Kobudo iaido
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Grandmaster Dr. Ted Gambordella

Grandmaster Ted Gambordella began studying Okinawan Karate in Alexandria, LA in 1963 and received is Black Belt in Shorin Ryu Karate in 1968. He began studying Juko Ryu Jiu Jitsu under Soke Rod Sacharnoski in 1967 at LSU-A and was one of the first Black Belts in Jiu Jitsu in Louisiana, along with Sensi Pearson and Marlin. He won dozens of tournaments in LA, and Texas in the 1960's and early 70's and started the first Jiu Jitsu Club at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA in 1968. He won the Southern Karate Championships and his team won the College Championships in LA for 4 years. He was the President of the Graduate schools and on the deans list. He trained in SC with Soke Albert Church and was awarded his 2nd dan in Kubudo (weapons), Aiki Jitsu, and Judo. He trained with Dr. HeYoung Kim the Hapikido Grandmaster, and was his lead student for 4 years at LSU. He trained with Demetrius Havanus (World Champion Kickboxer), Bill Sosa (the Aikido grandmaster) and Allen Steen, Pat Burleson, the fathers of Tae Kwon Do in America. He opened schools in Baton Rouge and Shrevesport, LA and trained some of the best fighters in the State. He moved to Texas in 1986 as a 5th degree Black Belt and was the first Jiu Jitsu Black Belt in Texas. He was directly responsible for transforming Texas Martial arts by being the first teacher to show grappling, weapons, hard KI, wrist locks and throws. He put on the first and greatest Meeting of the Masters in 1988 and had the top 10 martial arts teachers in America train students in a 12 hour seminar. He wrote his first book in 1986, The End of Injury and was endorsed by University of Texas, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma University, Rice University, Oral Roberts University, Louisiana State University, the Olympic Committee, The Houston Rockets, New Orleans Jazz, and dozens of high schools. His book The Complete Book of Karate Weapons is the best selling weapons manual by an American author in history, and his book the 100 Deadliest Karate Moves is internationally recognized and one of the most downloaded books in the world. He appeared on TV with his books and training on the Diana Shore show, Real People, Inside Edition, Fox News, ABC News, Playboy Channel, and dozens of local TV stations. Plus in dozens of magazines, and newspapers. He is the author of 42 books on Martial Arts, fitness and motivation and has sold over 250,000 copies of his works. He is also the producer of 38 DVD's and in 12 Hall of Fames, plus starting the prestigious Martial Arts Masters Hall of Fame. He was the headline demonstration for 5 years at the US Karate Open Championships, the 2nd oldest karate tournament in the US and has demonstrated his KI and weapons mastery in dozens of the most prestigious tournaments in America. Dr. Ted had done a pilot of a TV show, Live2B100 and appeared as a martial arts and fitness expert on dozens of Televisions shows in America and the World.
Dr. Milledge Murphey, Kyu (9th) Dan Isshinryu, 7th Dan Judo, 5th Dan Jujutsu

Milledge first began his Isshinryu training in 1958 through the “University of Florida Isshinryu Karate club”, after having already attained black belt grade in Judo and Taekwondo. He later trained with Ralph Bove, Robert Bremer, Richard Foster and Michel Wells for a number of years at Florida. Dr. Murphey travelled to Okinawa to train with Tatsuo Shimabuku in 1965 and 1973. He also trained with Tatsuo Shimabuku in 1966 during his visit to USA. He was promoted to San (3rd) dan by Tatsuo Shimabuku in 1973.

In 1977, Dr. Murphey was a founding member of United Issshinryu Karate Association (UIKA), along with Harold Mitchum, Ed Johnson and Jim Advincula. He served as the UIKA secretary for many years. He has trained with Harold Mitchum for nearly 20 years and also with Toby Cooling in Maryland. During 1960s and 1970s, Dr. Milledge Murphey filmed a number of early Isshinryu Legends in their prime and currently has an extensive film archive, including historic films of Bremer, Mitchum, Advincula and Cooling.

He is a member of Isshinryu world Karate Association (IWKA), Isshinryu Brotherhood (IB), United States Martial Arts Association (USMA), United States Judo association (USJA) and then United Isshinryu Council (UIC). He was awarded title of Renshi-go in 1979 by Kichiro Shimabuku. On 27th Oct’1990, Dr. Milledge Murphey initiated concept of Isshinryu Brotherhood Association (IB). IB was started wih the sole purpose of perpetuating totally traditional, non commercial, non profit Isshinryu karate.On April 24th 1992 he was awarded 7th Dan by Kichiro Shimabuku. He was awarded Kyu (9th) dan black belt by Ed Johnson in 2005.
Georg Iberl, Kyu (9th) Dan Isshinryu

