ABOUT OUR CHIEF INSTRUCTOR TADASHI YAMASHITA
Tadashi Yamashita was born in Japan in 1942, but he considers himself an Okinawan. His father died when he was three, and his mother, who never remarried (the older Japanese did not believe in remarriage), moved to Okinawa when Tadashi was eight years old. He lived in Okinawa until, at the age of 24, he came to the United States where he has since become a citizen.
Sensei Yamashita's experience of more than 39 years in the martial arts began at the age of 11. The roughest kid in school, he not only picked fights with the other students, but with the teachers as well. This was brought to the attention of the PTA which realized they could not handle him.One day, the PTA president, who was also a karate instructor, stopped by to pick up Tadashi after school. Always the warrior, Tadashi tried to fight him. The instructor slapped the rebellious youngster and dragged him off to the dojo where he was taught the elements of kicking, punching, and most important of all, discipline. Tadashi found his probation period very interesting. His destructiveness was channeled into a hidden talent. The young man had discovered an art form, a religion, and a way of life. Sensei was awarded his black belt at the age of 16. In 1960, he captured the All-Okinawan Shorin-ryu Free Sparring Grand Champion Title.
On Okinawa, in addition to practicing martial arts, he was also an outstanding baseball pitcher, and collected some 60 trophies for motorcycle racing.
In 1968, he visited Japan and tested before his instructor, Sensei Sugura Nakazato, 9th Degree black belt. Also on the panel was the famous Grand Master Chosin Chibana, 10th Degree Black belt. Sensei Yamashita became the youngest 7th Degree Black Belt in the history of Japan.
Sensei Yamashita moved to California in 1972, where his talent and skill were noticed by many top Martial Artists, like Mike Stone and Ed Parker. The Pro-Am Tournament in Los Angeles, in 1973 was the first of many in which he would demonstrate that talent. He brought 7,000 spectators to their feet for a standing ovation, and from that moment on, the magic of his karate weapons genius spread throughout the Martial Arts World. Sensei Yamashita is also known for teaching the late Bruce Lee the use of the nunchucku. Sensei is the foremost Karate and Kobudo expert in the United States today. He is the Head instructor of Shorin Ryu in the United States.
Sensei Yamashita has made many movies over the past 20 years, these are a few of them. His first was "The Karate" in 1973. than he went on to do, The Octagon , The Shinobi, American Ninja The Sword of Heaven, and has appeared in many others, while doing choreography for many movies. Sensei is planning to publish a series of books on all facets of Martial Arts training, philosophy, and health studies- A unique individual, who practices a classic art form, he continues to generate excitement in students all over the world.