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Sensei Howard High

Sensei Howard High

Chairman, International Yudanshakai Executive Council

7th Dan, JKR - Head Instructor, Maryland, USA

Sensei Howard S. High is the Chairman of the Executive Council of the JKR International Yudanshakai, the governing body for JKR world-wide. He is also the Branch Chief of JKR Maryland.

Sensei High began formal martial arts training in 1965 with the late Harry Ishisaka, in the art of Aikikai Aikido, and in the art of karate with Kaicho Kiyoshi Yamazaki in 1972.

In addition to his 7th Dan rank in Shindo Jinen Ryu, Sensei High also is a Yudansha in Yoshinkan Aikido under the International Yoshinkai Aikido Federation. He also concurrently trains in the Japanese sword arts of Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu, Mugai Ryu, and a system derived from Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu.

Sensei High began teaching karate in 1976 at Occidental College in Los Angeles. While serving in the U.S. Army from 1977 to 1994, Sensei High established karate classes wherever he was stationed in the U.S. and in Europe. Sensei High founded JKR Kansas in 1993 at the University of Kansas (KU), as both a karate club and a course that could be taken for credit.

After graduating from KU with a Master of Arts Degree in Russian and East European Studies, Sensei High opened a dojo in Lenexa, Kansas in 1994. Five years later, he founded the annual JKR Elite training camp, an event that has since been designated as one of two venues recognized by Kaicho Yamazaki as official JKR International Instructor Training Courses.

While teaching in Kansas, Sensei High served as the Public Relations Committee Chairman and a member of the Technical Committee of the USA National Karate-do Federation, the National Governing Body for the sport of karate under the auspices of the U.S. Olympic Committee. He was also a Vice President and Board Member of USANKF for several years.

In 2006, Sensei High relocated from Kansas to New Jersey, passing leadership responsibility for the Kansas branch to Sensei Gerry Allen. Sensei High later moved to Maryland, where he established JKR’s first branch in that state.

In addition to instructing throughout the United States, Sensei High has taught martial arts classes and seminars in countries such as Australia, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the Bahamas, Aruba, Venezuela, and Mexico.

Sensei High also teaches Self-Defense and Defensive Tactics to the public and U.S. Government/ Military personnel. Some of his students/clients include the U.S. Army’s military police, U.S. Army counterintelligence special agents, and U.S. Government Civilians at various military installations.

Sensei Paul Belle Isle

Sensei Paul Belle Isle

Vice Chairman, International Yudanshakai Executive Council

7th Dan, JKR - Head Instructor, New England, USA

Sensei Paul Belle Isle serves as the Vice Chairman of the International Yudanshakai Executive Council (IYEC), the governing body for Japan Karate Do Ryobu-Kai. He is also Head Instructor for JKR New England, and holds nanadan (7th degree) ranking in Shindo Jinen Ryu karate.

Sensei Belle Isle began studying martial arts in 1985 at Cornell University, where he trained in Hayashi-Ha Shito-Ryu Karate under Sensei Ed Ferraro and earned his first black belt in that style.

He has also trained extensively in Shotokan Karate with Sensei David Ernst, under the direction of Sensei Teruyuki Okazaki, in Washington, DC, as well as with Sensei Masataka Mori in New York City.

Sensei Belle Isle joined JKR in 1999, studying under Sensei Howard High in Kansas City, where he was also an instructor for five years. In 2006, he became senior instructor at Japan Karate Do Ryobu-Kai Saint Louis, where he served for another 5 years.

He returned to his native Massachusetts in 2012 to establish JKR in New England, where he teaches today.

Sensei Simon Oliver

Sensei Simon Oliver

Member, International Yudanshakai Executive Council

7th Dan, JKR - Head Instructor, United Kingdom

Sensei Simon Oliver is a member of the International Yudanshakai Executive Council, the Head Instructor for the United Kingdom, and a boardmember for the JKR UK Founder's Committee.

