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O'Sensei Toyama
O'Sensei Takazawa
Early USA Sensei's
Shihan Murray
"The founders of BUDOKAN studied a number of Martial Arts including Chinese Kung-fu, Taekwondo, and several styles of Karate-do including Shito-ryu, Shotokan and Keishinkan. Keishinkan is a minor style of the Shuri-Te strain and is not widely known even in its country of birth. It comes from the line of Toyoma Sensei and the excellent qualities of their instructors are well known in Australia, Malaysia and elsewhere.”

Budokan Karate of Australia

"The Malaysia Karateka learned the techniques and Kata of changing coaches and from different styles starting from 1960...Shito Ryu, Shotokan, Goju Ryu & Keishinkan. (1967 - 1970) ...five coaches of Keishinkan under...Grandmaster Takazawa remained for a long time in Malaysia...spreading the Keishinkan style.”
Karate - Stilrichtung Shorin Ryu Siu Sin Kan
[Translated from the German]

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(Supreme, Ultimate Grandmaster)

At the age of 9, Toyama Kanken began karate training with his first instructor, Itarashiki Choiku (known to have beaten Motobu in a street fight). Once Toyama had learned proper protocol, courtesy, kihon execution, and initial kata understanding, the then accepted founders of Shuri-te (Itosu Anko) and Naha-te, (Higaonna Kanryo) became his mentors until he had mastered all they had to offer.  Funakoshi Sensei and Mabuni Sensei left the teaching of Itosu long before Toyama Sensei, and in doing so missed additional fine points of Itosu's knowledge. Additionally, Toyama Sensei sought out a master of Okinawa-te in Tomari and undertook instruction by the then accepted Tomari-te founder, Matsumora Kosaku (Oyadomari Kokan was another). Matsumora also had mastery in Shaolin martial arts and Kempo from Anan, a Chinese master from Fuzhou.

Karate-do was born combining Kakutojutsu (fighting martial arts), which had been studied in Okinawa 500 years ago, and Kempo, which was introduced from China.  
By combining all known defensive techniques, they invented Toshukuken (The Hand Protecting the Body).

Motivated by an intense desire to learn, know, and master all the martial arts available to him, Toyama Sensei continued to seek out those with in-depth expertise albeit from Okinawa or China, and submerge himself with those masters until they had little more to teach him. With Okinawa-te training maturity, Toyama Sensei was now deemed a master and teacher of Tomari-te, Shuri-te and Naha-te.

Like Itosu Sensei, Toyama Kanken took his knowledge and skills to the Okinawa public schools and became a physical education teacher and karate headmaster. After the World War II, Toyama came under the influence of a third group of masters, in the persons of Miyagi Chojun and Chibana Choshin. After the death of Miyagi in 1953, Toyama received instruction from Kyoda Juhatsu of Okinawa To'on-ryu.
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To honor Itosu and Higaonna, Toyama Sensei adopted their combined systems and called them
Okinawa Seito Ryu Karate-do!

Okinawa where Chinese fighting blended with Kakutojutsu producing
the deadliest martial art (Toshukuken) known forpersonal protection;
Seito meaning orthodox, original, or pure;
Ryu meaning system.

This meant that he had merged all the techniques of Shuri-te, Tomari-te, and Naha-te, but left their kata untouched, separate and pure.

One first learned all the teachings of Shuri-te and Tomari-te prior to advancing to the training of Naha-te. Each art was complete in itself, but together they became the "ultimate" training experience and successfully complimented one another & promoted the practitioner as a “complete” Master of empty hand … karate!

In 1924 Kanken Toyama and his family moved to Taiwan where he studied various Chinese martial arts with masters Chen Fong Tai in Taipei and Lim Fun Fong in Taichung. He studied related systems of Chinese Ch'uan Fa (Kempo/kwan-bop), which included Taku (Hakuda in Japanese language), Makaitan, Rutaobai, and Ubo. Taku is of central China's Hotsupu (northern school) Ch'uan Fa and is further classified as Neikung Ch'uan Fa (Shorei Kempo), that is, an internal method. Makaitan and Rutaobai, which the techniques of nukite (spear hand) came, and Ubo, all belong to the Nampa (southern school) Ch'uan Fa and are external methods or Waikung Ch'uan Fa (Shorei Kempo). These later three styles hail primarily from Taiwan and Fukuden, China. Toyama Sensei was also known to have studied and taught Tai Chi Ch'uan Fa.

