Martial Artists from Connecticut and New York came together to honor Soshu Shigeru Oyama.

Pictured left to right: Senpai Stephanie Duncan, Sensei Philip Lehrman, Sensei Dan Paradies, Shihan Michelle Gay, Sensei Hiro Iwata, Sensei Matt Dickie, Shihan Mike Skinner, Sensei Maria VanDessel, Sensei Zelda Gay, and Senpai Hugo Thomson. Not pictured: Shihan David Sheeger, Sensei Idriys Eyssallenne, Shaun Iwata and Suzanne Paquin.

Building the Next Chapter of Full Contact Karate…..

On Sunday, November 17th, 2019, Shihan Michelle Gay of Kanwakan Karate, hosted a gathering of martial art school owners and instructors to discuss the next chapter of full contact karate. Graciously, Shihan Gene Dunn of Brooklyn Brazilian Jujitsu, offered up his dojo in Brooklyn, NY for the meeting. 

The men and women pictured above represent a variety of martial art schools throughout Connecticut and New York. What do they have in common, you ask? They each promote traditional Japanese full contact karate and actively pursue the teachings of the great Masters, Mas Oyama and Shigeru Oyama.

Shihan Mike Skinner of Busiken Karate, led the team in a training session. It was an hour of shared memories and a boat load of laughter.

Around noon, the team got down to business. Many topics were discussed:

  • Communication improvements
  • Togetherness
  •  Value of standardization vs. creativity
  •  Tournament schedules
  • Clinics and Seminars
  • Judges training
  •  Giving back to the Community
  • Unified training
  • Oyama legacy collaboration
  • and more.
This meeting represents the 1st of many to come as they strive to strengthen the martial arts community.
Next meeting will be held on Sunday, February 16th at the Bushiken Karate dojo located at 62 Vineyard Ave, Highland, NY.  Time: TBD
If your a school owner or chief instructor practicing traditional Japanese full contact karate, are located in CT or NY, and are interested in joining the team, contact either Sensei Zelda Gay at or Suzanne Paquin at


Enjoy the photos and video below.

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