Sensei Oliver began his martial arts journey in 1966, studying judo as a child. Two years later, he was introduced to karate, and became a private student of Wado Ryu instructor Sensei Tatsuo Suzuki. He also trained under Sensei Maeda via Sensei Pete Bell, achieving black belt rank in 1972. Sensei Oliver began studying Shukokai Shito Ryu for several years, and then switched to Shotokan after meeting Sensei Terry O’Neill. After moving to Nottingham to attend university, he trained with Sensei Asano's group before eventually grading to yondan with Sensei Keinosuke Enoeda, and then godan with Sensei Dave Hazard. Sensei Oliver competed at the regional, national and international open circuit levels, and retired from competition in the early nineties.

In the late 1970’s, Sensei Oliver's parents funded a trip to Japan where he first met and trained with Soke Yasuhiro Konishi. It was not until many years later that he would realise the importance of that meeting, which led to three further Japan trips with extended stays, and for many years after that, what amounted to an annual pilgrimage to train with Soke Konishi.

Sensei Oliver was also introduced to Kaicho Yamazaki by Sensei O’Neill in the seventies, and took every opportunity to train with him, as well. Sensei Oliver relished both Kaicho Yamazaki's approach and his openness. In 2003 he made the decision to join Japan Karate Do Ryobu-Kai and form JKR United Kingdom. Since that time, Sensei Oliver has graded both rokudan and nanadan under Kaicho Yamazaki.

Sensei Noel Turner

Sensei Noel Turner

Member, International Yudanshakai Executive Council

7th Dan, JKR - Head Instructor, Australia

Sensei Noel Turner is a member of the International Yudanshakai Executive Council, and the Head Instructor for JKR Australia. JKR Australia is headquartered in Queensland and has been under Sensei Turner’s leadership since 1977.

Sensei Turner began training in karate in 1974, initially studying Shito-Ryu with Sensei Tamio Tsuji, lead instructor for Australia under the direction of Sensei Tani and the Karate Research Institute of Japan. He later switched to Shotokan karate, and has trained with both Sensei Vince Morris and Sensei Patrick McCarthy. In 1992, Sensei Turner affiliated his organization with Japan Karate Do Ryobu-Kai, then under the directorship of Sensei Yasuhiro Konishi, 10th Dan. In 1997, he fully transitioned his organization to JKR and the study of Shindo Jinen Ryu.

Sensei Turner has successfully evolved from an outstanding competitor in the Australian Karate Federation and in open titles to a top-tier coach and teacher. He has produced state, national and world champions.

Sensei Minako Yamazaki

Sensei Minako Yamazaki

Member, International Yudanshakai Executive Council

6th Dan, JKR - Instructor at Large, California, USA

Sensei Minako (Mina) Yamazaki began her karate training at a very early age with her father, Kaicho Kiyoshi Yamazaki, one of the most highly regarded martial arts instructors in the world today. Her training also includes extensive time in Japan, where she was appointed by second generation Soke Konishi as one of the few fully-qualified instructors to teach the original Shindo Jinen Ryu katas.

Sensei Yamazaki graduated in 2008 from San Francisco State University (SFSU) with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Radio and Television. While at SFSU, she served as the Communications Director of KSFS, the shcool's radio station.

Sensei Yamazaki has conducted JKR seminars in the United States, Venezuela, the United Kingdom, the Bahamas, Aruba, and Australia. She competes at the highest levels and has placed first and second at the U.S.A national championships repeatedly. Her accomplishments include:

Multiple-time National Champion
U.S. National Team Member – Kata and Kumite
WKF Ranked athlete
2017 U.S. Open Bronze Medalist - Kata
2016 U.S. Open Gold Medalist – Team Kata
2016 U.S. Open Silver Medalist - Kumite
2015 U.S. Open Gold Medalist – Team Kata
2015 U.S. Open Silver Medalist – Kata
2014 U.S. Team Member at the WKF World Championships
2014 North American Cup Silver Medalist – Kata
2014 North American Cup Bronze Medalist – Kumite
2012 Pan American Silver Medalist - Kata
2014 Pan American Bronze Medalist – Team Kata

