Some instructors that support the Traditional Japanese Karate Network

The TJKN is a style independent support network with the below profiles highlighting some of the instructors that contribute to our Dan rank testing panels and/or cross training activities.

maegeri chudan kick karate instructor
Uetake Hanshi
8th Dan, 

Master Uetake (pictured with Jason Sensei in '95) holds an 8th Dan in Shito-ryu and Studied Shorinji Kenpo to Nidan in his early years. 

He is currently Chairman of the Himeji Karate Federation (which oversees about 40 dojo from different Japanese Karate styles). He trained for decades in the Renbukan Shito-Ryu system under Master Sotokawa and Master Iba. 

He has named his current honbu dojo Kenjufduokai which translates to "Enjoying the way of studying the fist and an immvoable mind".  

Visit Uetake Hanshi's webpage...

See Hanshi's lineage in the
"Shito-ryu karate family tree"

See full article on Sensei Uetake...
John Sells Hanshi
8th Dan, Shito-Ryu

  pic: performing a sai kata in Japan

In 1999 Kenzo Mabuni Soke (son of Kenwa Mabuni) elevated John to eighth dan and May, 2001 in Osaka, Japan at a special celebration, John was honored and awarded the title of Hanshi, for his diligent efforts in promoting the true spirit of karate-do and his technical excellence.

He is also ranked 6th degree black belt in Okinawan Kobudo and is founder of both the United States Kobudo 
Association and co-founder of the Shindokai Karatedo (with Ben Otake).

Since 1976, John has published many articles in several martial arts magazines including "Black Belt", "Karate Ill
ustrated" and "Dojo Magazine". These articles have all focused on historical aspects of karatedo with the aim of bringing to light the details of karate's past so long hidden and overlooked. As an instructor of karate and kobudo, Sells teaches and lectures throughout the United States. 

See Sells Hanshi biography...
      Victor Young Sensei 
8th Dan Shotokan

Since the 1950's Young Sensei has been practicing Japanese martial arts. Kanazawa Sensei was one of his early instructors. He now resides in California and has had a tournament career that spanned over 35 years. He won competitions in Hawaii, California, Colorado and Mexico. He looks forward to sharing these experiences with his students. 

The excellence of his students continue to reflect his knowledge and teachings, not only in the dojo, but also in competition, sports and academics. His dojo is called the Camarillo Shotokan Dojo. he has supported our "Traditional Japanese Karate" network's activities in the USA as well as visiting the Australian dojo(s).

Visit Sensei Young's Dojo webpage...

See Sensei Young's lineage in the
"Karate family tree"

See full article on Sensei Young...
kyoshi bartholomay seito shito ryu
John Bartholomay Hanshi
8th dan, Shito-ryu

John Bartholomay Kyoshi was born and raised in Santa Barbara, California. Training started early in life with formal martial arts training as a child in after-school Aikido with Ota Sensei. Then Tani Shito-ryu after that.

1995 marked a change in Johns training, shifting his focus from Kotaka-Ha Shito-Ryu to Kenzo Mabuni Sokes Seito Shito-Ryu, and passing on the teachings of his new Sensei to his students at the very YMCA where he trained as a child. 

In 2005 after numerous trips to Japan and an ongoing close relationship with Kenzo Mabuni (son of Kenwa Mabuni), at the 5th Taikai of Seito Shito-Ryu held in Osaka, Japan, sensei John was awarded the rank of 7th dan, and the title of Kyoshi. 8th Dan was issued in 2015.
Visit Kyoshi John's Dojo webpage... 

See John's lineage in the "Shito-ryu lineage chart"...

karate shihan sensei
Jason Armstrong Shihan, Ph.D.
7th Dan, Shito-Ryu 

Jason Armstrong Shihan lived with a karate master in Japan and was awarded the title of Shihan in Shito-ryu in 2007. He has studied Japanese martial arts since 1983 and in 1987 was passed Sensei Greg Story's personal black belt (Greg lives in Japan & is featured on this page).  He has worked at Corporate CEO levels in Japan & understands the Japanese culture well. Jason has had a good deal of exposure to various 8th degree Shotokan, Shito-ryu and Goju Sensei through actively traveling the world and training in Japan, Okinawa, Hong Kong & the USA. He has competed at international levels in kata and kumite in the USA, Japan and Australia & Asia. Jason has received Dan ranks while living inside Japan (from Sotokawa, an 8th Dan who gained his 3rd Dan from Kenwa Mabuni) and received a 6th Dan in Shito-ryu in 2007 from Hanshi Sells and a 7th dan seven years later in 2014.

See Jason's lineage in the 
"Shito-ryu family tree"...

See Jason's full karate biography..

