God first" in every aspect of her life. Radke is known around town as "Master Anne," as she is both chief instructor and a sixth level dan black belt (the "dan" is a traditional ranking system used by many Japanese and Korean-based martial arts organizations). She will soon be testing for level seven. In 2008, Radke founded a nonprofit called "A Better Body" to educate those who need health and safety training. She takes this program into Gadsden County schools, raising the money it takes to do so herself. Radke receives no school board or county funding but believes her mission to help students "not be victims, but victors" is so important, she feels compelled to persevere in the face of challenges. Radke has trained thousands of students in self-defense and bullying prevention, and she has programs available for all ages. "Gadsden County residents have lots of potential and lots of talent," she said, adding most of her school's competition winners have been from Gadsden County.

What is the difference between your karate school and your "A Better Body" organization?
The school teaches the techniques of karate and enters students into competitive events. Students pay for the training. A few students who can't afford tuition receive scholarships from A Better Body to attend the [karate] school. The nonprofit is an educational program. Students do not pay for these services. Donations really help. Bullying prevention is a major area of education. I developed a "Can Do" program for those with body limitations to overcome those limitations and be successful in life. We work in public high schools to change the mindset of students-to change their view of themselves and to set goals. As previously stated, we want them to be "victors, not victims." We also do demonstrations for the public. We will be having a demo at The Pumpkin Festival in Havana October 13 at 11 a.m.

How long have you been teaching?
27 years.

What type of education or certifications prepared you for this work?
There are so many. I am certified as a Master Fitness Trainer, Real Essential Life Coach Instructor, Senior Fitness Specialist, Youth Fitness Instructor, Sports Nutritionist, Aqua Zumba Instructor and Group Fitness Instructor. I completed courses in personality development and trained with the Department of Children and Families for attachment difficulties, childhood trauma and reactive attachment disorder.

Tell me what honors in martial arts you have received.
Again, there are many. I've been inducted into the Martial Arts Grand Master's International Council. In 2000, I was Instructor of the Year at the Kung Fu Hall of Fame and Woman of the Year at the American Federation of Martial Arts Hall of Fame. In 2001, I received a Life Achievement Award at the World Christian Martial Arts Hall of Fame and the Spirit Award for Dedication to Martial Arts at the 2001 Action Martial Arts Magazine Hall of Fame. In 2002, I received the Excellence in Martial Arts Award at the 2002 Martial Arts Magazine Hall of Fame. In 2004, I was Woman of the Year at the Universal Martial Arts Hall of Fame. In 2006, I was Instructor of the Year in the Florida Cosmopolitan Hall of Fame. I also won Business of the Year from the Chamber of Commerce in Tallahassee three years in a row. However, I feel my greatest achievement is being able to help others succeed.

Any honors in community service?
I have gotten many letters of commendation for my work in the community such as from the Gadsden County School Board, the Governor, House of Representatives, Alan Williams, Department of Health, Gadsden Health Council and many others.

How have your students done?
I'm so glad you asked. They say the proof is in the pudding, and the students have done amazingly well. They have earned 4,064 victories in competition. Our school is full of trophies. They are going to Alabama October 6 and October 27 to compete, so keep your fingers crossed. Over 100 students have graduated from the Real Essentials Life Skills Course in the schools and that is a really big deal. The students are awesome.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Yes, I'd like to teach Essential Life Skills in Middle School. I think the younger you can get to children and get them to think positively about themselves, the better. I have difficulty just raising funds for those in high school. If there could be additional donations or some type of funding for middle school it would be a tremendous help. I can be contacted at 850-514-4334.

Real Essentials Students Graduate!
Gadsden County High School
January 17, 2017

Click here to read about the latest REAL Essentials
Graduation at East Gadsden High School

Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare Baby and Child Fair
February 2, 2013

Tallahassee Memorial Baby and Child Fair is an event that helps parents explore healthy options for their children. Alpha UPKUDO brought their demonstration team with children aged 5 to 12 to show the various skills in karate. A Better Body handed out free class coupons to all the show attendees. The crowd was very impressed with the children and how well Sensei Debbie and Sensei Liz ran the demonstration.

4Me Biking Event a Success in Havana
January 17, 2013

Several residents looking for ways to workout differently came out on a chilly morning last Saturday to learn what types of bikes are available and how to bike properly. The safety specialists spoke about rules of the road and what things would make their biking for exercise more effective. Road Cycling burns an amazing 250 to 700 calories an hour and mountain biking burns even more depending on how intense you cycle. It is easier on the joints and suitable for all body types and age groups. Biking improves your breathing, muscles and endurance. Additional benefits of relieving stress and creating opportunity to join others who are also interested in staying in shape or getting fit.