Toyama opened his first dojo in 1930, upon returning to Tokyo. He called it the SHU DO KAN (The Hall for the study for the Way).

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Toyama Kanken then opened a second dojo and named it the

(Mind - Heart - Training Hall)

 "The place where respect is enhanced and humility cultivated through sincere, dedicated training."
The karate we practice is


Okinawa - original, pure, orthodox - system/style

The resulting association is the
(International KEI SHIN KAN Karate Association)

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Toyama Kanken Dai Shihan

Toyama O'Sensei died in 1966

 Given his diverse martial arts background, the Japanese government soon recognized Toyama's knowledge, skill, and expertise. Thus, a government official awarded Toyama "Dai Shihan" (supreme, ultimate Grand Master) and the right to promote to any rank in any style of karate. Toyama Kanken quickly became famous for his Aka Ryoku (strong gripping methods of Itosu and Itarashiki)

Kanken Toyama and others were seeking, at that time, to unify Karate-Do as one family rather than see the spread of so-called “styles”. Thus, Toyama Kanken did not claim to teach any particular “style” of Karate-Do and he said, in reference to karate styles, that "styles are limited to the personality of their founders and so development is limited."  True Karate-Do development is not restricted”. Toyama Dai Shihan taught Okinawa Seito Ryu Karate-Do. In other words, he taught pure Okinawa karate. Toyama Kanken, Dai Shihan, founded the All Japan Karate-Do Federation (AJKF) in 1946. By establishing an organization such as the AJKF, Toyama's intention was to unify the karate of Japan and Okinawa into one governing organization, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and technique.

After Toyama Sensei's death other senior students established their own styles: Toshi Hanaue maintained the original Shu Do Kan dojo; Ichikawa Iso founded Do Shin Kan Ryu (The Heart of the Way Style) in 1969; Michio Koyasu founded Soryu (The All or Complete Style) in 1967. Another notable student was Byong In Yoon- the only Korean listed in Toyama's book, the 1959 "AJKF/ Shu Do Kan register" as a 5th Dan Shihan located in Toyama's book. Byong In Yoon disappeared during the Korean War in the 1950's only to resurface in North Korea in 1995's. Two Byong In Yoon students went on to found two of Korea's most important Kwans. Lee Nam-suk founded the Chang Moo Kwan (Hall for the Propagation of Military Training) and Park Chull-hee founded the Kang Duk Won (Training Hall for the Teaching of Virtue).  Prior to his death, Toyama Dai Shihan gave permission to Onishi Eizo Sensei to open his own dojo. Toyama chose the name for the dojo... Koei Kan.

Takazawa Masanao O'Sensei was the only student of Toyama Dai Shihan in which he gave a dojo.  In 1955 Toyama Dai Shihan gave him the...

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Onishi Eizo (Black gi top/Koei-kan)
Kyoda Juhatsu (sitting on left/To'on Ryu)
Toyama Kanken Dai Shihan (sitting on right)
and standing 2nd from right...
Grandmaster Takazawa Masanao
There are many who “talk the talk", but could never "walk the walk;" they're "talk masters." You know that the moment you meet them.

Then there are those few others. They don't need to speak; yet their body language says it all. They express humility with a smile, demonstrate strength by their presence, and display a sincere humbleness in their service to mankind.

   Such a person was Takazawa O'Sensei.

Toyama, Dai Shihan taught Takazawa O'Sensei
the art of the “empty hand” as he himself had been
taught by Grandmasters Itosu and Higaonna.

Having first received instruction from his father in the martial arts, at age 17 he was accepted for further training by Toyama Kanken Dai Shihan. Toyama Sensei “opened  the doors” of such masters of the day such as Kyan Sensei, Kyoda Juhatsu Sensei, and Chibana Sensei for Takazawa Sensei to experience differing perspectives of techniques from Shuri-te, Tomari-te, Naha-te, Japan and China.

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Grandmaster Takazawa was privileged to assist Toyama O'Sensei in the development of kata.
Toyama is the person who Microsoft Photo Editor 3.0 Photodeveloped the kata Juhachi, Juroku, Nanajushi, Juhachi, et. al.

Grandmaster Takazawa O'Sensei created Matsu and other small, but essential kata.

Takazawa O'Sensei was a teacher in science for many years in Tokyo before returning to his place of birth in Okayashi, Nagano, Japan, where he continued to work in physiotherapy and acupuncture, assisted by his wife and two sons until his recent death.  If one learns to injure, should they not also learn to heal or treat those injured?” ... is a question that motivated Takazawa Sensei to attended first Boston University and then Harvard University to study another art…the art of medicine, the treatment of those in pain or suffering.

