Instructors

See which seminars each instructor is teaching

(Listed in order of when they first trained at the Hoitsugan Dojo and/or with Nakayama Sensei while in Japan)

Vincent Cruz - Cruz Sensei began his Shotokan training in Japan in 1956 while in the US Air Force. In 1959, he was selected to be a Combative Measures Instructor for the Strategic Air Command (SAC) through which he trained directly with Senseis Nishiyama and Obata, among others. Cruz Sensei founded International San Ten Karate Association and has written 2 books about Shotokan.

James Yabe - Yabe Sensei’s training with Nakayama Sensei in Japan pre-dates the Hoitsugan’s founding.  He lived and trained in Japan in the 1960′s, having been involved in karate since the 1950′s.  His tournament success in the US in the 1960′s and 1970′s is well-known.  He teaches in Torrance, California, at the ASKC dojo there and holds senior positions in multiple Shotokan organizations.

Steve Ubl - The first Hoitsugan resident, from 1972, Ubl Sensei also trained at the Hoitsugan later in the 1970′s.  A very personal student of the late Nakayama Sensei, from whom he learned some things not taught to more than a handful of the top Shotokan instructors.  He was also one of the most personal students of Senseis Nishiyama and Kanazawa in the 1970′s.  Considered by many of the most highly-regarded Shotokan instructors as the ultimate “teachers’ teacher,” Ubl Sensei operates a dojo in Rancho Santa Fe, California and is the Technical Director for the WTKO.

Kousaku Yokota - Yokota Sensei began his training in Japan in 1960. He moved to the US and was Okazaki Sensei’s right-hand-man for most of the 1970′s. He moved back to Japan in the early 1980′s to further his training, spending a brief time training at the Hoitsugan and spending 2 years training with his orginal instructor (Sugano Sensei) in Hyogo prefecture. Yokota Sensei heads the “ASAI” organization.

Michael Berger - Berger Sensei trained in Japan for several years in the 1980s & 1990s, beginning in 1983.  While there, he trained at multiple locations, including both Takushoku and Komazawa Universities.  He has placed in numerous tournaments in the US and Japan in both JKA and mixed-style events and produced several books and video’s.  He also studied various martial arts in China while there pursuing an advanced degree in traditional Chinese medicine. He currently operates a dojo in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he also practices acupuncture and Zen Buddhism, as well as trains MMA fighters.  Mr Berger was one of the organizers for Hoitsugan Seminars II, in 2005.

Jon Keeling - Keeling Sensei lived at the Hoitsugan Sep 1985 to July 1988, July-Aug 1990 and for a few other short stays.  He lived & trained in Tokyo for a total of 8 years and for a few years taught most of the Saturday classes at the Hoitsugan.  On Hoitsugan kata teams that placed 3rd, 2nd and 1st in different years at the JKA All-Tokyo Championships.  Chief Instructor, Silicon Valley Karate.  Was organizer of 1st & 3rd Hoitsugan Seminars in northern California in 2004 & 2008 and this one in 2014 as well.

Jeremy Peck - Peck Sensei lived at the Hoitsugan 1987-88 and July-Sep 1990.  He spent an additional year+ living and training in Japan prior to staying at the Hoitsugan and during that time trained regularly at the Aoyama Gakuin University dojo.  On Hoitsugan kata team that placed 2nd and 1st in 1987 and 1988 in the JKA All-Tokyo Championships. Peck Sensei has taught at Cabrillo College in Aptos, University of California Santa Cruz and in Monterey, California.

Bob Ehling - Lived and trained in Tokyo in the late 1980′s to early 1990′s.  Ehling Sensei previously trained with Yokota (Kosaku) Sensei and now trains under Field Sensei (another Hoitsugan alumni) in Santa Monica, California, where he sometimes helps teach classes at ISKF Santa Monica.

Aaron Hoopes - Trained at the Hoitsugan 1987-1989, where he was a member of the dojo teams competing in All-Tokyo tournaments. Was also living and training in Japan for an additional 2 years.  Author of several books and many articles relating to martial arts and yoga. Instructor of Tai Chi and Zen Yoga in addition to Karate. www.artofzenyoga.com

Erik Passoja - Trained at the Hoitsugan in 1989.  Presently trains under Field Sensei (another Hoitsugan alumni) in Santa Monica, California, where he teaches classes at ISKF of Santa Monica.

Errol Mahoney - Mahoney Sensei trained mainly at the Hoitsugan dojo with the Saturday afternoon military group (Kenoukai) under Colonel Kawamoto from June 1990 through November 1993, while stationed at Yokota airbase. Currently, he teaches at the JSKA Florida’s Jupiter dojo with Fred Bonomo.

Fred Borda - Trained with Kawawada Sensei at the Hoitsugan 1991-94, as well as at the JKA Honbu.  Instructor at Silicon Valley Karate.

Mario Kadena - Trained at the Hoitsugan a total of six times between 1991 and 2001, for several months each time.  Kadena Sensei teaches at his dojo in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and has been doing Shotokan for over 40 years.

Brian Thompson - Lived at the Hoitsugan for total of about one year in the mid-1990′s, training both there and at the JKA Honbu dojo

Some words from those unable to make it…

Nakayama Sensei would be very proud of what you are all doing; at your spirit of co-operation, compassion and learning. He was the driving force behind the diaspora of highly trained and highly motivated young Karate teachers who went out from Japan in early days to not only teach the fighting art of Karate, but also the true spirit of Karatedo. Those teachers and their students have probably done more for international understanding than all the embassies of all their nations combined. This old Karateka sends his warmest and most sincere well wishes to all of you. Oss!
C.W. Nicol
Kurohime, Nagano, Japan
Thank you again for your kind invite to Hoitsugan Seminars. It looks like a great event. Nice work. I wish you and all of the Sensei a big OSS! and lots of blessings.
Fond regards,
Stan Schmidt
Australia/South Africa

 

Unfortunately I will have to be in Japan at that time…I hope everything goes well.
Dave Hooper
Tokyo, Japan

 

I am really happy to hear that so many of you are together in this project and that are doing well and training…continuing the legacy of our great teacher Masatoshi Nakayama, whom I value more each day. I am unable to attend due to my heavy schedule. I am still training hard like in the old days. I wish you the best in your endeavors. My very best to you all.
Rene Vildosola
Santiago, Chile

 

I have always admired your seriousness in practice and in teaching, and how you have always strived to analyze technique in detail, going back to the roots of what you were taught by Nakayama sensei and other masters and to pass it on to new generations of practitioners without hurrying and without falling for the easy lure of winning tournaments and medals. Just training, the hard old way…
Leon Montoya
Bogota, Colombia

 

After having attended two of the earlier Hoitsugan Seminars it is with regret that I cannot make this one in 2014 due to a prior commitment. The camaraderie and knowledge, not to mention the sense of nostalgia make this weekend very unique and special. Many osses to you and happy training!
Richard Amos
New York, USA