Background of the Instructors

Master Yutaka Yaguchi, 9th Dan

Born in 1932 in Hiroshima, Japan, Sensei Yaguchi began karate training in 1952. He tested under Master Funakoshi for his first and second degree black belts. As an outstanding collegiate karate competitor, he was picked as an applicant to the newly established Japan Karate Association (JKA) Instructors Training Program. He is one of the first graduates of the renowned JKA Instructors Training Program. During this time, he established himself as a prominent competitor and finalist in the annual JKA All Japan Tournaments from 1957 to 1963.

In 1986, Sensei Yaguchi began providing the instruction for one of only five JKA/ISKF Instructors Training Programs in North, Central, and South America. As one of the first graduates of the JKA Instructors Training Program, he has played an important role in the growth of American JKA karate and the internationalization of Shotokan karate.

 
 

 

 

 

Mr. Bruce Green, 8th Dan

Mr. Green began his training in 1970 and was a finalist in the JKA National Collegiate Karate Championships from 1973 to 1975. After finishing graduate school, Mr. Green had the good fortune to move to Colorado in 1978.

In 1980, Mr. Green was appointed Assistant Instructor to Sensei Yaguchi and in the same year became Chief Instructor of the JKA of Boulder (Now Boulder Shotokan Karate). Mr. Green competed successfully in international, national, and regional tournaments from 1978 to 1988. In 1995, Mr. Green graduated from the JKA-ISKF Instructors Training Program as one of Sensei Yaguchi's first students to graduate from the Mountain States Region.  Mr. Green became a Certified Examiner through the JKA-ISKF in 1996.

 

 

Assistant Instructors and Senior Students

John Burdick, 5th Dan

John Burdick began karate training in the fall of 1971 under Sensei S. Sugiyama while a student at Northwestern University.  After graduation, he returned to home in Vail and was fortunate enough to continue under Master Yaguchi and Sensei D. Johnston.  Eventually, John became the chief instructor in Vail, a position he held for about 3˝ years.  Since moving to Boulder, he continued his training under Master Yaguchi and Sensei Green, while continuing to attend camps and seminars.  John has trained under Masters Nakayama, Okazaki, and Tanaka, and many other esteemed Shotokan instructors.  John has competed on the local, regional and national levels, with most success in individual kata.

 

 

CJ Herman, 4th Dan

CJ started his Shotokan training in 1985 with Master Mori of JKA-NY.  Since moving to Colorado, he has continued his training with Sensei Green and Master Yaguchi.  CJ has competed in local, regional and national tournaments and even brought home a few medals over the years.  He supplements his Karate training by dabbling in other arts such as Aikido, Kendo, Judo, and Yoga when time permits.  Some of his greatest learning experiences have come when teaching others – “leading a class of a couple dozen kids, week in and week out, definitely prepares you for life's more existential challenges”.

 

 

Maelo Maldonado, 4th Dan

Maelo began his study of Shotokan karate as a teenager in Puerto Rico. He moved to the States to attend college at Purdue University where he studied Landscape Architecture. He continued his karate study under Sensei Sugiyama and Nishiyama from 1997 thru 2013 in Chicago and actively competes at the international, national and regional level. Maelo taught the children’s class at JKA Chicago for over eight years and has also instructed at the Northwestern University and University of Chicago Karate Clubs. He also was a US team member competing in Kata, Fukugo and Team Kumite. Maelo, since moving to Colorado, has continued to train under Sensei Green, with continued visits to Master Yaguchi’s dojo in Denver.

 

 

 

Ted Toyokura, 3rd Dan

Ted started in 1979 at the Japan Karate Association (JKA) Headquarters in Tokyo with Masters Osaka, Kagawa, Ogura, Yahara, Ihara, and Abe.  Ted’s first kyu exam was conducted by Master Nakayama, chief instructor of the JKA until his passing in 1987. Ted has many fond memories of training with these noteworthy senior instructors at the JKA headquarters and socializing with many of them in Japan. Ted has competed successfully in numerous regional and national tournaments.  His aspiration is to achieve internal growth as a person through training.  Ted has also shown himself to be an excellent instructor with kids and young adults.

 

 

Dr. William Burton, 3rd Dan 

Dr. Burton has been training in karate since about 1990, and is a well-established physician in Boulder, specializing in sports medicine, and sports-related injuries and care. One of Dr. Burton’s memorable moments was competing in 2004 at the age of 50 in the male 18 to 44 age group and winning the kumite division.  Dr. Burton trains for improved flexibility and to explore his inner self, and to challenge his physical, mental, and spiritual well-being, and bring all together into a good and exemplary person.

 

 

 

Tom Haapala, 2nd Dan

Tom was first introduced to Shotokan karate in the 70s when he trained briefly while attending college in Minnesota. He returned to training with Sensei Khalili in Greeley in 2004. After moving to Boulder, he continued his training with Sensei Green. He has also had the privilege of training numerous times with Master Yaguchi in his Denver dojo and at camps. Tom is currently enrolled in the ISKF Instructor Training Program.

 

 

Chad Callaghan, 2nd Dan

Chad started training in Shotokan karate with Sensei Green in 1985 when he was eleven years old. After attending the University of Colorado and starting a family, Chad resumed his training under Sensei Green as well as many visits for training with Master Yaguchi in Denver. He enjoys competing in local and regional tournaments when not pursuing his primary passion: binge watching My Little Pony reruns. Chad is currently enrolled in the ISKF Instructor Training Program.

 

 

 

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