Sensei Avi Rokah
Sensei Rokah is the traditional karate world's most sought after instructor.
He studied daily under master Nishiyama for 27 years.
1994 World Champion
5 times US National kumite (fighting) champion ('90, '91, '92, '94 & 2001)
Winner of numerous regional, state and other international competitions
Sensei Rokah teaches many seminars annually throughout Europe and North America and is looked by Nishiyama followers as the heir of the master.
—courtesy of Rokah Karate
Studying under Nishiyama Sensei, Avi Rokah (8th Dan) became a highly acclaimed international competitor, thoughtful student of karate and instructor at his own dojo. Beyond competition, his passion is in learning and improving karate and sharing its beauty. Many karate experts consider sensei Rokah the finest and most knowledgeable karateka after his teacher master Nishiyama. Sensei Rokah is a gifted, devoted and patient instructor who spends his waking hours finding better ways to teach his many dedicated students.
"I studied under Sensei Nishiyama daily and full time for the past 27 years, while I study I run my dojo and taught many hours. He passed away on November 7, 2008. I competed successfully for 27 years nationally and internationally, but my passion is in learning and improving karate and sharing its beauty."
Sensei Toru Shimoji
Toru Shimoji (5th Dan) is the chief instructor at Traditional Karate Atlanta. Sensei Shimoji has over 3 decades of internationally recognized teaching experience. He served as the president of the American Amateur Karate Federation (AAKF) from 2009 to 2011 and is currently a member of its Technical Board.
Mr. Shimoji received his Dan rankings and instructor certification from his teacher, Hidetaka Nishiyama (a direct student of Master Gichin Funakoshi – the founder of our system). Mr. Shimoji additionally holds a B.S. in Kinesiology from UCLA.
Among his notable achievements, Sensei Shimoji is the head coach for the US National Team, World Kata Champion of the 2000 Nishiyama Cup in Moscow, and silver medalist at the 2002 ITKF World Championships in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.
"Teaching is an art form. I would say that human beings basically learn by watching, hearing, or doing. Each person has his/her tendency, or preferred modality of learning. So I try to identify the learning style of the student (visual, auditory or tactile), and then hone in to get the message across. I also identify the source of motivation, which helps me to further fine-tune my communication with the student. Of course, even with your best efforts, you still lose students. The process of learning to be a good teacher is dynamic and ever evolving."
Sensei Chris Smaby
Christopher Smaby (8th Dan JKA, 8th Dan USKF) has been in the Martial Arts for over 50 years. He has been formally trained exclusively by Japanese Instructors and is one of the most senior students of world-renowned Hitetaka Nishiyama, 10th Dan, JKA International. Mr. Smaby is also is qualified to instruct Kyusho-Jitsu/Daito Ryu Jujitsu. Additionally Mr. Smaby has created “Personal and Professional Safety for Women” self-defense classes.
Mr. Smaby received his first formalized training from Sensei Sugiyama in Chicago. Instruction also included two years with Master Enoeda in England while in the Air Force. In 1975 Mr. Smaby began his constant training with Master Nishyama.
Mr. Smaby also received instruction from the following high ranking masters. Senseis Nakayama, Kanazawa, Shirai, Yamguchi, Kase, Ueki, Oishi, Kawazowe, Iida, Okazaki, Mikami, Obata, Tanaka, Yaguchi, Kato, Asano, Katsumata, Iwakabe, as well as Master Mabuni for Shitoryu style, and Master Seiu Oyata from RyuKyu Kempo Okinawan Karate. Mr. Smaby is also trained in Judo, Bojitsu, Kendo, Iiado, and Aikido.
In 2012, Mr. Smaby participated in a 10 day training program in Okinawa with 10 of the world’s most senior Senseis of Okinawan Karate.
LAW ENFORCEMENT: Mr. Smaby is the full time Police Training Specialist for the Cedar Rapids Police Department. Previously he had been Training Officer for the Sheriff’s Department for 27 years and 22 years with the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy.
INSTRUCTOR OF: Defensive Tactics, Violence Intervention/Use of Force, Linn County Immediate Response Unit, Iowa Law Enforcement Academy, Defensive Tactics and Fitness, Cedar Rapids Police Academy, and Iowa State Patrol.
CERTIFICATIONS: ILEA Firearms Instructor, ILEA Chemical Munitions Instructor, F.B.I. Law Enforcement Fitness Instructor, ILEA Defensive Tactics, ILEA Fitness Instructor, TASER Instructor, Certified Instructor of R.A.D. (Rape Aggression Defense), and Certified Instructor of NRA Refuse to be a Victim.
QUALIFIED INSTRUCTOR OF: Straight Baton P.P.C.T. Systems, Edged Weapon Defense P.P.C.T Systems, Side Handle Baton P.P.C.T. Systems, Active Counter Measures Systems, Armaments Systems/Procedures, Inst. ASP Crowd Control - by Monadnock Corp, Kansas City. Police Academy Weapon Retention Systems Defensive Tactics Instructor certified by Justice Training Association, Pressure Point Control Tactics Management Systems
UNIVERSITY OF IOWA: Masters Degree:Body Mechanics/Fitness Education. MINNESOTA STATE UNIVERSITY: Bachelor of Science: Fitness Education/Business Administration NATIONAL CRISIS PREVENTION INSTITUTE, INC. MEMBER OF: International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA)