Shotokan Legacy Seminars I

February 19-22, 2004

Silicon Valley area of northern California

Unprecedented Shotokan Training Opportunity!

For the first time ever, over a dozen instructors, all of whom lived and trained in Japan, taught more than 20 classes over a four-day period.  Many of them trained directly with Nakayama Sensei prior to his passing in 1987.  Someof these instructors lived in Japan for many years and have gained experiences that may be invaluable to your own training.This event has set a new standard of excellence for seminars. 


   Pictures from the 2004 seminars

***Order the DVD from the 2004 seminars***

Some of the best instructors from various organizations are coming together from far and wide to carry on a legacy — the legacy of Nakayama Sensei.  From their extensive training in Japan, these instructors all share one thing: a sense of obligation to pass on the extraordinary insights into karate training that they gained in Japan.


These seminars involved an extraordinary gathering of non-Japanese Shotokan instructors.  

Some classes were open to all ranks and ages.  Some were restricted to just black belt adults.  There were also some classes in yoga and breathing that non-martial artists were welcome to attend.  Some instructors focused exclusively on ideas and training methods they picked up while training in Japan.  Others combined their Japan experience with their own thoughts on training and teaching.


Seminar Schedule & Locations

February 2004 19th
Location Mountain View YMCA, Mountain View
DeAnza College, Cupertino
Buildings PE1 & PE2,
in the PE complex just north of the football field
7am       Seminar 17
S Ubl

8am       Seminar 18
L Montoya

9am   Seminar 3
B Ehling

Seminar 9
D Cook

10am   Seminar 4
J Keeling / Steve Ubl
Seminar 10
B Thompson
2pm   Seminar 5
G DuBois

Seminar 11
J Yabe

Seminar 19
F Borda / J Peck

3pm   Seminar 6
L Montoya

Seminar 12
M Berger
Seminar 20
J Yabe

Seminar 13
G Michel 

Seminar 21
E Passoja



6pm Seminar 1
J Keeling

Seminars 7* (from 6:45)
A Hoopes

Seminar 14 & 15
A Hoopes

Seminar 22
L Montoya

7pm Seminar 2
S Ubl

Seminar 8* (from 7:45)
L Montoya

Seminar 16
S Ubl

Seminar 23
M Berger

all ranks and age levels welcome
only green belts and up, all ages, but may be geared more toward adults
only brown belts and up, only adults
only black belt adults


Descriptions of Classes

Seminar 1: J Keeling – Dispelling common beliefs about techniques and training (kihon)
Seminar 2: S Ubl – “Understanding Fundamentals”

Seminar 3: B Ehling – (green belt and up only) Combination Training / Maneuver Drills
Seminar 4: J Keeling – kata variations; Steve Ubl – fundamental training
Seminar 5: G DuBois -“Mu – Training with an open mind” (actual time 2:00-2:50pm)
Seminar 6: L Montoya – basic technique (actual time 2:50-3:45pm)
Seminar 7: A Hoopes – Yoga and Dynamic Stretching *non-karate people welcome to attend* (*actual time 6:45-7:45pm)
Seminar 8: L Montoya – (green belt and up only) (*actual time 7:45-8:45pm) basics of training

Seminar 9: D Cook – (green belt and up only) Basics
Seminar 10: B Thompson – Power generation, shifting
Seminar 11: J Yabe – Kumite
Seminar 12: M Berger – (black-belt adults only) Kumite Strategy & Technique- “Exploring the Zen Connection”
Seminar 13: G Michel – Dynamic hip rotation in kihon, kata & kumite
Seminar 14: A Hoopes – Stretching (extra $10 charge; 5:30-6:00pm)
Seminar 15: A Hoopes – “Zen Kumite”
Seminar 16: S Ubl – (green belt and up only) Kihon and kata practice/application study (Kanku-sho)

Seminar 17: S Ubl – “Understanding Fundamentals”
Seminar 18: L Montoya – (green belt and up only) basics of training
Seminar 19: F Borda & J Peck – Using the hips and legs for power
Seminar 20: J Yabe – (brown- and black-belt adults only) Kata
Seminar 21: E Passoja – basic body mechanics
Seminar 22: L Montoya – (green belt and up only) basics of training
Seminar 23: M Berger – (black belt adults only) application of karate to realistic encounters – including various tachi-waza , nage-waza, shime-waza, ne-waza,etc.

There was also a Q&A session and massage at different points during the series.


In order of time first training at the Hoitsugan Dojo:

James Yabe – Mr Yabe actually pre-dates the Hoitsugan’s founding.  He lived and trained in Japan in the 1960’s.  He teaches in southern California.

Steve Ubl – The first Hoitsugan resident, from 1972.  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.  Presently teaches at his dojo in Rancho Santa Fe, California.

Jon Keeling –
 Lived at the Hoitsugan 9/85-7/88, 7-9/90 and for a few other short stays.  Lived 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. Seminar organizer for this event.  Chief Instructor, JKA of Silicon Valley.

Leon Montoya – 
Lived at the Hoitsugan from 1986 for several years and still today lives in Tokyo (but no longer at the Hoitsugan).  Graduate of the JKA Instructors’ Course in Tokyo (1996).  Currently instructor at the Hoitsugan Dojo, assisting Kawawada Sensei.  On Hoitsugan kumite teams placing several times at the JKA All-Tokyo Championships and has competed many times in the All-Japan JKA Individual Championships.

Jeremy Peck – 
Lived at the Hoitsugan 1987-88.  Spent additional year+ living and training in Japan.  On Hoitsugna kata team that placed 2nd and 1st in 1987 and 1988 in the JKA All-Tokyo Championships.

Bob Ehling – 
Lived and trained in Tokyo in the late 1980’s to early 1990’s.  Trains under Field Sensei (another Hoitsugan alumni) in Santa Monica, California.

Glen Michel – 
Trained at the JKA Honbu, the Hoitsugan and Seto Juku from 1987 to 1991.

Greg DuBois – Lived at the Hoitsugan 1987-88.  Teaches karate in Alaska.

Aaron Hoopes
 – Trained at the Hoitsugan 1987-1989, where he was a member of the dojo teams competing in All-Tokyo tournaments. Author of 3 books. Instructor of Tai Chi and Zen Yoga in addition to Karate.

Michael Berger – 
Trained in Japan for several years in the 1980s & 1990s.  Has placed in numerous tournaments in the US and Japan.  Currently teaches in the Los Angeles area:

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

Fred Borda – Trained at the Hoitsugan 1991-94.  Instructor at JKA of Silicon Valley.

Dan Cook – Lived at the Hoitsugan in the mid-90’s and spent a total of 9 years in Japan.  Now helps teach classes in Santa Monica.  On Hoitsugan kata team that placed 3rd in JKA All-Tokyo Championships in 1996.

Brian Thompson  – Lived at the Hoitsugan total of about 1 year in the mid-90’s.  Teaches at a dojo in northern California.

*Please note: Many other Hoitsugan alumni and others who have trained in Japan, as well as other senior karateka were present for training but not teaching, or just stopped by for the reunion aspect of the event. 


The Hoitsugan Dojo and dormitory (six small rooms) were set up in 1972 by the late JKA Chief Instructor Nakayama Sensei (with the help of Kanazawa Sensei, now head of SKIF) for people coming to Tokyo from around the world to train. It is located just around the corner from where the Honbu Dojo had been for 2+ decades, in Ebisu-Nishi. 

More about the Hoitsugan