The move to the mountain area of Nagano also served to honor of his ancestors, who were samurai of Matsumoto Castle...where they lived the Code of the Samurai. Takazawa O'Sensei, the living "Kan" of KEI SHIN KAN settled the "Hombu" in the serenity of the mountains...far away from the busy material world of Tokyo. Although he maintained a large dojo were his mentor, Toyama Kanken, first gave Takazawa one of his two dojos...the KEI SHIN KAN of Tokyo.  Grandmaster Takazawa truly expresses the “Spirit of Budo” in his life.

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Takazawa O'Sensei did not sit still when it came to martial arts.

He has trained and mastered Kendo, Iaido, Kyudo, Aikido, and Judo.

- 1950's -
Jim Nelson
Jim Nelson (Sandan) and Bill Dye (Nidan) were the first to bring the training of Okinawa Seito Ryu from the KEI SHIN KAN in Japan to the United States.

Jim Nelson (Navy) was the first to win a full contact Black Belt Prefecture tournament in Japan against all systems. O'Sensei had promoted him from Ikkyu (brown belt) to Shodan (Black Belt) just for the day.  Then his certificate was torn up until he fully earned it.   I felt it an honor to have met Jim Nelson and enjoyed our conversations of training in Japan with Grandmaster Takazawa.

Both Jim and Bill trained under Masanao Takazawa O'Sensei, considered the protégé of Toyama Sensei in that he was given one of Toyama's 2 dojos and promoted to Hachidan (8th degree black belt) through the All Japan Karate-do Association (Zen Nihon Renmei Karate-do) in 1955.

- 1960's -

Jim Nelson began training Robert Yarbrough and Charlie Mathews  into strong fighters and fine kata technicians in the Los Angeles area of Long Beach.

Robert Yarbrough
(from Oshima Shotokan/Nagamine Shorin Ryu)

Charlie Mathews
(from Shotokan)

Sensei Robert Yarbrough (Hachidan) began training Rod Murray (from Kenkojuku Shotokan). Rod Murray competed kata and kumite throughout California/Nevada and the Midwest placing 1st, 2nd, or 3rd.

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Shinohara Sensei
Microsoft Photo Editor 3.0 PhotoIn the early 1970's Shinohara Nobuhiro (Godan) was sent by Grandmaster Takazawa to oversee training and further develop the Keishinkan.
Grandmaster Takazawa was changing the training from "Okinawa Seito Ryu" of Toyama O'Sensei  to more in keeping with the Kyan method. It began to look more and more like Shotokan. Nobu was the champion in the USA for the reform.

During his first year in the USA, Shinohara won the overall Weapons Grand Champion at Ed Parker's International karate Championships. Nobu first began instruction in the Los Angeles area of Californian, then in Boise, Idaho. Sensei Murray would visit him to train in kata and kumite when there were no challenging tournaments to enter. With time Sensei Shinohara taught in the Midwest areas of Missouri and Arkansas. Sensei Murray competed from California to Chicago, from Tennessee to Arizona and did not see many competitors that fought as well as Sensei Shinohara. Yet Nobu did not seem that interested in fighting within the United States. He found greater pleasure in teaching and later...his wife, family, and friends.

 Shihan Rod Murray

Master Murray's early beginnings as a champion wrestler in a Minnesota high school and at Mayville State University/Mankato State University, helped his rise in Judo and in Aikido.

In additon to O'Sensei Takazawa (Toyama, Kyan - Japan), other martial arts greats such as Major Phil Porter (Mather AFB), Ed Parker (Kenpo - LA), Parker Shelton (Shorin Ryu - IN), Mel Wise (IN), Okano Tomasaburo (Kenkojuku Shotokan, Japan), Jim Arwood (Kenkojuku Shotokan - TX, CA, TN), Robert Halliburton (Kenkojuku Shotokan - TX, CA), Bill Clingen (CA; Tang Soo Do/Moo Duk Kwon) and Jay Lunon (WA; Hung Gar, Pai Lum Tao) also provided mentoring in one form or another throughout Sensei Murray's 50 years of training.  

In 1992, Rod Murray (age 46), Isaac Espinosa, and Bart Coy won 1st Place in full contact Koshiki Team Kumite in Japan by outfighting Japanese, Malaysian, Australian, Indonesian, Singapore, and New Zealand Teams.  It was the first time a non-Japanese team had ever won the tournament.