            Wayne McDonald Shihan 
                   7th Dan, Shotokan

Wayne McDonald Shihan has been a top world fighter and is a state & national team coach who has produced many national & international level students.

A younger Wayne Sensei is pictured at  the WUKO World Championships in Egypt in 1988. Today in addtion to national team coaching he runs avery large dojo with over 400 students at the Sunshine Coast in Australia.

valentino sensei goju
Valentino Cox Kyoshi
7th Dan USA Urban Goju Ryu
Shorinji Kempo

Valentino Cox Sensei  started training in Uechi-Ryu karate in 1981 under Sensei Michael Zwerdling (then a 5thdegree black belt) in Boston Massachusetts.

At the age of 15, began to study Goju Ryu and Shorinji Kempo (Young Pine Tree Forest) under Master Shim.  Valentino was awarded Shodan by Sensei Zwerdling in 1987, satisfying all technical and physical requirements for his Shodan.  

Also t the age of 16 Valentino earned his Shodan in USA Goju Ryu and Shorinji Kempo, certified by Master Shim.

Relocating to Adelaide, Australia in 2007, Valentino established his own style of martial arts called Uechi-Go-Ryu. This style is a fusion of Uechi Ryu, Goju-Ryu and Shorinji Kempo, and emphasizes in traditional karate, patience, courtesy, the practical application of kata techniques to Bunkai, Himitsu, kumite 

Greg Story Shihan, Ph.D. 
6th Dan Shito-ryu


Greg Story Sensei has lived most of his adult life in Japan and holds a 5th Dan in Shito-Ryu. Sensei Greg achieved 5th Dan in 1986 inside Japan. He gained his Ph.D. through study done inside Japan and today is the General Manager of Shinsei Bank in Tokyo. He competed annually in Australian and Japanese tournaments very successfully over a 17 year period in the 1970s and 80s. And was the Sensei under which Sensei jason Armstrong gained his Shodan.

David Blair Sensei 
6th Dan,  Shotokan

David Blair Sensei trained in Japan in the famous JKA shotokan Dojo in the 1960s for 5 years. Also while living in Japan he trained in shito-ryu and has achieved dan ranks in both styles. He competed on USA national teams on retuning to the the USA and today

Vern Vaden Sensei 
6th Dan, Shotokan

Vern Vaden Sensei began his Shotokan study in the early 1960s under Shihan Teriyuki Okazaki in Philadelphia, Pa.  Sensei Vaden moved to Los Angeles in 1972 where he continued his training under Sensei Hidetaka Nishiyama, and from that year through 1985, competed each year on the US National Team in numerous International championships.  

In 1980, Vern Vaden Sensei opened his own Karate -Do Academy.  Over his many years of training and study, Sensei Vaden has trained with many of the greatest Shotokan Masters, such as Shihans Enoeda, Kisaka, Yaguchi, Oishi, Shirai, and Yamaguchi. 

Penny Ringwood Sensei
Shotokan 5th dan


Penny Ringwood Sensei has 28 years experience in the traditional style of Japanese Shotokan Karate-do. Her primary tuteledge under the direction of world renowned instructor, Master Hidetaka Nishiyama, 9th Dan. She received 5th Dan in January 2006 from Sensei Ray Dalke. 

She is one of the foremost senior female instructors of J.K.A. Style Karate-do in the United States, established and operating independently in Marina Del Rey/Playa Del area for the past eightteen years. 

She is four time AAKF National Individual Kata Champion 1989, 1990, 1995, and 1996 (1st in individual and team Kata). Silver Medalist (Enbu) at the ITKF 6th World Karate Championships held in Montreal, Canada, November, 1992. And posses many other international competition titles.

Tragically, Sensei Penny passed away in 2012, too early for her to go.

See Penny's lineage in the 
"Karate family tree"

karate grappling jason griffiths
Jason Griffiths Renshi
5th Dan

A kobudo, grappling and bunkai focused Okinanwan karate practitioner who has trained under Bob McMahon Sensei and Hanshi Patrick McCarthy. He is a close training partner of Kyoshi Kurt Graham of New Zealand and Jason resides just north of Brisbane in Australia and teaches regulat at dojo in South Australia.
Tracy Ellis, Shihan 5th Dan
Adelaide, Australia

Shihan Tracy is the Chikara Budo dojo senior instructor in Adelaide. Tracy graded early this year with the International Budo Federation to Godan (5th level black belt) which carries the title of Shihan. 

With over 20 years karate experience which was mostly spent in karate training with the Go Kan Ryu karate club. Tracy also helped setup Yu Ki Do and was the elected secretary of the Australian Martial Arts Association (AMAA) from 2003 to 2005. She has also trained with Aiki Budo.