Georg Iberl started Isshinryu training at Harrisburg, PA, USA in 1958 with Harry Smith. After training with Smith for three years, Iberl travelled to Okinawa to train with Master Tatsuo Shimabuku. He opened his 1st Isshinryu dojo at Washington D. C. with Rick Niemire in 1964. He later expanded to a second location in Annapolis, Maryland. In 1966 he againhad an opportunity t o train with master Shimabuku during Master Shimabuku’s tour to United States. He met with Angi Uezu in 1967 during Angi uezu’s tour to USA and they soon became friends and have trained together ever since. In 1970, George Iberl relocated his dojo to its present location at York, PA, USA. During 1970’s, Angi Uezu spent a considerable amount of time with Iberl at his dojo in York. Sensei Iberl has competed in a number of tournaments in 1960 to 1970 and won nearly 500 trophies in Kumite, Kata and Kobudo. He is a member of OIKKA (under Angi Uezu) and IOTKA ( Tsuoshi Uechi, Okinawa). He formed George Iberl Karate Federation in 1982. He found OIKKA Hall of Fame. He is a 9th Dan in Isshinryu by Angi Uezu.
Ed Johnson, Ju (10th) Dan Isshinryu

Ed Johnson, recognised as a 10th dan by Isshinryu Brotherhood (IB, FL, USA), was born in Fort Worth, TX, USA on Apr' 1st, 1941. As a marine, he travelled to Okinawa in 1959. His intention was to study Judo but soon found himself taking the Isshinryu karate lessons that were offered to Marines at Agena, Okinawa. While on Okinawa,senseiJohnson trained alongside many Iisshinryu notables.........A.J. Advincula, Tom Lewis, Sherman Harril, Don Bohan, Steve Armstrong and Shinsho Shimabuku to name a few.

After receiving a Roku (6th) dan from Tatsuo Shimabuku (AOKA # 8) and returning to States in 1961, he joined American Karate Association (AOKA). He taught Isshinryu at Camp Pendleton, CA, before relocating to Arlington, TX where he taught at a local YMCA. In 1965 he travelled to Knoxville, TN and trained with hold Long and Cas Cox, He was promoted to 7th Dan by Harold Long in 1969. In 1970 Sensei Johnson again travelled to Okinawa to train with Tatsuo Shimabuku. During this visit he assisted with teaching at Master Shimabuku's Agena dojo. Sensei Johnson was a founding member of International Isshinryu Karate Association (IIKA, 1974) and of United Isshinryu Karate Association (UIKA, 1977), along with Harold Mitchum, A.J. Advincula and Milledge Murphey. He served as the Southwest director of American Isshinryu Karate Association (AOKA), an organization which he joined in 1961.

In August 2004, Sensei Johnson received the “Life time achievement award” from International Isshinryu Hall of Fame, TN, USA. On 28th November 2005, after 46 years of Isshinryu training, Sensei Ed Johnson was recognized by Isshinryu Brotherhood (IB), FL, USA as a 10th Dan in Isshinryu Karate-do.

Sensei Ed Johnson presently lives in Fort Worth, TX,USA. He no longer teaches in a dojo but continues to give seminars on Isshinryu Karate and Kobudo. He strives to pass on the Isshinryu he was taught so many years ago. He is one of the few remaining direct students of Tatsuo Shimabuku, Isshinryu’s founder. He is one of a small handful of surviving first generation students that is still active in training and teaching Tatsuo Shimabuku’s Isshinryu as it was meant to be taught.
O’sensei Kichiro Shimabuku

Sensei Kichiro was born on 15th Feb’1938 and is the eldest son of Tatsuo Shimabuku. Kichiro began studying karate with his father at an elementary school age and earned his black belt when he was fourteen. During mid 50’s he worked with US Marines at his father’s. (Tatsuo’s) dojo at Kyan village. Kichiro attended Business college at Tokyo and returned Okinawa with a degree in business. Kichiro started teaching at camp Hansen to US Marines and also is helped his father in administration of then “American Okinawan Karate Association (AOKA)”. With his father’s deteriorating health, he took over reigns of Isshinryu karate in 1974. He found “Isshinryu Kokusai Karate-do Renmei”, i.e. Isshinryu World Karate Association (IWKA). With Tatsuo Shimabuku’s death on 30th May’ 1975, Kichiro inherited the Isshinryu karate system with a rank of Ju (10th) dan i.e. Soke. He did the first trip to USA in 1976 and attended “Tribute to a Master” tournament held at Queens, NY, USA, which was organized by Dennis H. Fink (now a Kyu i.e. 9th Dan). Kichiro continues to travel to USA every two years to teach and direct “Isshinryu World Karate Championships”. He is currently President of IWKA. At present IWKA has above 40000 life time members worldwide.
Angi Uezu

