All of our Trained Instructors are Black Belts with years of Experience. Under Sensei Gavin Armstrong’s tuitilege, our Instructors are trained to convey our karate techniques to students of all levels. From the 4 year old all the way up to our Senior Citizens. We are all very skilled in delivering our teaching methods in ways that can be adapted to all levels of understanding.
Meet our Instructors:
GAVIN ARMSTRONG – Chief Instructor, Sensei Gavin Armstrong, 6th Dan, began his training in 1974 in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), where he was born. His first instructor, Des Botes (5th Dan), was one of Sensei Kimura’s top students. Sensei Gavin was awarded Shodan in 1977, winning the Rhodesian Shukokai Championships in 1977 as well as in 1978. Although still a junior, he won these tournaments in the adult divisions. He was awarded Nidan in 1978, and competed throughout southern Africa until 1981, when he joined Sensei Kimura at his Hackensack, New Jersey dojo.
At this time, Sensei Kimura had developed a new, more powerful method, moving away from his double hip technique which was still being taught in Rhodesia: Sensei Gavin, who lived and worked at the dojo as an Uchi Deshi, began learning this new technique and was awarded Nidan again by Kimura himself, who subsequently selected him to be part of the team representing the USA at the first ever Shukokai World Championships, which were held in New Jersey.
Sensei Gavin lived at Kimura’s dojo for more than 3½ years, managing the school, teaching classes, and training full time, as well as managing a satellite school in Fort Lee. During this period, he won 1st Place in Kimura’s All Styles Invitational Tournament, twice placed 1st in Kumite at the ASKU National Tournaments, and represented the USA at the World Tournament in Portugal as well as the second World Tournament held in the USA, where he took 3rd place in both Kata and Kumite and fought as part of the Men’s Team that took 2nd place: he earned 3rd Dan in 1984.
In 1986,Sensei Gavin joined his family’s business in California, returning periodically to train with Sensei Kimura until 1992, when he was invited by Mr. Kimura to run the new World Headquarters in Tenafly, New Jersey as manager and Chief Instructor. After Sensei Kimura’s untimely death in 1995, he continued to run the dojo until Mrs. Kimura’s decision to close the school and return to Japan. He took this opportunity to start his own dojo in Tenafly. Sensei Gavin strictly adheres to the technique and method taught by Sensei Kimura, and continues in the tradition of constantly looking for ways to improve the techniques. He continually trains with other Kimura Shukokai instructors from around the USA as well as around the World.
Since opening his dojo, Sensei Gavin has earned 4th Dan (1998), 5th Dan (2001) and 6th Dan (2009), competed in Shukokai World Tournaments in Germany and South Africa, and has coached his top students to compete successfully in national and international tournaments.
Sensei Gavin is accompanied by his family Linda and Steele teaching full time at the dojo.
LINDA ARMSTRONG, 3rd Dan STEELE ARMSTRONG, 1st Dan
We at Tenafly Shukoka Karate are so fortunate to have many high level Instructors who volunteer their time and expertise teaching classes.
Here are a few of our most active Instructors:
SIGURD TUESTAD, 5th Dan GERRY WOLLNER, 4th Dan JOHN NICOLAI, 5th Dan
PAUL MANCHESS, 3rd Dan SUSAN KLAUSNER, 3rd Dan CATHY BLAKE, 3rd Dan