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Sensei Rick Kaufman is a martial arts instructor and former owner of Traditional Martial Arts Centers. He holds the rank of 6th Dan in Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu, 4th Dan in Kenpo, and Yudansha in Koryu Uchinadi Kenpo Jutsu. Having been a student of East Coast Black Belt Academy and Jerry Figgiani Sensei since 1995, Sensei Kaufman began instructing martial arts at ECBBA in 1999 and in 2005 was awarded the 47 Ronin Kokuro Award for Outstanding Martial Arts Instruction. In 2009, he participated in Japan/Okinawa Friendship Tour and also had the opportunity to train at the Kodokan Judo Institute in Tokyo. Sensei Kaufman has continued traveling to Okinawa, returning regularly for training and instruction. With more than 2 decades of teaching experience, in 2010 Sensei Kaufman was appointed to the Shorin Ryu Karatedo International Board of Advisors and in 2019 became the organization’s Business Manager. Sensei Kaufman has been published in Masters Magazine and Entertainment Week on various topics in the martial arts as well as issues of Bullying and Bullying Prevention. In addition to his credentials in the martial arts, Sensei Kaufman is also a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the State of New York.
Barry Fox started karate training with Sensei Miyazaki in 1973. He studied Shotokan Karate with Miyazaki Sensei and then with various Senseis such as Alex Sternberg, and Takahashi Sensei. In the late 80s he switched to the World Taekwondo Federation Taekwondo eventually earning a 2nd Dan Black Belt under Sabunim JC Yoo. He then returned to Shotokan under Sensei Mostafa Elrakabawy earning a Sandan. In 2013 he studied Shorinkan Kobayashi Shorin Ryu under Robert Rowley earning a nidan and in 2017 returned to a dojo he had trained in back in the early 90s East Coast Black Academy. Barry was awarded a Godan earlier in 2020
Charles Barrett has been training in martial arts since 1973. He holds a 6th Dan in Tae Kwon Do and was the senior student under Master Arthur Cohen and was co-owner/head Instructor of the Tang Soo Do Karate Center, Long Island, New York.
He holds a 5th Dan, Renshi title in Ryushin Shouchi-Ryu Iaido (Japanese sword), and also received his teaching license by Soke Kunikazu Yahagi from Japan. Charles co-founded “To Ko” (Eastern Tiger) Japanes Sword School, the only official Ryushin Shouchi-Ryu School on Long Island, and heads the East Coast Black Academy Sword Club in Middle Island, NY.
Continuing his practicing and teaching Aikido since 1990, he holds the rank of 1st Dan.
Also a 2nd generation disciple and instructor in I-Liq Chuan under Grand Master Sam Chin.
His continued study also includes Matsubayashi Shorin-Ryu and he is currently 4th Dan under Sensei Jerry Figgiani, president and founder of Shorin Ryu Karate-Do International.
He also serves the Town of Smithtown by teaching Ti Chi Chuan (Yang Style) in multiple locations throughout his community.
Charles created and owns www.Dojos.com, the first martial arts directory on the Internet.
Scott Williams is an Army Veteran who got his introduction to the martial arts studying Judo while stationed in Korea. Currently a Ni Dan, 2nd Dan Black Belt, in Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu, Sensei Williams has been training under Jerry Figgiani Sensei at East Coast Black Belt Academy since 2009. Since resuming his training, he has achieved the grade of San Kyu, Brown Belt, in Judo and has joined Sensei Figgiani on international training seminars in Okinawa, China and Europe.
As a Lifetime Member of Shorin Ryu Karate Do International, Scott Williams Sensei has learned to understand that the martial journey is truly enhanced through the study of martial arts culture, its rich history and the fundamental training concepts that have been handed down from teacher to student throughout time. Sensei Scott continues to grow his library of literature relating to these areas and can often be found discussing the history of Shorin Ryu Karatedo with other students.
Second degree Black Belt Nick Meola became a student of Sensei Jack Shanahan of Mid Island Karate Do. He trained mostly one on one with Sensei jack for about 6 years.
Nick started his training at first to try to live a more healthy lifestyle. To his surprise, it developed into something way more than he expected. A renewed sense of life, and a passion above most of his many hobbies and interests.
Nick will continue his training under Sensei Jerry Figgiani and keep training as a student, to continue developing skills that keep him motivated. Helping the younger generation of students understand what he has learned, and will continue to learn. Karate is now a commitment he promises to keep and give back to the community that has given him so much.
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