Ryukyu East Asian Martial Arts Coalition Testimonials
Hanshi Steve Stark and Hanshi Bill Gossett had been training together as individual dojo owners and students under Taika Seiyu Oyata for many, many years. (See bio pages for details) In 2003 Hanshi Stark and Hanshi Gossett decided to join their individual dojos and founded the Ryukyu Coalition. They decided that this would enhance their personal training and also preserve the art that they had trained so hard in, for so many years. As time passed the coalition grew in numbers and visibility, with demonstrations and seminars all over the world. Many of Hanshi Stark and Hanshi Gossett's students and old friends have opened dojo's and became affiliates of the Ryukyu Coalition or affiliated their current dojo's with the Ryukyu coalition. In 2014 Hanshi Stark semi retired and chose to concentrate on home life, grand kids and a slower pace in life. The Ryukyu Coalition continues to grow and preserve the art throughout the world as its co-founder Hanshi Gossett strives to further the mission statement of the Ryukyu Coalition.
I have trained in Ryukyu Kempo since 1991 as a student of Hanshi Bill Gossett. In that time I have learned many weapons and techniques from Hanshi Gossett and Hanshi Stark only seen and practiced by a few grandmasters around the world.
The self defense techniques they teach leave even martial artists struggling to comprehend. Hanshi Gossett and Hanshi Stark stress using the mental and spiritual ways of Ryukyu Kempo to help you through all of life's struggles and high points. The greatest thing I learned, and the thing that I am proud to pass on to my own students as an instructor and dojo owner, is the character and discipline needed to handle whatever life may bring.
-Renshi Scott Hannah
Short Bio for Scott Hannah:
Ryukyu Kempo Coalition Karate
Began Ryukyu Kempo Study in 1991 under Hanshi Gossett to present.
Rokudan 6th degree black belt Renshi. Assisted Hanshi Gossett nationally with Ryukyuan weapons demonstrations and seminars.
Multiple Ryukyu Kempo Tournament Weapons and empty hand kata champion.
Multiple Full contact tournament fighting champion.
I have learned a great deal under the leadership of Koubushi Gossett and Seibushi Stark since being introduced to the combat techniques of Ryukyu Kempo. I have found a new understanding of Kata, from Tuite and the nerve point techniques called Kyusho Jitsu, as well. I have never seen any other art like this in my 30 years of martial arts. How Gossett Hanshi and Stark Hanshi dissect Kata from beginning to end is amazing. Koubushi Gossett’s level of basic, intermediate and advance Kata is unmatched. The techniques of traditional Okinawan kobudo weapons like bo, chizikunbo, eku, jo, kama, sai, tanbo, tonfa, manji-sai, nunti-bo, and sword are unique in their applications.
-Yondon Jamaal Anderson
Short Bio for Jamaal D. Anderson:
-Began study in martial arts in 1973.
-Study Kodokan Judo for 8 years in Queens New York under Sensei Hank Kraft.
-Study Koei - Kan Karate for 3 years in Utica Michigan under Sensei Jeffery L. Mason.
-Study Okinawa Kenpo for 4 years in Hawaii under Sensei Paul Ortino.
-Study Jeet Kune Do for 4 years in Hawaii under Herman Kangleon Cobile.
-I’m currently studying Ryukyu Kempo, under Koubushi Bill Gossett for the last 6 years. I hold the rank of Yondon (4th Degree Black Belt) in Ryukyu East Asian Martial Arts Coalition.
-I currently instruct at the Parkville Athletic Complex in Parkville, MO.
From my perspective, having seen him in person many times, Taika Oyata was one of the greatest martial artists of the 20th Century. Hanshi Stark and Hanshi Gossett have a combined total of 61 years of study under Mr. Oyata, and in my opinion they are his most accomplished students. When I first began to attend Mr. Oyata's seminars, it was immediately obvious that Hanshi Gossett and Hanshi Stark were the most skilled practitioners of Mr. Oyata's art. In all the years I went to events conducted within Taika Oyata's organization, I never saw any students of Mr. Oyata that had the depth of knowledge and the skill of Koubushi Gossett and Seibushi Stark. Their knowledge of Ryukyu Kobudo, Tuite Jitsu, and kata bunkai is unparalled anywhere in the world.