Sensei Johnny Aguilar

Sensei Johnny Aguilar

Member, International Yudanshakai Executive Council

6th Dan, JKR - Head Instructor, Venezuela-Seishinkai

Sensei Johnny Aguilar began training in karate in Mérida, Venezuela in 1979 at the University of the Andes Dojo, part of the Japan Karate Do Ryobu-Kai organization. He opened his first dojo at the Faculty of Humanities of the University of the Andes in 1989. During that time, in addition to training in Shindo Jinen Ryu, he frequently visited other schools, where he gained exposure to styles of karate such as Shito-Ryu and Goju-Ryu.

In 1990, Sensei Aguilar relocated to the city of Punto Fijo, founding the Ryobu-Kai Falcón Dojo, while also opening the Zarabón Dojo in another region of Venezuela. In 1995 he was appointed by Kaicho Yamazaki as a director of JKR Venezuela and he is currently the Head Instructor for Japan Karate Do Ryobu-Kai Venezuela Seishinkai, which has locations in several states of Venezuela.

Sensei Aguilar was a highly competitive and accomplished athlete, referee, and coach in the Venezuelan Karate Federation:
• 1984 - 1989 University of the Andes team member for kata and kumite; participant in National University Championships in kata, team kata, kumite, and team kumite
• 1984 - 1989 Mérida State Karate Team member for kata and kumite; participant in National and International Championships representing the Venezuelan Karate Federation
• 1987 - 1991 Venezuelan National Team, Venezuelan Karate Federation, participating in team kata, kumite, and team kumite at the 1989 Bolivarian Championships and 1990 Pan American Championships
• 1991 - 1997 National Referee for the Venezuelan Karate Federation
• 2003 - 2010 Coach of the Falcón State Karate Team

Today, Sensei Aguilar teaches Shindo Jinen Ryu karate-do at the Zarabón Dojo in Venezuela, helping students to become strong karate practitioners and honest, upstanding citizens. He also advises JKR schools in several Latin American countries including Panama, Aruba, Colombia and Peru.

Sensei Jonathon Smart

Sensei Jonathon Smart

Member, International Yudanshakai Executive Council

5th Dan, JKR - Head Instructor, Mexico

Sensei Smart was born and raised in Sussex England, where he began his martial arts journey. A direct student of Kaicho Kiyoshi Yamazaki, he served as Kaicho’s uchi deshi on more than one occasion, and as his assistant on several Hollywood productions for which Kaicho consulted.

Today, after nearly four decades of training, competing nationally and internationally - Sensei Smart was JKR-UK National Champion in 1996 - as well as teaching around the world, he is a member of the International Yudanshakai Executive Council and the Head Instructor for JKR Mexico.

Sensei Fabio Rodríguez

Sensei Fabio Rodríguez

Member, International Yudanshakai Executive Council

5th Dan, JKR - Head Instructor, Kansas

Sensei Rodríguez started training karate in 1984, in his native Bogotá, Colombia. He practiced a style of Shotokan karate called Kenkojuku under the guidance of Shihan Jose Noe García and Sensei Mario Medina. Both were direct students of Shihan Hiroshi Taninokuchi, the pioneer of Japanese karate in Colombia.

Sensei Rodríguez studied Kenkojuku until the age of 17, in 1992. He moved to the US in 1993, and attended the University of Kansas, where he earned a BFA in painting.

In 1999, while taking taekwondo classes at the University of Kansas, Sensei Rodríguez met the founder of JKR Kansas, Sensei Howard High and started training at his dojo. Subequently, he joined the Japan Karate-Do Ryobu-Kai organization, achieving the rank of Shodan in 2000. That same year he began teaching - first, as an assistant to Sensei Gerry Allen, then with his own junior karate program.

Since that time, Sensei Rodríguez has continued teaching Shindo Jinen Ryu karate in the Kansas City area.

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