Shotokan Legacy Seminars II

April 28 – May 1, 2005

Southern California

Back, by popular demand!  For the second time ever, over a dozen instructors, all of whom lived and trained in Japan, taught more than 20 seminars over a four-day period.  Many of them trained directly with Nakayama Sensei prior to his passing in 1987.  Most of these instructors lived in Japan for many years and have gained experiences that may be invaluable to your own training. The Shotokan Legacy Seminars have 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 involve an extraordinary gathering of non-Japanese Shotokan instructors. Below is a photo of a some of them:

Some classes were open to all ranks and ages.  Some were restricted to just black belt adults.  There were also some classes involving stretching 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 Locations:
  • Cabrillo Beach Dojo: Cabrillo
  • Peck Park Community Center:       PeckPark 

Seminar Schedule & Locations

 2005 April 28th
April 29th
April 30th
May 1st
Location Cabrillo Beach Dojo, San Pedro
9am   Seminar 3
B Ehling
Seminar 12
J Keeling
Seminar 22
A Hoopes
10am   Seminar 4
M Berger
Seminar 13
M Fisher
Seminar 23
R Amos

Seminar 14
S Ubl
Seminar 24
M Fisher
11am   Q&A Session2
2pm   Seminar 5
M Fisher

Seminar 15
J Yabe

Seminar 25
J Yabe

Seminar 6
F Borda

Seminar 16
G Michel
Seminar 26
M Berger
3pm   Seminar 7
J Field

Seminar 17
J Field
Seminar 27
R Amos

Seminar 8
J Keeling
Seminar 18
E Passoja
Seminar 28
F Borda
4pm     Q&A Session1
6pm Seminar 1
M Berger

Seminars 9
J Yabe

Seminar 19
S Ubl

Seminar 29
S Ubl

Seminar 10
A Hoopes
Seminar 20
J Keeling
7pm Seminar 2*(may run to 8:30)
K Seto

Seminar 11
S Ubl

Seminar 21
M Berger

Seminar 30
J Field
8pm bon fire at the beach
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 and teenagers (cutoff may become shodan, depending on level of participants attending)
only black belt adults (cutoff may be nidan, depending on level of participants)


Descriptions of Classes

Seminar 1: M Berger – Kihon
Seminar 2: K Seto- Kihon and/or Kata (may run overtime for no extra charge!)

Seminar 3: B Ehling – “AgeBarai”
Seminar 4: M Berger – Kihon
Seminar 5: M Fisher – The 4 Methods of Movement Used When Penetrating a Defense or Absorbing an Attack
Seminar 6: (consolidated into Seminar 5)
Seminar 7: J Field- Combinations/Kumite
Seminar 8: (consolidated into Seminar 7)
Seminar 9: J Yabe – Kihon
Seminar 10: A Hoopes – QiGong Breathing & Moving Meditation *Note: non-karate people welcome!
Seminar 11: S Ubl – Fundamentals of Training

Seminar 12: J Keeling – Alignment
Seminar 13: M Fisher – “The Riddle of Heian Shodan”
Seminar 14: S Ubl – Fundamental Training
Seminar 15: J Yabe – Advanced Kumite
Seminar 16: G Michel – Dynamic Hip Rotation in Kihon, Kata & Kumite
Seminar 17: J Field – Combinations/Kumite
Seminar 18: E Passoja – The Important Points of Ippon Kumite
Seminar 19: S Ubl – Fundamental Training
Seminar 20: J Keeling – Weight shifting in/between stances
Seminar 21: M Berger – Kumite

Seminar 22: A Hoopes – “Zen Kumite”
Seminar 23: R Amos – Kihon & Kata
Seminar 24: M Fisher – “The Third Stage of Techniques”
Seminar 25: J Yabe – Advanced Kata
Seminar 26: M Berger – Kumite
Seminar 27: R Amos – Kumite
Seminar 28: F Borda – Kihon
Seminar 29: S Ubl – Fundamental Training
Seminar 30: J Field – Combinations/Kumite

There was also a Q&A session and breathing/meditation and stretching classes offered at different points between the official seminars.