At many seminars I have seen them teach up to thirty people around twenty different katas, and break them down in a way that folks can understand and assimilate the instruction. I am always amazed at their level of martial knowledge, and I am always thoroughly impressed with what they teach. They each have a unique perspective of Ryukyu Kempo Karate, and their different viewpoints enhance and compliment each other. They are always respectful of other martial artists, humble, and without pretense.
I feel blessed to know them, and I am honored to be their student and friend. They are not only great martial artists; they are good people and remarkable men.
Is there a weapon that you've always wanted to know but have never had an opportunity to learn? Come to a seminar, pick any weapon or any kata, and they will share with you this amazing art that was passed onto them from Taika Oyata.
Hanshi Gossett and Hanshi Stark want only to reveal this unique and singular art to anyone who has a sincere desire to learn. This art is the legacy of the ancient Okinawan masters, and it clearly demonstrates the true genius of the Classical Ryukyuan martial artists.
-Shihan Jack Musick
Short Bio for Jack Musick:
Owner/Head Instructor Big Island Kobudo
-Began studying Ryukyu Kempo Karate in 1996 at the age of nineteen with Kyoshi Dennis Elam.
-Attended first Taika Oyata summer camp in 1997 and various seminars and summer camps under Mr. Oyata from 1997-2010.
-Personal student of Hanshi Gossett December of 2008 to present. Have assisted Hanshi Gossett and Hanshi Stark with Ryukyu Kempo public Demonstrations and seminars 2008 to present.
-Shodan rank from Taika Oyata in July 2009
-Shodan rank from Hanshi Gossett and Hanshi Stark in May 2009
-Sandan rank from Hanshi Gossett and Hanshi Stark, June 2010
-Yondan rank from Hanshi Stark and Hanshi Gossett, June 2012
-Teaches Ryukyu Kempo & Ryukyu Kobudo at Waiakea Recreation Center in Hilo, Hawaii, August 2010 to present
-Member of Hui Okinawa, August 2010 to present.
-Member of Hui Okinawa Kobudo Taiko, January 2011 to present.
-Recepient of Hui Okinawa Hatarachaa Award, November 2011.
I was lucky enough to meet Seibushi Steve Stark, and Koubushi Bill Gossett, back in 1992 when I moved to Kansas City, MO to train with Taika Seiyu Oyata. From that moment on I knew these guys were good, Really GOOD!!! These two gentlemen are very talented in the art of Ryukyu Kempo and Ryukyu Kobudo. I feel very fortunate to have trained with them over the past 18 years. I consider them to be my good friends and instructors.
Recently I had the privilege to go to two of their martial arts seminars. The first one I attended was in Bellflower, CA at Matt Seymour’s dojo. Let me tell you that was a GREAT seminar, I was really impressed. These guys really work well together. They are truly compliments of each other. Everyone who attended that seminar had a great time and they all learned something valuable, including me!!! Never too old to learn I guess.
The second seminar I attended was the international summer camp they have in Las Vegas, another great seminar!!! They are not big headed and will answer any questions that anyone asks. They are willing to work with a single person or a group of people until the students understand what they are learning.
They have the ability to teach dozens of different Ryukyuan classical weapons, tuite, kyusho, atemi jutsu and empty hand kata, with several different groups and individuals, all at the same time, in the same seminar. Not like the typical seminar where everyone learns the same cloned moves over and over.
Hanshi Gossett and Hanshi Stark also have a vast and in depth knowledge of Tuite, Kyusho, and Atemi jutsu. I would highly recommend that anyone interested in advancing their knowledge in the martial arts look into hosting or going to one of their seminars. You will not be disappointed by any means.
-Kyoshi Vince Stallone
Short Bio for Vince Stallone:
Began martial arts training in Okinawan Kempo in 1980.
