About

This site is dedicated to the memory of my late teacher, Grand Master Hohan Soken and to the memory of my teacher the “old” Fusei Kise.

If you are interested in Shorin-Ryu Karate, with all of its traditional punches, kicks, blocks, kata, and weapons then you came to the right place.

Sensei James H. Coffman, a 7th-degree black belt   (1977-)  has the knowledge to instruct and teach the finer points of this martial art.  With over 60+ years of experience and knowledge, there are few in the art that knows more.  He was taught when personal safety wasn’t a concern when the fights were real and often bare-knuckled with no hand or feet protection. He learned the way the Okinawans did because the class had little or no other Americans in them, just the Okinawan students and their teachers.  When Sensei Fusei Kise became a student of O’Sensei Hohan Soken back in the late 1950’s early 1960’s neither man envisioned what the future would hold for them or their Martial Art. Out of this early 1960’s development came a student who still forges ahead every day to carry on the training of these two men. One still alive (Fusei Kise) the other passing decades ago. (Hohan Soken)

Sensei James H. Coffman has for all the years he’s been involved tried to convey the style he was taught in the same manner. Perfecting what he was taught and then passing it onto his own students. This art has undergone many changes some GOOD some BAD, it has produced many many students again some Good some Bad. Through it all Sensei Coffman has tried his best to bring the art he was taught those many years ago.

His dojo is now located at 2361 Braddock Road, Mount Airy, Maryland 21771

The phone number for the new dojo is  (443)-293-7806.  Call for classes. Dojo hours: Thursday 7:30 pm to 9 pm,… Saturday  12 noon to 2 pm…. Private classes based on availability.  Sensei James Coffman has been teaching this style of Okinawan Karate since 1960, he is one of the most knowledgeable teachers in the entire country and he’s here in Mount Airy, Maryland, call and set up a time to meet and discuss classes with him. Everyone’s reason for studying Karate is different, we all have a desire to be in control, these classes will help you achieve your goals and dreams. Call about  Karate Classes today.

This is Okinawan karate at it’s best!   Sensei Coffman is one of the top Karate-ka’s in the United States with over 58 years of teaching experience, teaching both group lesson, Seminars, weapons instruction as well as private lesson available. All ages from 14 years up to and including students in their 70’s. This karate is for all ages. If you are looking for a method to defend yourself this is the place for you, we teach functional karate, not the commercial karate you see advertised on the TV, you will not be jumping over tall buildings or be breaking one inch boards, this is real karate as it was taught back in the 1950′ & 1960’s.

Sensei Coffman’s reputation is worldwide, known as one of the top karate instructors in the United States, Classes are kept small, no large crowd group instruction. 

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  23. Sensei, although I am not a karate practitioner, I am fascinated by your story and commitment to old school karate. I train in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and one of my biggest fears is the move to a softer, easier art, which I am completely against.

    I also am glad someone is willing to be outspoken about George Dillman. Have you heard his interview about Soken and his private lesson? It’s borderline racist the way he imposes broken English into his lies.

    Anyway thank you for fighting to keep martial arts legit. Oss

  24. Hello dave: Yes I am aware of “LYING” George Dillman’s bs. He is a CON-MAN and always has been. The man will say and do anything for a dollar. He has NO HONOR, and very little skill. It is VERY easy to knock someone out “IF THEY JUST STAND THERE AND ALLOW YOU TO HIT THEM, HELLMY WIFE AT 4’4” CAN DO IT. GEORGE HILLMAN CAN NOT MAKE HIS BS WORK UNLESS IT’S ONE OF HIS STUDENTS OR IF SOMEONE IS REALLY TRYING TO HIT HIM. For those “SHEEP” that have brought into his con game, I say wake the hell up. Thank you for your comments Dave

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  128. If you follow the timeline for Phillip Koeppel, he was a brown belt from Adriano Emperado in the early to mid 1960’s. Trias had a Midwest regional director that was a maniac named John Keehan. Keehan advertised in comic books, got a friend killed in “the dojo wars”, the FBI and IBI subpoenaed him about the “Purolator Heist in Chicago.” In short, an absolute embarrassment to Trias who had promoted Keehan to 5th dan. Trias dumped him and looked for a replacement in the Midwest finding as was written back then “a husky brown belt living in Peoria, IL named Phillip Koeppel.” Within just 4 – 5 years Koeppel was a 7th dan from Trias. I studied for years under Koeppel before moving away and learning the history. I wrote a story about Keehan a number of years ago because he was a con man but lived an interesting life

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  130. Thank you for your write-ups on the history of some of the claims made about people’s lineage. I personally don’t care all that much about how a person learned a martial art, as long as that person is honest about it. If a person learned how to fight by watching alley cats from their bedroom window, that’s fine. Just be honest about it. Then I can choose if that’s what I want to invest my time and energy into.

