ABOUT US - OUR HISTORY

At Tosh's Academy of Shorin-ryu Karate, our focus is on traditional Okinawan Karate as it has been passed down for generations.

Tosh's Journey:

Dan Tosh has been training in shorin-ryu karate since 1958. He began his studies at the Coffeyville, Kansas Boys Club, continued his training in Oklahoma and finally California in 1967 under the direction of Sensei Joe Spriggs. In 1966, Tosh was promoted to Shodan (1st degree blackbelt). Sensei Joe Spriggs was a student of a teacher who studied directly from Yabu Sensei in Okinawa in the 1930s.

In 1970, Tosh persuaded Miyagi, Sensei, a direct student of Yabu Sensei, to become his teacher and mentor in Hawaii. In 1974, Tosh returned to California, and at the request of his teacher, put on a white belt and trained in a shorin-ryu school taught by Sensei Ed Perkins under Eizo Shimabuku. Sensei Perkins was a great teacher and as it turns out was the most influential teacher in Tosh’s karate life. It was because of his quality of teaching that Tosh continued to embrace karate and become an advanced level instructor. At the end of nine months, Perkins promoted Tosh to blackbelt. Hearing that Tosh complied with Sensei’s wishes, he was promoted to 5th degree blackbelt in 1976 by Miyagi, sensei. To wear a white belt after having been a blackbelt, as it turns out, was a test of humility.

In 1987 he was promoted to 7th degree blackbelt and in 1998 to 9th degree blackbelt by Professor Sig Kufferath, 10th degree blackbelt and friend of Miyagi Sensei from Hawaii. Sid Campbell, a shorin-ryu master, was a board member and authenticated the quality of Tosh's kata and technique. It was long ago decided by Miyagi, that on the celebration of Tosh's 40 years in shorin-ryu, he was to become Hanshi; the official head of this interpretation of shorin-ryu known as Yabu Orthodox Shorin-ryu.

On January 13, 2007 at the WOSKKA annual gathering, Tosh was promoted to 10th degree blackbelt by the black belt council chaired by Great Grandmaster Al Novak. This honor was bestowed on Tosh in the presence of several Great Grandmasters and Grandmasters including such dignitaries as Bob Wall, Sid Campbell, Al Novak, Carlos Navarro, Eric Lee, Bob Maschmeier, Ernie Reyes, Sr., Tony Thompson, Harry Mok, John Oliver, Gary Lee, Mark Gerry, Greglon Lee and Max Pallen.

Grandmaster Tosh is known for his incredible speed of both hand and foot. He is an authority in tuite and kata application. Tosh has been involved in choreography, movie production, stunt work, workshops, open invitation full contact sparring known as “Friday night fights circa 1979” and tournament competition for many years.

Students who train at the Hombu dojo learn exacting movements and information that could only be learned from a teacher from Okinawa.  In the past, it was difficult to find a qualified instructor to learn the old ways and there are only a handful in the United States.  There are many, many schools of martial arts, but few have true depth of the knowledge that they impart.

Our system is defensive, never offensive.  The student will learn technique, kata (form), traditional kumite (sparring), self-discipline, confidence and balance.  We do not push the student and they do not compete with anyone but themselves.  Attitude and humility are combined to create a self-confident, pleasant and well adjusted individual.

We are located in Brentwood, which is in the Delta Area of Contra Costa County, east of San Francisco.



Hanshi Dan Tosh Lineage
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GENERAL HISTORY

Martial arts in some form or another have been around for thousands of years.  Early man had to know martial arts in order to defend himself and his family.  There are thousands of different forms of martial arts such as Karate, Wushu (Kung Fu), Boxing, Wrestling, Savate, etc.

The actual term of Karate did not appear until the early 1920's.  Empty hand (karate) was developed in Okinawa and was believed to come originally from China.  Karate was developed from a need to defend with empty hand and crude makeshift weapons against attackers.

In Okinawa it was against the law for anyone to know, practice or teach any form of martial combat.  Therefore, the Okinawans had to practice in dark clothing at night.  If they were caught, they were be-headed.  It is for this reason that we in Yabu Method Shorin-ryu wear a black gi.

 


 
Sensei Ed Perkins Journey . . . .

Hanshi Dan Tosh's last and most influential karate teacher.  Story as told by Sensei Ed Perkins in his own words:

Sometimes events in one’s life leave a mark that never goes away. 