By 1997, Sensei Murray (51) had competed and won the AAU Washington State Championship and the AAU Region 12 Championship in kumite and kata. At the AAU National Karate Championship in Orlando, Florida, Sensei Murray fought to second place in a televised match against a tough opponent from New York. A review of the tape shows that Sensei Murray had won the match, but since the center judge had given his decision...the victory stood. Both fighters enjoyed the hard fight! Sensei Murray said he hadn't had a fight like that since he fought Fred Wren in a USKA North Dakota State Karate Championship in Fargo, ND.

Again in 1998, Sensei Murray pursued and won the AAU Washington State Championship and moved on to the AAU Region 12 finals at Grants Pass, OR.  He placed second in the Region but in qualifying for the Nationals, Sensei Murray sustained a throat punch, which broke a small bone and sent him to Seattle Harborview Trauma Center for a life threatening injury and a death. Shihan Murray (67 yrs.) no longer fights in competition and he has become a student of Hsing Yi Ch'uan Fa Neigong to heal, increase internal energy, and keep the "energy gates" open providing good "flow" throughout his body... much as Grandmasters Toyama and Takazawa. Transidental Meditation was another method Shihan Murray trained in for calmness and energy.

Since Takazawa O'Sensei knew that I'd learned the "old kata ways" through the teachings of Sensei James Nelson, he allowed me to continue practising them as long as I learn the new kata way (Shotokan like) from Nobuhiro Shinohara.  I said I would because I'd learned them that way in Shotokan so it was an easy task. I'd which from Shotokan to the Keishinkan because the katas were more intricate and difficult with much twisting and moving. But I said that "all bets were off" if one of us dies first. Grandmaster Takazawa has passed way. I'm now only doing the old way: Okinawa Seito Ryu.

Of Shihan Murray's 50 years training, 44 years have been with Takazawa O'Sensei
with Shihan Murray's rank being first registered with the All Japan Karate-do Association (Zen Nihon Renmei Karate-do) started by Toyama Sensei!
Later Grandmaster Takazawa started his own association The International KEI SHIN KAN Karate Association.
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For some there is a point in which many instructors/masters feel they are above putting themselves to the test against another. Life does not stop presenting us with challenges, no matter what age we are, and we should not embrace reasons for evading stepping "up to the plate" for the test. While most masters "talk the talk," I will "take up the challenge" of kumite and endeavor to "walk the walk!"  Stand at the edge of the ring and live vicariously through your students while the true warrior fights on!  Grandmaster Trias once said, "I may be getting slower with age, but I'm deadlier and more precise!

Grandmaster Takazawa said, "muscle and speed, now older with ki power...I never loose!

At age 68, Shihan Murray still kumites with senior students but is careful not to injure them.

1st - AAU State Championship, Edmonds, WA (50-54)
     2nd - AAU State Championship, Edmonds, WA (30-34)
     1st - AAU Region 12 Championship, Grants Pass, OR (50-54)
     2nd - AAU Region 12 Championship, Grants Pass, OR (30-34)

2nd - AAU National Championship, Orlando, FL (50-54)
1st - AAU State Championship, Edmonds, WA (50-54)
     2nd - AAU State Championship, Edmonds, WA (30-34)

1st - USA National Karate Federation State Championship, Edmonds, WA (50+)

1st - USA National Karate Federation State Championship, Edmonds, WA (50+)
     2nd - Shorinryu Karate Championship, Des Moines, WA

1st - Thomas Karate Championship, Auburn, WA
     3rd - 5th Annual Kittitas Valley Championships, Ellensburg, WA

1st - Three-Man Team, National Koshiki Karate Championship, Nagano, Japan

1st - 20th Annual Cal/Neva Karate Championship, Sacramento, CA
     1st - Lee's 5th Annual Tae Kwon Do “Full Contact” Championship, Roseville, CA

     2nd - USKA National Point Champion, Anderson, IN
     2nd - Chuck Norris World Pro-Am Championship, Santa Monica, CA
     3rd - California State Karate Championship, San Francisco, CA
     3rd - Minnesota State Karate Championship, Duluth, MN
     1st - North Dakota State Karate Championship, Fargo, ND
2nd - North Dakota State Karate Championship, Fargo, ND
     1st - Wisconsin State Karate Championship, La Crosse, WI
     2nd - Leo Fong's Central California Karate Championship, Manteca, CA
     1st - Ron Marchini's Captain Weber Days Karate Championship, Stockton, CA

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