In order of time first training at the Hoitsugan Dojo and/or with Nakayama Sensei while in Japan:

Special Guest Instructor from Japan:
Kensuke Seto – In addition to having spent time training at the Hoitsugan in the early 1970’s, Mr Seto trained in the Instructors’ Class (under Nakayama Sensei and others) in Japan and is a very senior member of the JKA in Tokyo. He was sent by the JKA to teach in Hawaii in the 1970’s for several years. He is also a close personal friend of notable non-Japanese karateka CW Nicol, author of “Moving Zen” (in which Seto Sensei is mentioned numerous times). For more information, please see the following page from his dojo in Tokyo:

James Yabe – Mr Yabe actually 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.

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.

James Field – Trained in Japan in the early 1970’s.  Among the first graduates of the JKA Instructors’ Training program in the USA (under Nishiyama Sensei in LA) and one of the seniormost non-Japanese JKA instructors in the Americas.  Very successful tournament competitor and coach from the 1960’s onwards.  Many Hoitsugan alumni have trained at Field Sensei’s dojo in Santa Monica over the years, including about half of those teaching these seminars.  Chief Instructor for JKA of Santa Monica.

Malcolm Fisher  – Lived at the Hoitsugan for a total of 9 months during 1979-81.  Graduated from the JKA Instructors’ Training in 1985 and during the early 1980’s appeared in many demonstrations and videos assisting Tanaka Sensei. Successful competitor in Japan, Canada and the US spanning over 20 years.  Some notable tournament successes include 2 Firsts and 1 Second place in Kumite for Kogenei City Championships and on kumite teams that placed 4th and 2nd in the All-Japans and 1st (twice) in the Kanto Championships.

Michael Berger – 
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.  Has placed in numerous tournaments in the US and Japan in both JKA and mixed-style events.  Currently teaches in the Los Angeles area: Mr Berger is one of the organizers for this Hoitsugan Seminar event.

Jon Keeling – Lived at the Hoitsugan Sep 1985 to July 1988, July-Aug 1990 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.  Chief Instructor, JKA of Silicon Valley.  Was organizer of 1st Hoitsugan Seminars in northern California in 2004.

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, where he sometimes helps teach classes atJKA of Santa Monica.

Glen Michel – Trained at the JKA Honbu, the Hoitsugan, and Seto Juku from 1987 to 1991. In the US, he has trained with Field Sensei in Santa Monica, California and with Yabe Sensei in Torrance, California. Presently, he is Assistant Instructor under Michael Berger (see below). Mr. Michel is one of the organizers for this Hoitsugan Seminar event.

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 3 books and many articles relating to martial arts and yoga. Instructor of Tai Chi and Zen Yoga in addition to Karate.

Richard Amos – 
Lived in Japan for 9 years from 1989 to 1998, having been a Hoitsugan member Jan 1989 to Sep 1990.  On the Hoitsugan kumite team (along with Rene Vildosola and Leon Montoya) which placed 1st in the All-Tokyo tournament in 1989, winning all rounds 3-to-0.  That same year, he was on the Hoitsugan kata team (along with Rene Vildosola and Rai Wibawa) that placed 2nd in the All-Japans.  Graduate of the Asai-JKA Instructors’ Course in Tokyo.  Placed in finals of the Asai-JKA All-Japans and World Championships on numerous occasions. Presently Chief Instructor for the WTKO.

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 at JKA of Sant Monica.

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

*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.

Maps to seminar locations:
Cabrillo Beach:
Peck Park

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. The current Chief Instructor at the Hoitsugan is Kawawada Sensei, JKA 7th dan, winner of both kata and kumite in the 1st Shoto World Cup tournament in Tokyo, 1985.  He has been teaching at the Hoitsugan for approximately 30 years.

More about the Hoitsugan Dojo