About Tanaka Mikio, Toyama Kai Founder
Tanaka Mikio: (1942 - Now)
Tanaka Mikio was born on January 28, 1942 at Koyama in Shinagawa Ward of Tokyo.
He started working for Nikon Corporation, a world wide known manufacturer of optical instruments, after finishing his education at Minato Technical School in March 1960. He retired from the company in January 2002 at the age of 60.
Tanaka Mikio HanshiTanaka’s Karate career officially started on July 14, 1958, at the age of 16, when Toyama Kanken allowed him to enter his Shudo-Kan Dojo. Tanaka had had to wait three long years before he became a student of Toyama, though, as Tanaka’s father had not approved of Tanaka learning karate due mainly to the dangerousness of Karate.
Less than two years after his initiation into the Shudo-Kan Dojo, he earned Shodan (1st degree black belt) on March 10, 1960 from Toyama. He continued his training there, and on April 1, 1965, Toyama honored him with Shihan diploma (teaching license of Karate with 5th degree of black belt). Tanaka Mikio HanshiTanaka continued training and teaching others under Toyama’s guidance until November 24, 1966, when Toyama died at the age of 78. Toyama’s only son, Hatoyama Hiroshi succeeded directorship of the Dojo and became second-generation principal of the Shudo-Kan Dojo. Tanaka, then Rokudan Shihan (6th degree black belt teacher) continued to train many students for Hatoyama, as the principal trainer at the Shudo-Kan Dojo. Tanaka was honored with Hachidan Hanshi (Superior teaching license with 8th degree black belt) in 1976, and Judan Hanshi (Superior teaching license with 10th degree) in 1995 from Hatoyama.
Toyama Kai visits Toyama’s Grave17 years after the passing of Toyama Kanken, Hatoyama decided to close the Shudo-Kan Dojo in March 1983. Tanaka then decided to establish his own school of Karate, the Toyama Kai, named after his teacher and located his Dojo in Shinagawa Ward of Tokyo on April 13, 1983. He has taught since then well over 200 students, both young and old, from all walks of life in Japan as well as from abroad. At his Dojo, Tanaka always stresses the importance of his master’s teachings, including, among others, the preservation of the traditional techniques and Kata he learned from Toyama.
Tanaka’s training at the Toyama Kai Tanaka Dojo normally takes place twice a week. Tanaka’s preferred and often-practiced Katas are Passai Dai and Koryu Gojushiho. One of his hobbies, outside of Karate, is to travel by local train. He believes in the idea that peace, not force, should prevail in the world, and his motto in Karate is, “Continuation is the key to find the truth.”
“I first started training under Sensei Tobey in 2008. When I first started my training I was a pack-a-day smoker. I had tried to quit smoking many times but had failed. I promised Sensei I’d quit before my black belt test. I no longer smoke, and I believe that my training in Shudokan Karate under Sensei Tobey gave me the mental discipline that I needed to quit.”
-Thom E – Adult Karate Program
“My 7-year old son and I have been going to Emerald City Karate for several years now. We have had a great time and always look forward to our family/youth class. As well as teaching about karate and Japanese culture and language, Sensei Tobey provides great lessons on how to work hard and patiently to succeed in anything. It’s also a great way to get mid-week exercise!”
Alan H – Youth & Family Program
“Sensei Tobey is my son’s Karate teacher (we’re in the 4 to 6-year-old class). As a teacher of small children, I find him to be a wonderful combination of patience, discipline, and fun. He is very passionate about teaching Karate and it shows. He relates to the kids very well and can teach boys and girls equally, not only the physical skills of Karate but mental focus skills as well. It’s been a great experience for my son and I highly recommend Sensei Tobey and Emerald City Karate to anyone looking to enroll their child in a martial arts class. “
Yvette H (Karate Mom)
Before joining Emerald City Karate I had no experience playing sports or participating in exercise programs because I didn’t like physical activities. So I didn’t expect I would be able to keep training for more than a month or so. But I found it to be fun immediately. The karate class has a variety of different subjects that keep students from being bored. Also, Sensei Tobey knows how to encourage students and allows them to have fun while feeling good about themselves. He likes telling jokes and making students laugh but his passion for teaching karate is always distinctive and serious. Because of his encouragement, I have kept training for a long time and even now I am training in Japan! Karate has taught me the joy of exercise and improved my concentration and it continues to teach many students to practice better manners and etiquette.
It is my pleasure to recommend Emerald City Karate for your exercise and experience in martial arts.
-Kaoru M: Adult Karate Program
“I cannot say enough good things about the programs offered at Emerald City Karate. If you have children, this dojo (school) is a wonderful environment for them to learn traditional Japanese martial arts, self-discipline, and to have a great time!”
-Samantha: Karate mom