Began teaching martial arts in 1986.
Opened Stallone Okinawan Kempo Karate School in 1988.
Moved to Kansas City, MO to study Ryukyu Kempo in 1992 under Taika Seiyu Oyata.
Opened Okishinkan Dojo in Lee’s Summit, MO in 1993.
Received Godan in Oyata Shin Shu Ho in 1993.
Received Rokudan in Ryu Te in 1995.
Taught at Taika Oyata’s Summer Camps and Birthday Party Seminars from 1994 to 2000.
Taught Life Protection and Awareness Seminars in Kansas City from 1996 to 2000.
Began teaching Ryukyu Kempo privately in Torrance CA in 2008 until present.
Received Nanadan from Koubushi/Hanshi Bill Gossett and Seibushi/Hanshi Steve Stark in June of 2010.
"I have had the privilege to know and train with Kyoshi Bill Gossett and Kyoshi Steve Stark for many years. They have been great mentors and friends. In this age of over ranked, "Kuchi Bushi", Internet Keyboard Warriors that claim they are teaching "Koryu" something or other Okinawan martial arts it's truly refreshing to train with two very humble people like Kyoshi Gossett and Kyoshi Stark because they are the real deal. They have trained for several decades with one of the most skilled and respected teachers alive today..and it shows! What Kyoshi Gossett and Kyoshi Stark bring to the table and can actually DO is what most others can only talk about on the internet. They have "enlightened" me many times by throwing me around the dojo with their technique or dropping me like a ton of bricks with some tuite and that was just the empty handed stuff, the Okinawan weapons techniques are on a whole different level. If anyone, regardless of style or affiliation, has the opportunity to attend one of their seminars please do. You won't be disappointed."
Short Bio for Robert Rousselot:
Occupation: IT/Bio-Metric Security Engineer working with Anti-Terrorism Force Protection Dept. of US Military, Japan.
1980-Became a member of Taika Oyata's Organization.
1988- Immigrated toJapan.
1989- Opened my first dojo inKawasaki,Japan.
1997-Formed a karate "club" and taught at the NipponBudokan & Kamakura Budokan.
1997- Opened second Dojo near Roppongi, Japan (downtownTokyo) Teaching Japan Police and Secret Service Agents.
2003- Began teaching various the US Military Forces Units (CID, MPs etc) and DoD Civilians stationed in Japan.
2004- Awarded Rokudan (6th degree black belt) in Taika Oyata's ShinShuHoRyu.
Other arts trained in for "recreational" purposes: Kodokan Judo, Muay Thai, Shoot Fighting, Kyudo, Sumo, Katori Shinto Ryu sword.
Types of students that I have trained: Japanese Secret Service, Japanese Police, US and Japanese Military, civilians of all walks of life. (As a rule I don't teach children under the age of 16.)
Language Proficiency: Fluent in Chinese and Japanese
Martial Arts Related Licenses/Certificates: The Cooper Institute - Physical Fitness Specialist, Department of the Navy- Advanced Fitness Trainer, ISSA-Certified Fitness Trainer, First Aid, CPR, AED
I have trained in the martial arts for many years. I am also a dojo owner and instructor. It is with great pleasure that I write my impressions of Gossett Koubushi/Hanshi and Stark Seibushi/Hanshi.
I have attended their seminars for many years and have sponsored seminars instructed by them many times. Their depth of knowledge is vast and multi dimensional in empty hand and weapons.
When they lead a seminar they do not make you learn what they want to teach, they ask you what you want to learn and instruct you from that point. The vast array of weapons kata’s and techniques will give you enough to work on for a lifetime.
They are pleasant and actually fun to be around and very giving with their knowedge. I would recommend any one who is a serious martial artist to attend one of their seminars, you will be amazed. It will open a whole new martial arts dimension for you and your training.