The event was held at Havana Community Park. Pro road bike rider Ritann Schultz-Becker from Sunshine Cycles and Rita Meng shared their knowledge. Sunshine Cycles gave the attendees $5 discount cards if they needed some biking equipment and accessories.

With todays technology, small affordable bike computers and free apps to measure distance, calories burn are available. They can even keep track of your heartrate. A free app can be found for android and i phones at or Here are some important safety tips on biking.
  1. Obey traffic signs and signals - Bicycles must follow the rules of the road like other vehicles.It is best to ride 1 foot away from the edge of the road in case you need to move over more by cars passing too closely. The law is 3 foot clearance but some drivers are not courteous.
  2. Never ride against traffic - Motorists aren't looking for bicyclists riding on the wrong side of the road. State law and common sense require that bicyclists drive like other vehicles.
  3. Follow lane markings - Don't turn left from the right lane. Don't go straight in a lane marked 'right-turn only.'
  4. Don't pass on the right - Motorists may not look for or see a bicycle passing on the right.
  5. Scan the road behind you - Learn to look back over your shoulder without losing your balance or swerving. Some riders use rear-view mirrors.
  6. Keep both hands ready to brake - You may not stop in time if you brake one-handed. Allow extra distance for stopping in the rain, since brakes are less efficient when wet.
  7. Wear a helmet and never ride with headphones - Always wear a helmet. Never wear a headphone while riding a bike. Absolutely no texting or talking on the phone while biking. You need your full attention on what you are doing.
  8. Dress for the weather - In rain wear a poncho or waterproof suit. Dress in layers so you can adjust to temperature changes. Wear bright colored clothing.
  9. Use hand signals - Hand signals tell motorists and pedestrians what you intend to do. Signal as a matter of law, of courtesy, and of self-protection. Ride in the middle of the lane in slower traffic - Get in the middle of the lane at busy intersections and whenever you are moving at the same speed as traffic.
  10. Choose the best way to turn left - There are two choices: (1) Like an auto: signal to move into the left turn lane and then turn left. (2) Like a pedestrian: ride straight to the far side crosswalk. Walk your bike across.
  11. Make eye contact with drivers - Assume that other drivers don't see you until you are sure that they do. Eye contact is important with any driver which might pose a threat to your safety.
  12. Look out for road hazards - Watch out for parallel-slat sewer grates, gravel, ice, sand or debris. Cross railroad tracks at right angles.Warn others you are riding with of cars approaching and attemping to come up and pass you, holes, debris or if you are stopping. Watch out for Dogs not on a leash.
  13. Use lights at night - The law requires a white headlight (visible from at least 500 feet ahead) and a rear reflector or taillight (visible up to 300 feet from behind).
  14. Keep your bike in good repair - Adjust your bike to fit you and keep it working properly. Check brakes and tires regularly. Routine maintenance is simple and you can learn to do it yourself. There are many styles of bikes choose the one that fits the type of riding you will enjoy most.
  15. Wear proper clothes suitable for cycling. Padded shorts and gloves help keep you comfortable. If you are wearing long pants that are baggy at the bottom, make sure you tuck them or put straps or socks over them to keep them out of the chain guard or you can roll them up.
  16. Attend a class with a local bike club like A Better Body 4Me has or go to a bike shop like Sunshine Cycles that will help you understand things like hand signals, proper seat and adjusted height of seat for comfort, and which type of bike is suitable for you. There are many styles to choose from. Learn how to shift and stop your bike.
Next month the biking event will be held in Quincy at the Tanyard Creek Park 10am. 4Me events are free to all those who make a donation to the non profit A Better Body. Fitness Testing is Janaury 12, Goal Setting Class is January 17th and Fitness class January 31.To sign up for upcoming biking, walking and fitness events call A Better Body at 850-566-4544 or email .
A copy of the official registration (registration number CH31567) and financial information may be obtained from the division of consumer services by calling toll-free within the state. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval, or recommendation by the state. You can obtain the information by calling 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352) or going to visiting

Gadsden County Times and Havana Herald
December 20, 2012

Fitness Plan Just in Time For New Year (Gadsden County Times title)
4Me Program at A Better Body (Havana Herald title)

Time is so precious to all of us and working out in activities that you enjoy or would like to try out will help motivate you to be healthier. A Better Body's certified fitness and safety experts are knowledgeable about health, safety and sports nutrition and can support you in your efforts to improve your health. They are there to guide you through the 4Me 's variety of activities, answer questions, make suggestions & recommendations on a weekly basis that could help you achieve your goals in fitness. Each month's activities are online at A Better and their Facebook page A Better Body Health and Safety.