Master Angi Uezu was born on 3rd Jan’ 1935, in Chiyaranka city on the island of Saipan, Okinawa, Japan. He married to Tatsuo Shimabuku’s daughter Yukiko, Sensei Shimabuku allowed them to live in a room in the back of Agena dojo. At this time in 1962 Angi Uezu began karate training with Tatsuo Shimabuku. In 1967 he travelled to USA as Tatsuo Shimabuku’s personal representative and trained a no. of American Isshinryu karateka. He lived and trained with Harry Acklin for 11 months in Ohio as well as training at dojos in PA, TN, NY. During 1970 he spent considerable time with Georg Iberl at his dojo at York. On Okinawa he was a renowned kata and kobudo competitor and often won competitions with perfect scores. He is also well-known for his perfect physical condition and large calluses on his knuckles from striking the makiwara. Angi Uezu was promoted to Roku (6th) dan prior to Tatsuo Shimabuku’s death and was promoted to 7th dan by Kichiro Shimabuku on June 23rd 1978. On 5th Nov’1981 he was inducted to All Japan and Okinawa referees association. In 1982 he wrote Encylopedia of Isshinryu karate-do, with Joseph Jennings. He was promoted to Hachi (8th) dan in 1988 and accepted a rank of Kyu (9th) dan on 2nd May 1995. He accepted rank of Ju (10th) dan in 2005. He is the founder of Okinawa Isshinryu Karate & Kobudo Association (OIKKA). He retired from Isshinryu Karate and now lives in Okinawa.
Shihan Harry Smith

Harry Smith, while serving as a US marine was transferred to Okinawa in 1956. He was introduced to O’Sensei Tatsuo Shimabuku by Art Smiley who was a marine photographer stationed at Camp Courtney. Sensei Harry Smith started training in Isshinryu Karate-do in 1956 at Kyan village dojo. He underwent training for two years, during this period he used to practice 5 days a week and 6-7 hours a daily. On May 22nd 1958, O’Sensei Tatsuo Simabuku awarded Harry Smith a rank of Roku dan. Harry Smith returned to USA and started an Isshinryu Dojo at Harrisburg, PA, USA. Sensei Smith was known for his exceptional fighting abilities. The school started was one of the first Isshinryu schools on the east coast. This school started was run with assistance of Marine staff Sergeant Richard Keith, school produced such renowned black belts such as Ralph Lindquist and Jack Sipe. During this time Harry Smith remained under the control of Federal Government of USA. In 1962 Sensei Harry Smith opened a dojo at Pittsburgh, PA, USA, where he trained great Isshinryu karatekas like Georg Iberl, George Dillman, Gene Powell, William Dussel and many others. In 1964, Sensei Smith hosted the first Pittsburgh Karate Tournament which was attended by Zempo Shimabuku, Walter Dailey, Harold Long, Art Smiley, Harry Acklin and William dussel. The same year i.e. in 1964, Sensei Smith was awarded 7th Dan by the United States Karate Association. Considering Sensei Smith’s exceptional Kumite abilities, Ed Parker (master of Kempo karate) awarded sensei Smith,an honorary 10th Dan rank. In 1965 Sensei Smith was again re-enlisted in the Marine corps and he was transferred to Fifth Marine Division, thus due to transfer, he had a chance to train with Tatsuo Shimabuku in Naha, Okinawa. He not only trained with Tatsuo Shimabuku but also with Eiko Kaneshi (Then 9th Dan and senior most student of Tatsuo at that time). In 1994 he was awarded 8th Dan and in 2003, to a 9th Dan by Angi Uezu. On 3rd Dec’ 1994 Shihan Smith was inducted to Pennsylvania Hall of Fame. On 2nd May 1998 he was inducted to Okinawa Isshinryu Karate & Kobudo Hall of Fame. On 26th June 1999 was inducted to World Karate Union Hall of Fame. On 29th Dec’ 2000, American Okinawan Karate Hall of Fame awarded him “Life Time Achievement Award”. In 2004 Isshinryu Karate & Kobudo association of India (IKKAI) awarded him “Life Time Achievement award”.

Shihan Harry Smith now heads Guardian Isshinryu Karate association (GKA) and still actively teaches Isshinryu karate-do. He is the senior most Isshinryu karate practitioner, exceeding both Kichiro Shimabuku (Son of Tatsuo) and Angi Uezu (Son-in-law of Tatsuo),both from Okinawa, Japan. In conclusion, humility of this great master (Shihan Smith) is worth a mention, he does not lay claim to any rank higher than Kichiro Shimabuku or Angi Uezu, nor does he consider himself senior to either of them. He is of the opinion that he will always walk beside them, though never behind. So it happens that Shihan H. G. Smith always wears a black belt in spite of being Ju(10th) Dan and never wears a black belt.