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Articles Home » 空手道 Biographies » Ikemiyagi Masaaki Hanshi
Ikemiyagi Masaaki Hanshi
Ikemiyagi Masaaki Hanshi
by Wade Chroninger

Ikemiyagi Masaaki Hanshi was born in Nago-Shi, Okinawa, on December 23, 1953. He began his training under Dai Sensei Yagi at the age of 15 in 1968. He has remained a loyal and dedicated student of Dai Sensei Yagi ever since.

Ikemiyagi Sensei has been Kancho (master) of his own Meibu-Kan Dojo in Okinawa since 1981. Endeavouring continuously to improve his martial arts, he has travelled to China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Hawaii, Brazil, Australia, and the United States to train and conduct comparative research in various martial arts systems. Some of the systems that he has studied are other forms of karate, judo, boxing, capoeira, and various forms of gung fu.


Challenges are a common occurrence among the Okinawan youth involved in the various martial arts systems taught in the collegiate athletics program. When these challenges came, Masaaki Ikemiyagi was always the first to answer. As a youth in Okinawa, he quickly developed a reputation as a skilled Karatedo practitioner and powerful fighter. On many occasions, when he would attend local tournaments, competitors would often withdraw once they became aware that he was participating.


Today he is Kancho of the Meibu-Kan Gojuryu, Okinawa Dojo in Okinawa-Shi, and holds the rank of 8th Dan. He is one of only a handful of Dai Sensei Yagiís earlier students who still actively teaches. He has served as the Riji-Cho (Director General) of both the Zen Okinawa Karatedo Renmei and the Okinawa Gojukai. At present time he is the Riji-Cho of the Okinawa Gojukai (as of Dec. 1997).


Ikemiyagi Sensei has produced many fine students that help to propagate Meibu-Kan Gojuryu in very positive ways all over the world. Under the Okinawa Dojo, he has branch dojo operating in Australia, America, Indonesia, and here in Okinawa. One of his students, Ikemiyagi Shuichi Sensei, serves as the secretary of operations for the <Okinawa Collegiate Karatedo Training Organisation>. In addition to teaching at the Okinawa Dojo, Ikemiyagi Sensei travels to schools world-wide to conduct seminars and share his knowledge and experience with other martial artists.


We in the Okinawa Dojo have a rare and enviable opportunity to learn from such an accomplished teacher with this kind direct lineage to the great masters of the past. Through his teachings and guidance, we learn pure Gojuryu (a precious find in the modern world of martial arts), it is our responsibility to train sincerely, behave as gentlemen of good character and integrity, and remain humble always.


Ikemiyagi Sensei teaches us the ways of Meibu-Kan Gojuryu as he learned them from his master, Dai Sensei Yagi. He asks for nothing in return except that we train as hard as we can to become strong, while always remembering that having a kind heart shows a personís true strength.

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