Kazumasa Yokoyama, known as Kancho by his students, was born in Japan in 1958.
He started martial arts (Karate) training at the age of seven years old. Kancho was a good athlete at track, gymnastics, swimming, Judo, etc. When he entered high school he helped teach judo classes to his fellow students. In high school Kancho also studied boxing and college style wrestling while also continuing his Karate training. It was during this period that he opened his eyes to eastern martial arts and realized they were both physical as well as mental and extremely advanced. Kancho researched classical Chinese martial arts and learned 8-step preying mantis style Kung Fu and Wu Tai Chi from Grandmaster Wei.
In 1976 Kancho entered Kokushikan University in Tokyo and traveled often to Taiwan to continue learning from Grandmaster Wei. After one year of training in Taiwan he decided to integrate his martial arts with Okinawan style Karate. Okinawa is the birthplace of Karate. Kancho chose Shorin-ryu Karate to finalize his studies. Shorin-ryu descended from Shuri-te which is the original Okinawan Karate. Shorin-ryu is the root of Shotokan, Wado-ryu, and Shito-ryu. Kancho became a student of Grandmaster Shugoro Nakazato in Okinawa where he learned Shorin-ryu Karate and weapons.
In 1981 Grandmaster Nakazato sent Kancho to America to expand Okinawan classical Karate under the Okinawan Shorin-Ryu Shorin kan Organization in San Francisco, CA. In 1985 Kancho moved to Texas for the challenge of teaching his art in the southern United States. He competed in many tournaments and he became a top competitor in Texas and Louisiana. Due to his quick movements people gave him the nick names ‘Flash of Hawk’ and ‘Invisible Hands’.
In 1988, Kancho founded a new concept for classical Karate under Okinawan Shorin-ryu for human development, and he established the Kenshin-Kaikan, which means ‘polish your soul and bodies with your techniques’. That same year he published an instructional video called Bukijyutu Hyaka which means ‘Weapons Encyclopedia’ sponsored by BAB Japan Books & Videos in Japan. In two years he shot two more videos of nunchaku and bo.
In 2000 he stepped away from all tournament activity and only focused on expanding the principals of real Karate. He closed his school and kept only a few students with him to teach his arts and organize his theory. In 2005 Kancho became very popular as ‘Shungekishu’ which means ‘Lightning Flash Hands’ in Japan. His theory of classical Okinawan Karate also gained populaity. He responded to many requests from magazine companies to do interviews and write articles.
In 2006 he published a second instructional DVD titled Real Usage of Pinan-kata. This DVD became a big topic of interest for the Karate community of Japan. In 2007 he published the DVD Secrets of Naifanchi. In 2008 he published a Karate book titled Karate no Genri Gensoku (The Principles of Karate) explaining the principles and philosophy of karate. Now Kancho is legendary and famous as ‘Shungeki-shu’ which means ‘Lightning Flash Hands’. All of his works are available by Online Amazon and budovideos.com. Kazumasa Yokoyama is a well known as the most humble, knowledgeable and dedicated karate master of his generation. His Shorin-ryu Karate is expanding along with his organization Kenshin-kaikan.
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