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.
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.