Sempai Shawn Donaldson began training in Shotokan Karate-Do in 1987 under Sensei Dave Rigby. During this time, Shawn was able to train in the many aspects that the art offers in this large school. Shawn remained under the teach of Sensei Dave Rigby until 1997 when the Shotokan Karate-Do Association was founded.
In 1998, Sempai Shawn Donaldson was introduced to the idea of cross training. He realised this was the best way to fill what he felt were the gaps in his knowledge. Shawn felt that this was the turning point in his Martial Arts Journey. Since then, Sempai Shawn Donaldson has trained in the following arts by means of instructed classes and seminars:Shotokan Karate-Do, Chinese Kempo, Miwio Jiu-Jitsu, Kali/Escrima, Machado Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu, Combat Hapkido, Koshindo Jiu-Jitsu, Tenjin-Ryu Jiu Jitsu & Kobudo
Sempai Shawn Donaldson has been granted the gift of training with many distinguished instructors over the years. These include, Sensei Dave Rigby 3rd Dan, Sensei Tony Wilky 4th Dan, Kancho Tony Jackson 9th Dan, Mr. Jeff Speakman (6th Dan, 7th Dan), Guro Dan Inosanto, Royce Gracey, Hanshi Tino Ceberano (9th Dan), Sensei Anthony Hockley (5th Dan), Nino Pilla, Sensei Bob Patterson, Sensei Mick Smith, Tim Stevens (8x World Champion), Alister Mitchel (World Champion), Allen Murdoch (World Champion).
While much of Sempai Shawn Donaldson's combat experience comes from his training, some of the "street knowledge" comes from his security background. Shawn has worked as a guard, VIP Protector and crowd controller in many such places as pubs, clubs, mental hospitals and drug rehabilitation wards. It is this that has lead him to know what works and what doesn't. During classes, Sempai Shawn endeavours to pass this knowledge onto the higher grade students and provide suggestions as to what would be a "street effective" interpretation of what they are doing.
Sempai Shawn Donaldson has an extensive knowledge on competition techniques and tactics. As a junior, Sempai Shawn competed in many tournaments winning at least one trophy at almost all he attended. Shawn's brief time in competition landed him 30 odd trophies, but Sempai Shawn is most honoured by being labelled with the trademark of having "Fire in his eyes" by a National Referee. Shawn narrowed his competition involvement in the mid '90s to concentrate on his traditional and practical training, but despite this, for several years was requested to join the state team.