Search This Blog

Instagram

2017/02/13

My Story



"There is no normal day."

I like to work with great people building incredible projects that elevate and inspire us to our next level. 

The better the project, the better the story all about it.

Recently my projects are related to karate, community and aviation.


Karate Clubs
Most of my time is dedicated to my favorite project, my club filled with amazing instructors and students, Kenzen Karate in Victoria, BC Canada.

Over the past 30 years I've built 4 clubs both Canada and Japan, see below.

Events
It's always great to host amazing events that provide numerous benefits for participants.

Next events;
Victoria Open Karate Championships, June 2023
Royal Oak Neighbourhood Festival, August 2023 

Books
Sonny Leads; a Japanese karate adventure is my fictional 3 volume story of what it is really like to try to succeed training karate in today's 21st century fast-paced and karate-mecca of Tokyo.  The volume 1 manga was originally illustrated by Genshi Kamobayashi and published by Manga University.

Coming soon
Sonny Leads; the incredible journey in Japan's karate, volumes 1-2-3 combined story

The Globalization of Karate; the complete story from rural Japan to the Olympic stage
This is my graduate school master's thesis project, and now it's ready for publication.

Podcast Karate360
Karate360's global view covers everything about karate, from amazing world championship stories, to historical beginnings to improve fitness training for karate.

Season 1 & 2 was over 100 episode with the fantastic co-host Kalan Anglos (karate coach & combat sports strength & conditioning coach). Season 3 is in the works.

Media
Documentary

Magazine Column
monthly JKF Karate Magazine, "Richard Sensei's Corner", bilingual guest columnist 2010, publisher Champ Productions Tokyo


The early years
From the 1970s until 1993, my journey started in several martial arts, with karate as my main focus. From 1993 onwards through several long visits Japan to learn karate's deeper roots and discover who I was as an adult, I decided teaching karate was my passion.

The 4 clubs I have built...

Victoria, BC
1988-1994 karate programs at 3 recreation centres (Gordon Head, Cedar Hill & Pearkes) within Saanich Parks & Rec, part-time instructor

Vancouver, BC
1995-2004 Kenzen Karate Vancouver, chief instructor & school PE karate guest instructor

Tokyo, Japan
2005-2014 Seiritsu Gakuen's private junior & senior high school karate club, head coach

Victoria, BC
2004-present Kenzen Karate Victoria, chief instructor & school PE karate guest instructor

To broaden my skill sets, I jumped at many experiences;
BC Team athlete competing at Provincials & Nationals
BC Team coach at Nationals
Canadian Sports Institute coaching student
Vancouver Film School writer/director/producer student

Karate instructors
Many wonderful instructors have taught me so much about karate and being an instructor over many decades.

Below are those who shared technical knowledge with an empathy for others and a student-first approach.

Toshiaki Maeda - Meikugijuku Karate Club Tokyo chief instructor, 1980 WUKO world champion & former Japan team national coach
Maeda Sensei was my main karate instructor for almost 30 years. Beyond being amazingly warm and generous, and briefly my homestay dad, he broadened my awareness of the whole karate world.

Kaz Hashimoto - Odokan Karate Vancouver chief instructor, Pan-Am champion, and multiple time international medalist
For the past few years, Hashimoto Sensei has been my direct instructor and his guidance has been outstanding since it has led to the club and myself achieving a much higher level both karate skill and how to effectively teach it.

Takamasa Arakawa - Shiramizu Karate Club chief instructor Saitama Prefecture & International Budo University Karate Club head coach
Arakawa Sensei has been my best friend in Japan for almost 3 decades and we continue to share our journey of building strong students.

Company
Kenzen Karate Victoria, chief instructor & owner
formerly Tokyo's Seiritsu Gakuen middle & high school karate club, head coach

Community volunteer roles
Vancouver Island Karate Society (Zone 6 Sport BC), president
Royal Oak Business Improvement Association, vice-president
BC Aviation Museum, director at large

Karate rankings
6th degree, Shito-ryu style (Seikokai Suzuki-Ha Japan association)
6th degree, Wado-ryu style (JKF Wadokai Japan association)
3rd degree, Japan Karate-do Federation (JFK)
Coaching Canada Competition-Development, certified karate instructor
Karate BC certified official, provincial referee rank

Former community roles
BC Winter Games provincial advisor (karate) 2016-2020
Canada Open Karate Championships, original founder & event manager 2017, 2018
Karate BC high-performance committee, chair (2015-2022)
BC Team co-head coach, 2022 season
Karate BC executive committee, director at large 2015-2018
viaSport funded Sports on Mats elementary school program, Victoria facilitator 2016-2018
JKF Wadokai Canada (CZ) technical committee, member 2014-2020
North American Wadokai Karate Championships, original founder 2019

Past companies
Seiritsu Gakuen middle school & high school, Tokyo
Real World Media, Vancouver
Labatt Brewing, New Westminister
Rogers Media, Vancouver
MacMillan Bloedel, Vancouver
Loewen Windows, Richmond
University of Victoria

Education
PhD candidate (2013-2017), Peace & Conflict Studies
Graduate School of Global Studies,
Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
completed course work, graduate thesis project paused

Masters in Global Studies
Graduate Program in Global Studies
Sophia University, Tokyo
graduated with honours March 2013

Diploma, Foundation Film Program
Vancouver Film School
graduated March 1999

Bachelor of Arts, Pacific & Asian Studies
University of Victoria
graduated 1995