4Me activities help get people in shape and they are fun. They dont call it exercise but rather movement which everyone's body responds positively to. Regardless of ability, there is something that you can do even from sitting in a chair. Motivation is another key element of 4Me to inspire you to make changes to improve your health. When you have a group of people who like each other and have a common bond, you are more likely to move your body.

The program "4Me" kicks off in January 2013 and runs all year because of donations from churches, businesses and individuals. Activities such as biking, walking, fitness classes, karate, personal safety training, boot camp class, kayaking and strength training. E-mail communication for fitness and safety tips are sent out weekly. January 5th starts things off with a 1 to 5 mile Bike Ride . Each Monday E-Tips from Ask the Trainer will be sent out to all who are on the E-Mail list with topics to cover a variety of diet, exercise, health and safety issues. On January 12th there will be a combination day of Pre-test conducted in Fitness strength, flexibility and cardio that includes a 1 mile walk/run at the A Better Body location. On January 17th a Goal Setting class with a Life Coach to get those on the program started with ideas on how to achieve their health living goals. January 31st features a fitness/kickboxing class.

Additional activities include Pilates & Dance Class, Fitness Boot Camp in the Spring, Beach Training Day in May, Personal Safety Seminars, Karate classes, and Kayacing in the Summer.

The concept of 4Me is you start the program for yourself, you meet others who join up with you then the proceeds received from your donation are used to fund the program and bring fitness activities for the kids in the summer. If doing something for yourself and others is not enough reason to donate and get started, there is another advantage to the 4Me program. It is a tax write off for all donations given to A Better Body as it is a 501C3. If you are a Capital Health Plan member, you are eligible for a fitness reimbursement up to $150 for participating in the activities. If you participate in one activity like karate or fitness/kickboxing on a more regular basis, A Better Body's agreement with Alpha UPKUDO entitles you to 25% off the month to month rate.

Donating to the 4Me Program will help you get or keep you healthier and it will help others. If you would like to donate and find out how to receive the information on these free activities, contact Anne Radke at 850-566-4544 or email All donations should be made payable to A Better Body and mail to 1412 FL GA HWY Havana FL 32333. Or click on Pay Pal button on the website A Better

Master Anne Radke
Alpha UPKUDO Martial Arts & Fitness
566-4544 cell
514-4334 work
1412 FL GA HWY
Suite C
Havana, FL 32333
"Love Always Wins"
A copy of the official registration (registration number CH31567) and financial information may be obtained from the division of consumer services by calling toll-free within the state. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval, or recommendation by the state. You can obtain the information by calling 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352) or going to visiting

Havana Herald
June 7, 2012

Training students this summer will be a lot easier thanks to Capital City Bank Group Foundation's donation to A Better Body's program at Alpha UPKUDO Karate. This summer several students from Gadsden County will benefit from equipment purchased from the $500 donation made by the Foundation. The check was presented to Master Anne Radke at Alpha UPKUDO by Judy Johnson of Havana's Capital City Bank.

Capital City Bank Group Foundation is a Partner in Fitness with A Better Body non profit located in Havana which believes in helping youth discover ways to grow. With the programs that A Better Body offers, students become healthier, learn ways to be safer and even receive training for career and personality development.

Master Anne knows personally how helpful it can be for young people to have someone believe in them and open their minds to another way of looking a life. Karate may seem like it is violent with sparring, which is what the equipment is used for, but in the ring a lot of life lessons are learned.

When you face your opponent whether it be a problem or a challenge, you have choices to make; run from it, confront it or create an alternative route. Fear stops a lot of people and makes them act in ways that don't serve them best. Sparring helps you see where your weaknesses as well as your strengths are. Some think it is a physical activity only but in fact it is by using your mind, the student learns to make the right choices. As Master Anne was told by her teacher," You learn to fight so you dont have to. You control the situation by your decisions and actions".

Confidence and courage are other key element students learn as they spar. The equipment helps keep the students safe while they are learning. As they increase in skill, they can participate in tournaments and perhaps win trophies as the other Alpha UPKUDO students have done over 3000 times in the past 10 years.

A young girl started karate with her mother at Alpha UPKUDO. She was overweight, bullied at school, shy and lacked confidence. With training she evolved to become the youngest person ever to achieve black belt and win both Division State Titles in Kata and Fighting. Today as a high school student she is confident, happy and certainly not bullied.