    I trained under a couple of the students of one of the Matsumura Seito “10th dan” masters you’ve written about. I have actually met one of that 10th dan and trained in his dojo once or twice on a “field trip.” The man was actually quite nice and I enjoyed the visit. I have nothing bad to say about him. He has done a lot to foster the martial arts community in the region.

    I was inspired to leave a comment here because I recently investigated a new school to join in my area. I’ve been out of karate for many years after having moved away from my local dojo. I was interested in the school because the owner/instructor had trained under said 10th dan, so I already ranked in the style. This owner wanted to meet me before I joined, which I thought was reasonable as I have prior experience, and I know many owners aren’t in it for the money and really just want to have a good place to teach and train. I cannot blame anyone for wanting to protect that environment. Unfortunately, the owner was quite rude to me and paternalistic, stating that I “WILL join the (omitted) Karate Organization,” and accusing me of “not caring” about karate because I no longer have the paper certificate given to me from my most recent rank test (10+ years ago). These comments were delivered to me in a way as if I ware his teenage son who had just crashed the family vehicle. I am a 40 year old man with a career and a mortgage, and he was a perfect stranger to me. I did not appreciate this at all, so I simply stated that this is not going to work, thanked him for his time, and walked out the door.

    This instructor, who trained under one of your named 10th dan, made comment about other styles and how they are inferior, including posting a many-hundred word long rant to Facebook disparaging Shotokan for not being an “authentic” style and essentially ruining authentic Okinawan martial arts. The post was timely, as the instructor knew I had trained in Shotokan, and initially didn’t want to allow me to join the school simply on the fact that I had previously trained in it. I had also ranked in his style (not quite 1st dan, but getting there), so he decided to grant me the opportunity to make my case to train in his school.

    Anyway, I thought it was quite rich that he would disparage a martial art with a traceable lineage as being “inauthentic,” while his own style as he has been taught has a questionable lineage at best. This person may have been mislead, so he wouldn’t necessarily even be at fault if his karate isn’t as authentically Matsumura Seito as he’s been lead to believe. However, I think in general it is bad form to disparage another style of karate when there are so many out there. Who can say which one is the “real” karate?

  131. Thank you for your comments. 1st of all I do not believe there are ANY true 10th Dan’s here in the USA in Matsumura Seito Karate, to me they are “want-to-be’s”. I agree with you that if a person is good, he’s good but that does not make him/style/system real. As far as I am concerned there are no bad styles/systems of karate, “ONLY” bad instructors. I allow anyone to come into my dojo and work-out with us before they decide to join or not. If said person states he is a Black belt (regardless of style) I except him for that rank, that being said when he works out with us/me and he looks like a Blk belt he is excepted as such, however if he looks like a lower rank (blue/green etc) then he is not. He does not embarrass me because the rank did not come from me, the embarrassment falls upon him alone. An so called 10th dan being nice to you does not mean he is qualified to hold that rank. There is NO reason for rudeness! If for some reason you have lost your rank certificate(?) would not matter to me, because the rank did not come from me and therefore you would have too equal said rank under me before you could go higher. However if you are what you say/claim to be and look/preform as such your rank would be accepted. Shotokan is a real and is a good system, the person sounds like a egotistic fool. When I trained on Okinawa 1960-64 there were ONLY a half dozen 10th dans, today there are over …135+… claiming to be 10th dans, how can they all be real? There are ONLY under a dozen or less styles. Today there are dozens of off shoots of any given style on Okinawa. I believe in the traditional systems of Okinawa Karate’s. Today it’s all about money on Okinawa/USA, people travel to Okinawa and come back a higher rank after a few weeks of training, after paying the required amount and then they claim to be a student of “I TRAINED on Okinawa UNDER SOKEN, NAKUMURA, ETC.”, I find this to be BS (to put it plainly). AGAIN all traditional styles are GOOD!, only bad teachers/instructors. “EGO” is the number one problem with the so called high rank holders today, most are fat and out of shape, not to mention their true skill level most of the time is poor at best.

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