Shihan Koji Sugimoto

8th degree Black Belt
44 years in Miami

Shihan Koji Sugimoto has 8th dan. He was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1947. At the age of fourteen he began karate under Tomosaburo Okano, one of the original students of Gichin Funakoshi. Sugimoto continues to expand his knowledge and skills of the art of karate.

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SCHEDULE


Kids
Thursday
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Saturday
11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Adults
Thursday
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Saturday
12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

HIstory

 

THE HISTORY OF KARATE

A miraculous and mysterious martial art, Karate-do has come down to us from the past. Five hundred years ago in Okinawa a law was passed prohibiting the use or possession of any weapons. Defenseless against enemies and an oppressive ruler, the Okinawins revived and restructured an ancient form of hand to hand combat, te, and karate was developed.

In 1922 Master Gichin Funakoshi brought karate to Japan. Here it was analyzed, polished and changed more into an art than a fighting method. Karate, purely a fighting form, was transformed into Karate-do, a spiritual and physical art.

As Master Funakoshi said, true Karate-do is this: that is daily life, one’s mind and body be trained and developed in a spirit of humility; and that in critical times, one be devoted utterly to the cause of justice.

Not only is Karate-do an excellent method of self defense, but it is also unsurpassed as a form of athletic and spiritual training.

Tomosaburo Okano

The founder and chief instructor of the Kenkojuku Shotokan Federation was Tomosaburo Okano. Born in 1922, he was a student of Gichin Funakoshi. He was a member of Funakoshi's karate association the Dai Nihon Karate-do Shotokai.

In 1942, Okano was given permission to start a karate research club named Kenkokai Karate-bu in his hometown of Hachiōji, Tokyo. The club was started with the help of Suzuki Shinjo, Kaneko Isamu and Takagi Yoshitomo. He renamed the dojo to Kenkojuku Budokan in 1948.
Okano's karate was influenced by both Gichin and Yoshitaka Funakoshi, and eventually this branch of Shotokan became known as Kenkojuku Shotokan. He retained the Shotokai lineage as well as the name Shotokan.

Okano was on the panel of Masters of the Japan Karate-do Federation (JKF). He died on July 19, 2003, at the age of 81. Some of his most famous students were/are Toyotaro Miyazaki, Kazuo Kuriyama, Koji Sugimoto, Masakazu Takahashi, and Minoru Horie.

Koji Sugimoto

Shihan Koji Sugimoto has 7th dan. He was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1947. At the age of fourteen he began karate under Tomosaburo Okano, one of the original students of Gichin Funakoshi. Sugimoto continues to expand his knowledge and skills of the art of karate.

In 1970, Sensei Sugimoto, ranked one of the top ten in kumite in all of Tokyo, migrated to the United States. After relocating to Miami, Florida, he coupled with Sensei Akuzawa and assisted him at his Dojo. In the early seventies, he began teaching at different locations in Dade County and began to develop a good size student base. In the late seventies, as his student base grew even larger, he began to sponsor his own tournaments. In 1978, he held a tournament at Palmetto High School and invited Master Okano to attend. Master Okano’s visit was a vast experience for Sensei Sugimoto’s students. Master Okano not only attended but also held several demonstrations. In the early eighties Master Okano visited once again and held a clinic on Sensei Sugimoto's behalf for his students. Again, during this visit he held several demonstrations, including Kenjutsu (sword).

During the eighties, Sensei Sugimoto was running the sanctioned AAU Karate tournaments in the State of Florida. He was doing an annual Kenkojuku tournament for his students and two AAU tournaments.

In the early nineties, he went in front of the All Japan Karate-do Federation (JKF) and tested for 6th Dan. At this point, his Karate career reached a high point by his becoming a Shihan (Master). Shihan Sugimoto also holds a 7th Dan in the World Karate Federation (WKF).

Shihan Sugimoto is well known in the United States and abroad. During 40 years, He has competed, judged, and refereed in the Far East, Europe, South America and the United States. Under the guidance of Shihan Sugimoto, the Kenkojuku Shotokan style of karate is taught in the United States, Europe, South and Central America and the Caribbean (Shihan Sugimoto has had close relationships and given certifications to several Shotokan Dojos in Latin America). Presently Shihan Sugimoto teaches in two locations in Miami, Florida, Dojo in South Dade County and at the Miami Dade College Kendall campus.