Sensei sean danaher shotokan karate
Shawn Danaher Sensei
5th Dan, Shotokan


Shawn Danaher Sensei began his karate training in 1993 under Marcus Young (Sensei Victor's son). He was promoted to 2nd degree black belt by Sensei Young in ‘03, 3rd degree in ’06 and 4th degree in 2010.

He has worked on several action films, including “The Power Within”, “Tiger Heart”, and recently auditioned for a reality series pilot, “The Next Martial Arts Superstar”. He has experience in national & international competitions, receiving many First Place and Grand Champion Awards.
He feels that it is important to share his experiences with the students.

See Sensei Shawn's karate lineage on the 
Shotokan family tree....

Dave Wallace Senpai
4th Dan, Shotokan

Dave Wallace Senpai began training in 1977 in JKA and with West Coast Shotokan, he received his Shodan from Shihan Edwin Hamile in 1981. Dave moved to Oahu, Hawaii in 1981 and trained under Sensei Chuzo Kotaka (Shito Ryu) for one year and then joined the Hawaiian Karate Association, training under Sensei Kenneth Funakoshi.
Upon returning to California in 1984, he continued training in Ventura and in Los Angeles under Sensei Hideteka Nishiyama. In 1986 He recieved his JKA Shodan from Sensei Nishiyama. Dave discontinued training in 1990 until 1998 & then re-started with Camarillo Shotokan in 1998.

See Sensei Dave's karate lineage on the 
Shotokan family tree....
 David Lewis Senpai
4th Dan, Shito-ryu 

Starting karate in the 1970s Dave Lewis has more than 30 years of experience. He aids as an instructor and advisor to the University of the Sunshine Caost Karate Dojo in Australia. He has visited and trained in Japan and received his 3rd Dan there in 1986.

Visit Sensei Dave's webpage...

See Dave's lineage in the 
"Shito-ryu lineage chart"
Larry Daugherty Sensei
4th Dan, Shito-ryu

Larry Sensei began tr
aining in the 1970s. He earned his black belt degrees in Shotokan karate under Sensei George Takahashi at the West L.A. Karate School and also trained under Sensei Frank Smith (Shotokan), Sensei Victor Young (Shotokan) and Sensei Jason Armstrong (Shito Ryu). He has been a member of the Amgen Karate Club since its inception in 1994

See Sensei Larry's karate lineage in the "Karate family tree"...

Greg Scovell Sensei
4th Dan, Shito-ryu


Greg Scovell Sensei started Karate in 1972. He has trained within Asia, lived in Japan and due to travel related work gained Shodans in Tae Kwon do, Wu Su and Kyokushin before finally settling on the Sunshine Coast. He achieved Shodan through Yondan in Shito Ryu whilst training under Shihan Jason Armstrong.  

Nick Lukich Sensei
4th Dan Shito-ryu

Nick Lukich Sensei began training in Shito-ryu Karate in 1994 under Jason Armstrong Shihan, 7th Dan and has trained in Japan, Australia and the USA.  He was an uchi deshi while in Australia and co-founded the University of the Sunshine Coast Karate Dojo. Nick Sensei has competed in the USA and Australia and currently runs the Thousand Oaks Shito-ryu Karate Dojo in California.

Sensei Ed Mundy,
3rd dan, Shotokan

Ed Mundy Sensei got his first taste of Martial Arts in the 1960s at the age of 14 learning White Crane Kung Fu in Texas. While attending UC Irvine, he trained with Sensei Gary Tsutsui of Japan Ryobu Kai Karate who is under Sensei Kiyoshi Yamazaki. He transferred to UC Santa Barbara where he was exposed to Goju Karate under Sensei John Griffin and earned his black belt in that style in 1978. 

Mundy Sensei was selected as Team Captain for the UCSB team in 1979 and was able to train with many top Martial Artists from other styles. When the Karate program was disbanded from the college, Ed was asked to continue running the the Team and dojo program. This University dojo was then turned over to Shito Ryu Sensei John Sells. He now trains with Sensei Young at the camarillo Shotokan Karate Dojo.

See Sensei Ed's karate lineage on the Shotokan family tree....

Sensei Keith Koppenol
4th dan, Australia

Practicing still even in his 80s, Keith has a long history back to the early days of Kyokushin and Shotokan Karate in Australia. Some detail of his martial background includes: 

1962 Starting Judo, 1960s kyokushinkai and in 1992 at age 60 started as a white belt with SKI (Shotokan Karate International - Sensei Kanazawa) and trained under Sensei Mick O’Keefe, President SKI Australia, to Shodan. Trained under various  Shotokan Sensei in Australia, Hong Kong and Indonesia to Yondan.