-Sensei George Hansel
Short Bio for George Hansel
Has been studying martial arts for 17 years
Studied Kung Fu for two years
Studied Goju Ryu and holds a Shodan ( Black Belt ) ranking
Studied Ryu Te and received Shodan ( Black Belt ) from Taika Oyata
Has trained for ten years under Hanshi Steve Stark and currently holds a Yudansha rank in Ryukyu Kempo
Member of the Ryukyu East Asian Martial Arts Coalition
Those of us who have been fortunate enough to experience the teachings of Ryukyu Kempo know that we are involved in something special. The world of martial arts is rife with those who claim mastery, and yet the vast majority of practitioners do not seem to have a deep understanding of the art they practice. To penetrate and correct the widespread misunderstanding of Karate’s methods, one could do no better than to seek out qualified instruction in the art of Taika Seiyu Oyata. Such excellent instruction is offered to the serious Karate-ka by Koubushi Bill Gossett and Seibushi Steve Stark. Taika Seiyu Oyata’s art of Ryukyu Kempo (RyuTe) is wellrepresented by Hanshi Stark and Hanshi Gossett and as long-time students of Taika Oyata, they have acquired a great deal of knowledge and skill in what they teach. Those who wish to learn more about the classical Okinawan martial arts would do well to train with Hanshi Stark and Hanshi Gossett. Each is an expert individually, and as a team they are truly outstanding. If you are earnest about increasing the depth of your skill and understanding, I recommend seeking out these instructors for their expertise. If you have never had the opportunity to learn Oyata Ryukyu Kempo, seize this unique opportunity, and it will transform the way you see Karate.
Short Bio for Matthew Seymour:
Head Instructor, Ryukyu Kempo Shinkikan Dojo.
Began martial arts (Ryukyu Kempo) in 1993.
Trained throughout the United States and Japan.
Engaged in continued study of Ryukyu Kempo.
Former Adjunct Professor (self-defense), William Jewell College.
Experience teaching Ryukyu Kempo seminars.
Experience teaching beginners.
Experience teaching black belt practitioners.
Currently ranked Yon Dan, 4th degree black belt.
B.A., Japanese Area Studies.
On May 10, and Sept.20th, 2008, I had the good fortune to host two seminars taught by Seibush Steve Stark and Koubushi Bill Gossett. Having never experienced their unique teaching methods, I had no idea what to expect. What proceeded was a day filled with numerous "Wows'" and "So that's it" moments that just kept opening up for me throughout the day. What has impressed me most by both of these Masters is their openness in teaching and willingness to share what they know. The seminars are fast paced and require your full attention. Their mission is to teach "Classical Okinawan Karate," but more importantly, they want to leave a positive impact on peoples lives by reaching new levels. If you can reach a new level for yourself, they will push your capabilities to the next higher level. Training with Seibushi Stark and Koubushi Gossett gives you the feeling that you are stepping back in time, to a time of True Bushi Warriors. You see a sense of mutual respect and friendship that has been built up over years of training together as you watch them teach and compare techniques. It reminds me of the two Bushi Warriors that Taika Oyata learned from Mr. Uhugushuku and Mr. Wakinaguri and the friendship they too shared as they devoted their lives to "The Life Protection Arts of the Ryukyu Kingdom."
