In January 1966, Al and Ab Bartlinski began taking lessons in karate from Master Francisco Conde, becoming black belts in August of 1968. At the request of friends desiring to take karate lessons, The Blue Dragon Dojo was formed in 1969. The father/son team formed a corporation The Martial Art of Karate, Inc. in 1971 offering instruction to the general public. By 1979 the U.S. Naval Academy Karate Club was added to the unique instructional program of the Martial Art of Karate, Inc. Both Al and Ab are credited with turning that program around as is attested to by Navy's defeat of arch rival Army whom they had not previously defeated in three prior matches.