The positive programs Alpha UPKUDO and A Better Body offers can change lives and give hope for a happier , more successful and healthier life. For more information contact Master Anne @ 514-4334 or visit the website at or A Better

Gadsden County Times and Havana Herald
April 10, 2012
Bond of Karate

Alpha UPKUDO Karate does more than train children and teens but adults as well to become champions in life. In UPKUDO karate, families are drawn closer together both as teammates and as an extended family. Karate is different than other sports as it is year round, always evolving to an achieve even greater accomplishment in life. It does not just focus on a few weeks and end but rather is ongoing toward the quest to discover how to be the best you can possibly be. UPKUDO karate is unique in that classes are offered so that the parents or caregivers of the youth are also allowed to train at the same time . This builds family unity and creates a strong sense of belonging.

Many children in Gadsden County come to our afterschool classes to train at a place where neither public school, race, financial status or age matter, but rather that they are all one in a family who loves and appreciates them. This is the philosophy of our founder of UPKUDO Grand Master Gary Lee Baker. Parents enjoy watching their children and some even love training with them.

Endorsements from parents like Eric Jefferies, who trains with his son Malik, says "I always wanted to do karate as a child but never got the opportunity. Now that my son is interested in it, we can do this together. It builds a stronger bond. We really enjoy being in the demonstrations like Red Heals in the community." Parent Heather Gallagher said, "I've felt sense of belonging from the moment I first stepped through the doors of Alpha UPKUDO as well instantly extended my family and the list of those I consider to be very dear to my heart. Every class is taught with positive encouragement and everyone there sincerely wants you to succeed. Being a part of UPKUDO has deepened the bonds I have with my children since this has been and will continue to be a journey we are on together." Chris McAllister and his son Kyle have been in UPKUDO karate for almost 4 years now and commented "For years I watched my son grow up in UPKUDO and with the encouragement of the other students and instructors, I decided to join and now I am an assistant instructor. I look forward to the day we both become black belts."

I personally have experienced how strong the bond of karate is to a family. I have trained and taught my daughter for the past 20 years who is now a 4th degree Master, Renshi Lisa Roddenberry, grand daughter from the age of 2 years old, Sensei Brittney Roddenberry and son in law Sensei Brent Roddenberry. UPKUDO Karate is a family bond so strong that no hardship or challenge can break. It is a means in which strength in body, mind and spirit are forged. It also makes the sweetest memories as we compete and put on demonstrations.

By sharing with others the knowledge of important life skills learned at Alpha UPKUDO such confidence, patience, respect, honor, focus, integrity and discipline, we can make a difference not just in our family but the extended karate family as well. "Alpha" UPKUDO was named in honor of God. His blessings have been many these past 20 years. We appreciate Him, Grand Master Baker and all those who share in this great love. We believe in families so much that we are offering a 2 for 1 training so that it is affordable for the families. If you would like more information visit our website at or call 514-4334.

Gadsden County Times and Havana Herald
February 12, 2012

The 21st Century After School Program sponsored by Tallahassee Community College has helped 38 children from Stewart Street Elementary and Carter Parramore Academy received promotion in Karate with the Alpha UPKUDO Martial Arts and Fitness Learning Center and A Better Body program. The children have been attending classes over the past 4 four months were tested on basic knowledge of UPKUDO Karate and their life skills such as respect, personal safety, self control, rules and teamwork.

Mr. Roger Milton along with the assistance of Ms. Dorothy Thomas, Ms. Milton, and Ms. Gainous have worked very hard with Master Anne Radke to provide the children the best opportunity for growth. Each student received a 3rd degree white belt, diploma, congratulatory handshakes and hugs by Master Anne and instructors of Alpha UPKUDO, Mr.Gerald, Ms. Helton, and Mr. Blanton. Future plans of putting on a demonstration for the parents in April will show everyone just how much these students have grown and the skills they have learned.

Havana Herald
January 26, 2012

A Better Body non profit organization partnered with Alpha UPKUDO Martial Arts and Fitness in Havana to demonstrate a show of martial arts skills at the Tallahassee Memorial Hospital Health Fair at the Goodwood Plantation on January 14th. The students put on a great show for the audience with weapons, kata, self defense, point sparring and great family unity. A skit was also demonstrated how persons with special needs can defend themselves.

For many of the Gadsden county youth, such as Nolan who is 4 years old, it was the first time demonstrating in public. The message came though loud and clear that families who train together can create healthier and safer lifestyles as well as build closer loving relationships. Of the 30 students in the demonstration, over 70% were family members which truly represented the theme "Love Always Wins". Participating in programs offered by A Better Body can bring families together to create happier and healthier lifestyles physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally.

For more information on programs offered contact Master Anne Radke at 514-4334 or visit the website