Grandmaster Phillip M. Skornia, 10th Dan

Where spirituality,
self-awareness and philosophy 
come together  in
martial arts

History 3
    When I first saw Master Shimabuku demonstrate, I was astounded!  There were three or four attackers being hit, kicked, thrown down and jumped on.  Two were high-ranked Okinawan Black Belts and two were Marines (the dojo was close to a couple of Marine bases)who were bigger than me.  I almost felt sorry for them because I could see their grimaces in their faces when they were hit or kicked.  Even though the Master was obviously holding back, it still was genuine pain.  I am 6', 200 pounds, was then about 180 pounds.  Master Shimabuku was 5'4" and 135 pounds.  But he struck fear and much respect in me and his GI students.  I stayed loyal and trained with Master Shimabuku for 30 years.  I have always revered him as my first main master.  I travelled back to Okinawa and across the county when he went to America on teaching tours.  I was promoted to the highest rank in the world, 8th degree Black Belt under the All Japan Karate Association.  Special Note:  Not only did  Kanken Toyama, 10th dan, promote Master Shimabuku, but he also signed my original Black Belt certificate.  I can't tell you how valuable that is to me.  I even have his original books from his Japan dojo, all in Japanese, of course.  They are autographed by Hidetaka Nishiyama, 10th dan.  This was because he also was a brand new beginner under Toyama Sensei first.  Later, he trained with Gigen Funakoshi Sensei, who was a 5th Dan from Okinawa (and his direct disciple, Masatoshi Nakayama).  Funakoshi had trained in the very same system in Okinawa under a great master that Shimabuku trained under.  I also trained with Mr. Nishiyama and belonged to his organization, A.A.K.F. (still do) for 50 years.  I have the original karate textbook edition printed in 1960, which is autographed to me.  The cover was made of tatami and printed by Charles E. Tuttle, Tokyo, Japan.  I was the first person in history to be awarded a lifetime membership to A.A.K.F., member #CA.0001.  
    The many karate masters, their styles, other martial arts I have earned rank in plus my adventures traveling around the world to train with the great masters, will all be provided in future websites.  They are too numerous to mention, but I would like to honor some of those grandmasters and founders here, because of their outstanding contributions to me personally and to the martial arts world.

Masatoshi Nakayama, 10th dan, President of the J.K.A. (Japan Karate Association).

Teruyuki Okazaki, 9th dan, head of the Midwest Division of A.A.K.F .and J.K.A. in America.

Keinosuke Enoeda, 9th dan, head of the Great Britain Division.  I trained with him in 1977 in Tokyo, Japan, prior to the World Karate Championships.  Later, my advanced instructors and I trained with him  at Loyola University, California.

Hiro Kanazawa, 9th dan, J.K.A.  I trained with him at the 1975 World Karate Championships and in 1977 in Japan.  He wrote our kata manual.  He had the best roundhouse kick that I have ever seen!

Ryusho Sakagami, 10th dan, Shito-ryu.  I trained with him, along with my senior staff, when he came to America.

Fumio Demura, 8th dan, highest ranked Shito-ryu instructor in the United States.

Dan Ivan, 7th dan, Shito-ryu, highest ranking American, and also a great master in other martial arts.  He was also in the military police (C.I.D.), as was I.  He was an all-around great instructor.  

Master Kase, 8th dan.  He was the head of J.K.A. in France.  I was his guest for the European Karate Championships, Paris, 1968.

Dr. Richard Kim, 10th dan, Shorinji-ryu Karate, U.S. head of Butokukai of japan.  He mentored me in history and philosophy for thirty years until his death.  He was a highly revered member of A.A.K.F.  He also polished my weapons techniques that I learned in Okinawa.

Wally Jay, 10th dan, Jujitsu , founder of Small Circle Jujitsu.  He liked to use me as his demonstration partner in seminars.  His son visited our headquarters dojo.  

Robert Trais,10th dan, Shorite-ryu Karate,  founder of United States Karate Association.  I was the highest ranked member (8th dan) for many years before his death.  

Grandmaster Otsuka, 10th dan, founder of Wado-ryu Karate.  Master Nishiyama introduced us in 1975 at the World Karate Championships.  Seeing my open-mindedness from Zendo-ryu philosophy, he took me aside for private instruction.  

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