Koei Nohara Hanshi

Koei Nohara is 9th dan, Hanshi, and President of the federation. All Ryukyukan branches adhere to the teachings and guidance of Nohara Hanshi. Nohara Hanshi’s karate lineage comes from his two teachers, both direct students of the founders of Shorinryu Karate. Nohara Hanshi’s father, Kaoru Nohara, was a direct student of Chotoku Kyan. Nohara Hanshi practiced Shorinryu Karate under his father until his early teenage years. Nohara Hanshi then moved to the Shorinkan organization, and continued to studied Shorinryu Karate under Shugoro Nakazato, Hanshi (a direct student of Chosin Chibana) until the age of 43. Nohara Hanshi also participated in full contact karate events in Okinawa, testing his skills against other Okinawan karate fighters. Nohara Hanshi worked as an administrator for the Ryukyu Prefectural government until he retired in 2008. Nohara Hanshi was chief karate instructor at the Prefectural Police Headquarters in Urasoe, Okinawa. He was one of the original planners of Budokan in Naha, the martial arts hall and center for indoor sports for Okinawa.  Nohara Hanshi studies the cultural history of the Ryukyus, including dance, music, folk tales, and martial arts. He holds a masters degree in Cultural Anthropology, and is currently enrolled in the Ph.D. program at Waseda University. Nohara Hanshi is author of a book detailing the cultural heritage of Okinawan Karate: The Transformation of Tiy of Okinawa Traditional Karate.

In 1992, Nohara Hanshi opened the first All Ryukyu’s Full Contact Karate Kobudo Tournament in Okinawa, with the help of his friend and full contact karate champion, Koichi Nakazone. Nohara Hanshi accepted the position as the association’s first president. The same year, Nohara Hanshi began the Ryukyukan Shorinryu Karate Kobudo Federation.


Craig Finch

Head of Matsuri school of Karate, which he established in 1992. Craig has studied semi and full contact martial arts with Paul Wheel Shihan, Ju-jitsu with Malcolm Holmes Shihan and Kenjutsu under Ron Holt Hanshi, with whom he holds a 1st dan in Katsumushiryu Kenjutsu.

In1996 he was introduced to Okinawan Karate and Kobudo (weapons) by Cezar Borkowski Kyoshi, since then he has studied with Tetsuhiro Hokama Sensei, Yoshiaki Gakiya Sensei, Masakazu Kinjo Sensei and Kinjichi Uezu Sensei. Craig now studies Ryukyukan Shorinryu Karate under Koei Nohara Hanshi 9th Dan.

In 2002 he was awarded his 6th dan by Ron Holt Hanshi 9th
dan, after 22years of training in Karate.

In 2004 Craig co-founded the Amalgamated Warrior Arts with
his good friend Malcolm Holmes Shihan

Craig teaches courses throughout the U.K. and has also
taught on international seminars in Portugal & Canada

Graham Rowlands


Graham began training with Matsuri in 1993, he took his 1st degree black belt in 1997, under an international panel of 11 examiners, including:
Kinjyo Kaicho 8th Dan
Tattersall Hanshi 8th Dan (England,
Borkowski Kyoshi 8yh Dan (Canada)
Holmes Shihan 7th Dan
Uezu Shihan 6th Dan

Since then, Graham has also passed his 2nd and 3rd degree black belt and teaches two classes in Walthamstow, where he has achieved a high standard with his students.

Whilst continuing to train in Karate, Graham also finds time to study Kenjutsu, in which holds a 1st degree black belt.


Alison Slack

Alison has over 25 years experience in the martial arts, she began studing Karate with Martin Rees Sensei 6th Dan until she reached her 3rd Dan and since then she has trained in Ryukyukan Shorin Ryu Karate & Kobudo under Craig Finch Sensei 6th Dan.

Alison graded for Nidan in Shorin Ryu in Okinawa, Japan under Koei Nohara Hanshi 9th Dan. Alison also studied Kendo at Soushinkan Kendo Dojo for 2 years with Paul Whiteman Sensei 5th Dan.

Alison has competed in Kumite & Kata in the U.K & in Okinawa, Japan.

Favourite Kobudo weapon : Sai

Ben Slack

Ben has been practising the martial arts for over 23 years, he began learning Tae Kwon Do with his family at the age of 8 with Sensei Martin 3rd Dan achieving a Blue belt.

In 1999 he started training in Karate with Martin Rees Sensei 6th Dan until he reached his 2nd Dan & has since then trained in Ryukyukan Shorin Ryu Karate & Kobudo with Craig Finch Sensei 6th Dan.

Ben graded for his Nidan in Shorin Ryu in Okinawa, Japan under Koei Nohara Hanshi 9th Dan. He also studied Kendo at Soushinkan Kendo Dojo for 2 years with Paul Whiteman Sensei 5th dan.

Ben has competed in Kumite & Kata in the U.K, Belgium & at the Ryukyukan full contact Karate & Kobudo competition in Okinawa, Japan.

Favourite kata : Naihanchi Shodan

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