Claudia and Michael Whiteley, owners of the Mendham Karate Academy and the Chatham Karate Academy spend as much time training with their sensei, A.J. Advincula as time and travel expenses afford. Advincula is a first generation student of Tatsuo Shimabuku, the founder of Isshinryu karate.
Advincula began to study karate in 1958 under Master Tatsuo Shimabuku when he was a Marine stationed in Okinawa. Advincula was a devoted student until the founder’s death on May 30,1975.
Advincula is an invaluable asset, one the Whiteley’s were able to share with their students over the three days of classes and seminars where Advincula was the featured guest. Technique, traditions, and cultural understanding were promoted as the ultimate goal in martial arts.
According to the Whiteleys' training, the study of martial arts is not to teach someone how to fight, but to teach them how to live. To honor their teacher, the Whiteleys surprised Advincula with a Taiko drum performance by Kenny Chin, which was dedicated to and symbolic of Shimabuku Sensei.
Tatsuo (Sensei Shimabuku’s first name means dragon man and Shimabuku’s hexagram means thunder) and the taiko drums sound like rolling thunder, the sound that a dragon makes.
Over 100 people were able to participate in a weekend that was full of study, reflection and traditions.