IN 2011 Sensei Keith started Shito-ryu under Sensei Garry Edwards and obtained Yondan and a Sensei Certificate in 2012.
Sensei Sarven Mclinton
3rd dan Shito-ryu

Sarven McLinton Senpai has lived in Japan and trained in both Shito-ryu Karate and Kyokushin Karate. He currently holds Nidan (2nd degree black belt) in Karate and Shodan (1st degree) in Eishin-ryu Iaido. Sarven has taken Yusho (gold medal) in prefectural  championships, and holds a PhD in Psychology, with a research
background in aggression and interpersonal anger.

See Adrian's karate lineage in the 
"Karate family tree"...
jakiscovell karate
Jaki Scovell Senpai
3rd Dan Shito-ryu

Jaki Senpai is a student of Shihan Jason Armstrong and Sensei Greg Scovell. She is actively training in her late fifties achiving sandan at age 57. Still active in both partner work and kata she is a regular teacher at the Mappleton and Buderim dojo(s).

Visit Senpai Jaki's dojo webpage...

See Senpai Jaki's karate lineage in the "Karate family tree"...
Adrian Cartland Senpai
2nd dan

Adrian Senpai 
began his training in 1996 in a derivative of Goju Kai, eventually obtaining the rank of Nidan in that style. He enjoyed sharing his knowledge and in 2004 was encouraged to begin running a Dojo in Adelaide. In 2009 his Dojo joined the Traditional Japanese Karate Network and Adrian successfully retested as a Nidan.

Besides Karate Adrian has also trained in western fencing, Iaido and Kendo, obtaining upper Kyu levels in the latter two, and currently trains in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Adrian works as a Lawyer specialising in Commercial and Taxation law. 

Visit Adrian's webpage...

See Adrian's karate lineage in the 
"Karate family tree"...  

Photo - to add

Senpai Damien Ellis, 
2nd Dan

Sensei Damien of the Adeliade Chikara budo dojo graded to Sandan in December 2007 and has over 20 years martial arts experience. Most of this (over 10 years) was karate training with the Go Kan Ryu karate club. He then helped to setup a smaller karate club - Yu Ki Do before creating Chikara Budo with Tracy sensei. Damien has also trained with Aiki Budo and been a committee member of the AMAA.
Senpai Grant Ribbink,
2nd Dan


Grant trains at the Fig Tree Pocket dojo under Shihan Jason Armstrong. His karate career began in 1990 and prior to becoming a member of the Shito-ryu and TJKN family, Grant trained in Shotokan, variously under Shihan Stan Schmidt and Sensei Malcolm Dorfmann. Grant’s martial arts journey began with Aikido in the 1980s and living in different regions of the world meant that his karate also includes a few years of Goju-Kai and Goju-Ryu. Like most students of the martial arts, he values sharing knowledge and learning, both in the dojo and beyond. 

John Whoriskey Senpai
2nd dan Shito-ryu

John Whoriskey Senpai began Kenpo in the 1980s and switched to Shito-ryu in 1994 under Shihan Jason Armstrong. he recived his black belt by travelling to Japan in 1998 (where Jason Armstrong was living at the time) and testing under Sotokawa Sensei 8th dan and Iba sensei 8th Dan (of Renbukan). He has continued to be an instructor in Shito-ryu dojo Thousand Oaks (formerly teh Amgen dojo). 

John also hold the rank of shodan in kendo.

"Shito-ryu lineage chart"

Pavel Bondarenko Senpai
2nd dan Shito-ryu

Pavel Bondarenko Senpai began training Karate in Ukraine during his teenage years. In 2007 he began training again under Nick Lukich Sensei at the Thousand Oaks Shito-ryu Karate Dojo in California. He holds the rank of 2nd Dan and assists in teaching in the dojo.
To be added

Senpai Jonathan Harvey, 2nd Dan


Clubs involved in network activities include:

Camarillo Shotokan - California                    

Fig Tree Pocket Dojo, Qld - Australia                

Fontana Karate Club - California                     

Goshin-ryu, Carina - Australia

Israeli Karate Federation - Israel                 

Kenjufudokai - Japan                                    

Kyokushinkaikan, Roppongi - Tokyo              

Magill Dojo - South Australia                       

Mappleton Dojo, Qld - Australia                      
Richmond Martial Arts - Virginia                   

Seacliff Dojo - South Australia 

Seaside Shotokan Dojo - California 

Seito Shito-Ryu, Santa Barbara  

Seiwakai Goju, Qld - Australia                        

Seto Juku JKA - Tokyo 
Thousand Oaks Shito ryu - California     

Toowoomba Koryukan, Qld - Australia 

University of Qld Dojo - Australia                

ern Vaden Shotokan - Los Angeles