These are a collection of biographies of both Instructors and Students in the Shorinjiryu Kenyukai Karate Club. If you are a student and you would like to add your bio to this list send it to email@example.com.
SENSEI WILLIAM MASON-
Sensei Mason now leads the Kenyukai Karate Club at its Setauket, NY location. He was born Dec. 23, 1947 in Brooklyn N.Y. A career newspaper reporter, he began training in Shorinjiryu Kenkokan Karatedo under Sensei Minoru Morita in 1973 at the Japan Budo Center in Coram, N.Y.
He continued to train under Sensei Morita after Sensei Morita and others founded the Shorinjiryu Kenyukai Karatedo Federation in the United States and Canada, headed by Shihan Shunji Watanabe.
Sensei Mason was promoted to Shodan in 1980, Nidan in 1986, Sandan in 1991, and Yodan in 1994.
As a result of karate competitions throughout the United States and Canada, Sensei Mason has won cash prizes and about 500 trophies or other awards at open and invitational karate tournaments that include: The Compete National Karate Tournament-Ca., The Diamond National Karate Tournament-Mn., The World Seido Karate Tournament- Ny., The Texas Challenge-Tx., The Mile High Karate Classic- Co., The Battle of Atlanta- Ga., The Capitol Classics- D.C., The Empire State Nationals, Ny., The New England Open- Ma., The Garden State Nationals- Nj.,- The Bluegrass Nationals- Ky., The North American Karate Championships- Mi., The United Nations Open- Ny., The Ocean State Grand Nationals- Ri., The U.S. Open Karate Championships- Fl., The Boston International Karate Championships- Ma., The U.S.A. Winter Nationals- Nv., The American Karate Associations Grand National- Il., The Ed Taylorson Memorial Tournament- Md., and the Central Jersey Tournament, Nj.
As a result of his competitive successes, the North American Sport Karate Association (NASKA) rated him, the #1 Forms Competitor, #1 Weapons competitior, and the #2 Sparing Competitor in the Executive Black Belt Division.
Sensei Mason's most cherished tournament award came in 1984 when he finished not first, but second, in black belt shiai (fighting) at the Ed Taylorson Memorial Karate Tournament. He was awarded "The Best Spirit" trophy by the other black belts for exemplifying the spirit of karatedo.
SENSEI MINORU MORITA-
An international award winning commercial artist and a college art professor, Sensei Morita was one of the earliest Shorinjiryu Kenkokan Karatedo students to train in Japan directly under its founder, Shinan Kori Hisataka and receive promotion to black belt levels while under his training. Sensei Morita was one of the black belts who demonstrated karate in the early 1960's as a part of the Japanese government's exhibition at the New York World's fair, and was therefore part of the first exposure to karate for thousands of Americans, and others from around the world. From the early 1960's on, he taught karate at various locations in the United States, including Maryland, Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York. He helped to establish the Shorinjiryu Kenyukai Karatedo Federation in 1973 and founded the Kenyukai Karate Club in 1974. Black belts that directly trained under him include Sensei Mason, Sensei Warner, and Sensei D'Avino.
SENSEI ANTHONY D'AVINO-
An artist and art teacher, he was promoted to 4th Dan in 1994. In addition to training students at various Kenyukai Karate Club locations over the years, Sensei D'Avino has, for many years, taught karate students privately out of his home in Babylon, N.Y., and has taken students there from white belt beginners through black belt tournament champions. Sensei D'Avino also continues to compete and win numerous awards in karate competitions.
SENSEI GREGG WARNER-
A corporate buisiness executive, and a private restaurant owner, in 1976 he became the first Kenyukai Karate Club member promoted to Black Belt. Sensei Warner, began his training in karate and judo at the Japan Budo Center in 1973. He was one of the most consistent karate tournament winners both as an under-belt and a black belt competitor. When Sensei Morita decided to step down from direct leadership of the Kenyukai Karate Club in the mid 1970's, he gave leadership of the club to his top student, Sensei Warner. In 1994, Sensei Warner was promoted to 4th Dan, by Shihan Watanabe. Although recent injuries and buisiness commitments have kept Sensei Warner away from the dojo we hope to see him training again soon and his teachings always guide us.
SENSEI PAUL BASARICO- A merchant, professional photographer, and booking agent for models, actors, and actresses, he is a black belt with about 20 years of training in Karatedo. A successful fighter at numerous Ed Taylorson Memorial Tournaments, he was promoted to Shodan in 1993, and was the principle assistant instructor for underbelt student developement at the Club for many years.