As kids my brothers and I spent our summers at the neighborhood swim center. One afternoon, I heard my brother Bruce screaming for help and saw this oversized monster David Hoyle had Bruce in a head lock and was holding him under water drowning him. I yelled to my older brother Bryan who jumped into the pool and pushed Hoyle off of Bruce. When Hoyle stood up Bryan went up to him nose to nose and started poking him with two fingers harder and harder right square in the forehead until Hoyle jumped up and ran home.  A couple of years later when both of my brothers were in Viet Nam, Bruce in the Navy on the USS Gunston Hall, and Bryan, with the 3rd Marine Division, Dong Ha up north near the DMZ.  I was at a high school football game when one of my friend's Randy Sutcliff came up to me and told me David Hoyle was looking for me. I quickly decided it was time to go home and as I jumped the fence to cross the baseball field I heard Randy yelling "run Ed run". I don’t remember anything after that but woke up in the hospital. Later Randy said that Hoyle tackled me from behind, sat on my chest and beat me so bad my face was unrecognizable. This traumatized me so much I dropped out of high school in my senior year and on my 17th birthday I enlisted in the Marine Corps. I thought if I joined the Marine Corps like Bryan I would somehow be transformed into a bad dude and magically overcome my fear.

In boot camp Gunnery Sgt. Knokes was a little protective of me because I looked maybe 16 years old at best. When I stood on those yellow footprints I felt out of place. As you know, becoming a marine was a process. Throughout the 13 weeks I kept saying to myself if Bryan can do this so can I.  While we spent time at Camp Pendleton qualifying with our rifles I saw Bryan in the mess hall and he asked Gunnery Knokes of he could see me later on. Recruits were not allowed visitors but because Bryan was back from his 1st tour in Nam he allowed the visit. Seeing Bryan uplifted my spirits so much I felt like a Marine too. Gunnery Knokes was the head DI and platoon commander and at mail call that evening he told the guys in our platoon #3185 that Pvt. Perkins brother was a bad (blank, blank). I was so proud that the next time we had a PT test, I out ran everyone in four competing platoons in the 3 mile run. I forgot to mention that I ran cross country in high school for 3 years.

Most of the guys I went through boot camp and ITR with went straight to Viet Nam and with two older brothers in country, I found myself stationed in Okinawa. What I wasn’t prepared for were the Marines that were facing prison time that made deals with the judges to go into the Marine Corps instead. This criminal element made me very fearful and a little disillusioned. One evening while standing guard duty, I thought a race riot was going to break out in our barracks. I was confronted by a couple of guys that refused to settle down and as I left the squad bay one made a remark to me and as I turned around he slammed the steel door right down the center of my forehead. When I came to I was in the dispensary with a broken nose and a perfectly straight gash in my forehead . The corpsman on duty that was tending to me could tell I was very upset and frightened. His boss was  Staff Sgt Lonny Morgan. Staff Sgt. Morgan was a Black Belt in Shorin Ryu Karate,  he encouraged me to meet with him and go to his karate dojo off base to watch he and his friends train at Eizo Shimabuku’s Shorin Ryu Karate school. This place was just what the doctor ordered for me. I was so impressed watching these regular looking guys perform katas and practice their techniques with so much power and speed. Sensei Shimabuku made me sit quietly and watch every night for weeks. One evening Sensei gave me a white gi and tied my white belt for me. I looked at this 5ft tall man and knew he was solid both in mind and spirit. The green, brown and black belts were distinctly better than the rest of us. Sensei Shimabuku insisted that whatever you practice, do it with good form. As the months passed I attended class every night for 3 hours and I could feel every part of my body becoming stronger and tighter. I could feel strength in the tips of my toes. This training was also having a major effect on my mind. I went through what I would describe as a very serious and intense awareness of what I was beginning to develop, a skill. I knew what I was learning was a gift. It seemed like whatever I learned could be improved to a level that was unreal. I had no idea my body was capable of generating so much power and speed. I felt like a different person. I knew this art had changed me and replaced my underlying fear with a confidence that was not at all cocky but humble like Sensei. I did not want to prove to others what I knew, but others somehow knew that I was different. I will always be grateful to Shorin-Ryu Karate and the influence Sensei Shimabuku had on me. Sensei Shimabuku saved my life in so many ways.  


MAIN INSTRUCTORS:

Grandmaster Dan Tosh                  Hanshi, 10th Degree Black Belt
Jorge Martinez                                 Kyoshi, 7th Degree Black Belt
Rodolfo Llamas                               Renshi, 5th Degree Black Belt
Dylan West     (KinderKarate)         Sensei, 1st Degree Black Belt

ASSISTANT INSTRUCTORS:

George DelCid                                  Kyoshi, 8th Degree Black Belt
Phil Clark                                          Kyoshi, 7th Degree Black Belt
Jake Custodio                                  Renshi, 5th Degree Black Belt
Steven Chin                                      Sensei, 3rd Degree Black Belt
John Longacre                                 Sensei, 3rd Degree Black Belt
There are dozens of additional black belts who have ranking from 1st dan to 8th dan that occasionally show up and help out.