Founded as the Alkebu-lan Martial Arts Federation in 1978, the original purpose of the organization was to provide affordable martial arts training for the Afrikan American youth. The organization has trained over 300,000 individuals in the martial arts since its inception.
Marvis Cofield, the founder and CEO of Alkebu-lan Village has been a martial artist for over 50 years and is a 7th degree Black Belt. As an instructor, he has introduced thousands of students to the martial arts and has trained and promoted over 200 students to the rank of Black Belt. As an educator and the CEO of Alkebu-lan Village, Mr. Cofield has recognized and skillfully used the martial arts as a tool for youth development.
Over the years the organization has expanded to include youth and adult sports and fitness, leadership training, visual and performing arts, homework assistance and tutoring, youth entrepreneurship training and community service. In November 2000 the organization launched its new identity as Alkebu-lan Village to reflect this growth and program expansion. Alkebu-lan Village currently provides educational, cultural and recreational programs to over 1,000 Detroit youth and their families each year through on-site and outreach programs. The village is moving toward providing whole body health and wellness after school programming that incorporates knowledge of food systems, food consumption, food justice and food sovereignty into the physical fitness taught by martial arts.