Sempai Owen Whitehurst- Shodan (1rst Dan Black Belt) Owen began training at the age of 8 (1992). After visiting numerous dojos he choose the Shorinjiryu Kenyukai Karate Club for various reasons. It seemed less like a buisiness and more like a club, the classes were small, the instructors were both very nice and qualified, and it was close to his home. He was moved through the ranks rather quickly and was promoted to the adult rank of 2nd Kyu Brown Belt at age of 14. He trained principly under Sensei Mason, Sensei Warner, Sensei D'avino and Sensei (or sempai for the first few years) Basarico, and he is now the senior student in the Kenyuakai Karated Club's Setauket location. He has competed in a variety of tournaments such as the Ed Taylorson Memorial Tournament, The Shinzen Shiai, Nick Adler's Samurai Spirit, Empire State Nationals, Empire State, Junior Challenge, Binn's International Tournament, and the Central Jersey Tournament. His most cherished karate accomplishement was being promoted to Shodan at the age of 16. His goals for the future are varied, however, he would like to at some time teach karate because although learning it is fun, teaching is the ultimate reward. Owen continues to train in Shorinjiryu Kenyukai Karatedo exemplifying the spirit of Budo.
ANTHONY DEMARTINO- Anthony has been studying various martial arts for over 11 years. He began training with sensei D'Avino in the fall of 1998. He is currently a green belt. Anthony is an avid weight lifter and just recently transferred to Stony Brook University from South Hampton College. He is truly devoted to the martial arts (the tatoo's prove it) and has become an integral part of the Shorinjiryu Kenyukai Karate Club. Always with Anthony is his supportive and appreciated girlfriend Victoria. She deserves our thanks for her support, and oranges, at all of our tournaments. Anthony has enjoyed a number of sucesses at various tournaments, and he contiues to train with a passion.
JODI CAMARCO- Jodi is currently ranked 7th Kyu Yellow Belt. She is one of the two female students currently practicing at the Shorinjiryu Kenyukai Karate Club and has been training with Sensei D'Avino since the fall of '98. Jodi is a highschool student and the youngest of the North Babylon group. She done extremely well at both the Ed Taylorson Memorial Tournament, and the Central Jersey tournament. She is also an excellent piano player. Among the group Jodi has amassed the most nicknames. Some of which are Chodie, Buttercup, Sweetypi, Muffin, Honey and etc. Jodi has just recently left us to attend college in New Paltz, NY. We wish her the best of luck and hope to see her soon.
FRANK ESPOSITO- Frank has been training since the fall of 1998 and has thus far attained the rank of green belt. Baseball, along with karate, is one of Franks great talents. He is currently a student and ball player for Suffolk Community College. Frank always does very well at tournaments and trains as hard as anyone.
DAVID NIEMZYCK- David has been training with Sensei D'Avino since the Spring of 99. He is currently ranked at 8th Kyu. He has done extremely well at both tournaments in which he competed. Dave, for now, is taking a break from karate training to work and pursue other interests. We wish him the best of luck in life.
JARED STRACK- Jared has been training in the Babylon location since the Fall of '98. He is currently a 7th Kyu Yellow Belt. Although he has suffered some injuries in the past year, Jared is always ready to work out and has done well in tournaments. He is a excellent musician, specializing in Guitar, and is a student of Stony Brook University.
THOMAS PISCIOTTA- Tom is the Kenyukai Karate Club's newest member, and has been training with Sensei D'Avino since the late Fall of 99. Although he is relatively new, and has suffered a few recent injuries, he has shown a huge interest in the style and he is one of the most motivated people I have ever met. Tom also enjoys weight training, long walks on the beach, romantic dinners, and French poetry (or whatever the girl wants to do).
JOSEPH ATELA- Joe has been training with Sensei D'Avino since the spring of '99 and is currently ranked 8th Kyu yellow belt. He does very well in competitions and is a hard worker in class. He trains hard and will never give up on himself or anyone else. He is a student at Suffolk Community College.
HOLLY JASKIEWICZ- Holly has been training since the age of 8 (1992). She has princpally trained under Sensei William Mason, Sensei Warner and Sensei Basarico. Holly is currently a 3rd kyu Green Belt. She has had success in many tournaments, such as the Empire State Nationals, Ed Taylorson Memorial Tournament, and the Central Jersey Tournament. Holly is extremely dedicated to the arts and sees herself training for many years to come.