American Shorin-Ryu Federation
This web page has been developed by The American Shorin-Ryu Federation (Matsubayashi-Ryu Karate). The following is a brief history of the Karateka lineage that makes up the ASF.
Grand Master Shoshin Nagamine is the founder of Okinawan Shorin-Ryu (Matsubayashi-Ryu) karate.
Walt Sapronov – Sensei
Sensei Sapronov studied Shorin-Ryu while attending Ohio State University. He began training in 1966 under one of the first Americans to train in Okinawa directly under Grand Master Shoshin Nagamine. In 1970, Sensei Sapronov moved to Iowa City, Iowa to attend the University of Iowa. He established the Iowa City, Shorin-Ryu dojo in 1970. The dojo was affiliated with the college's recreation department. Sensei Sapronov was an intense fighter capable of developing great power and speed which are the corner stone's of Shorin-Ryu, as practiced by the ASF. Although Sensei Sapronov is still active in martial arts he is no longer affiliated with Matsubayashi-Ryu karate
Denis Oliver Sensei
Sensei Oliver began training in January of 1971 at the Iowa City dojo under the direction of Sensei Sapronov. Sensei Oliver quickly became one of Sensei Sapronov's best students and in 1974 he rose to become the focal point of Shorin-Ryu karate in Iowa City. Under Sensei Oliver's leadership the Iowa City dojo experienced tremendous success and growth. Sensei Oliver's discipline in training and dedication to the art inspired all who trained in his Dojo. His leadership and skill in teaching developed many Black Belts who have gone on to create dojos throughout the United States. Our expansion would not have occurred without Sensei Oliver's guidance and support. It is with the highest honor that we consider him to be the First Teacher of the American Shorin Ryu Federation.
Doug Van Cleave Shichidan, 7th Dan
Sensei Van Cleave began training in September of 1972 at the Iowa City dojo under Sensei Oliver. In August of 1973, Sensei Van Cleave established the Newton, Iowa dojo and continued to commute to the Iowa City dojo to train with Sensei Oliver. Sensei Van Cleave also established dojos in Minnesota and Florida. He is currently teaching in the Apopka, Florida dojo.
Reza Pouraghabager Shichidan, 7th Dan
Sensei Pouraghabagher began training in January 1974 at the Iowa City dojo under Sensei Oliver. In September 1979, he moved to San Luis Obispo, California and established his first dojo at Cal Poly University. Since then, he and his senior Black Belts have expanded the art of Shorin-Ryu karate to five dojos in California.
Bruce Bartels - Shichidan, 7th Dan