Short Bio For Thomas Freeman:
Started Karate - 11/29/1979
Koeppel School of Karate Mr Ron Rollins - Instructor Shuri-Ryu
Bushido Kai Academy of Karate Mr. Ron Rollins - Sensei Shuri-Ryu / Goju-Ryu
USKK Hombu Mr. Phil Koeppel - Hanshi Seito Matsumura Shorin-Ryu Koeppel-Ha
Mr. Steve Stark, Seibushi - Hanshi Mr. Bill Gossett, Koubushi - Hanshi Ryukyu Kempo
My students and I were guests of Mr. Tom Freeman of Sherman, Illinois this past May for a day-long kobudo and bunkai seminar featuring Seibushi Steve Stark and Koubushi Bill Gossett, senior students of Taika Oyata. Mr. Freeman was a gracious host as always, and Seibushi Stark and Koubishi Gossett were dynamic and informative presenters. Their approach was nothing if not unique and refreshing. They simply displayed an extensive arsenal of Okinawan weaponry on the floor and allowed us to choose which ones we wanted to learn. I sought to pick something completely foreign to me and settled on the tanbo, twin sticks approximately 24 inches in length. As I am a rather slow and unremarkable learner, I decided to stick with that weapon and it's introductory form for the duration of the kobudo portion of the seminar. Others, however, elected to explore other weapons and kata including jo (four-foot staff), Okinawan katana (didn't even know there was such a thing), and sai. My younger students learned a nunchaku kata which they have since proudly taught to me and several other members of our dojo. During an intermission, Koubushi Gossett, an accomplished caligrapher, produced several custom brushed kanji rice paper scrolls for any one who desired one. I personally procured two for our dojo, one a custom translation of "koshiki", our dojo's name for a special combatives course I teach, and "If you sit on a rock long enough, it will get warm" a favorite saying of Koubushi's. After the break, we resumed with kata bunkai. This consisted of very effective and often painful applications of tuite (joint locking) and kyusho jitsu (pressure point manipulation) derived from kata movements familiar to most everyone in attendance. Afterwards, we shared a few very pleasant hours in fellowship at my favorite local sushi restaurant. All my students reported having a wonderful time and learning a great deal. Personally, I felt I was in the presence of something quite different from anything I have experienced in my twenty-eight years of training in classical Asian martial arts. Although both sensei are friendly, personable, and accomodating, one senses that below the surface lie the restrained spirits of true warriors forged by the tutelage of a real master. A word of caution, both of these men are extremely serious about their commitment to following, to a some extent, the same pedigogy their teacher used with them. That is to say that they will not spoon feed you; they tend to move fast and with relatively little explanation at first. This approach, I believe, is to force the student to assimilate the movement rather than the fixed positions of the kata. This enables the student, often through self-discovery, to learn the true meaning of the techniques embedded in the form much better than more methodical approach I am accustomed to. Nevertheless, all are welcomed to sample what they generously offer (and it is overwhelming in breadth alone without even beginning to plumb the depths) and are made to feel valued as fellow karate-ka. I cherish the time I spent with them both and look forward to seeing and training with them again this spring.
Kosho-kai Karate Dojo
Short Bio For Frank Fink:
Frank Fink is a rokudan (sixth-degree blackbelt) in Okinawan Shuri-ryu and Goju-ryu karate with experience in judo, jujitsu, kosho kempo, and wing chun kung fu. He began his training at age fifteen in the Shuri ryu style of karate under Mr. Ron Rollins of Springfield, Illinois. Mr. Fink is a five-time USKK national champion in kumite (sparring) and kata (forms). He is a two-time medalist in European international competition and the second winner of the Trias Cup. In 2001, Mr. Fink became the thirty-third inductee into the Bushido International Society Hall of Fame. He is a graduate of Western Illinois University with a B.A. in Education and a teacher's license from the State of Illinois. He currently teaches adult literacy and is the apprenticeship and college coordinator at the Federal Correctional Institution in Pekin. Mr. Fink is also a combat veteran of the Persian Gulf War and a lieutenant colonel in the United States Army Reserve. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Army Modern Army Combatives Program.
I have attended two workouts with Senseis Stark and Gossett and have been extremely impressed by both their open hand and kobudo techniques. I have had the honor and privilege to receive instruction in both katana and jo katas. These are very important to me because, being ranked as shodan-ho in Muso Jikiden Iai Jutsu through the Nippon Kobudo Jikishin-Kai, we have both jo and katana katas and kumitachi in our style.
The katana kata I learned has developed my sword manipulation abilities to a very astonishing degree. I highly recommend this kata to any sword stylist as it teaches not only cuts and draws from the regular hand positions but also from reverse hand and, best of all, from underhand positions. The underhand draw is especially effective because it is so rare to see it applied. I am still working on the left hand draw. All of these techniques will give a regular iai practioner an advantage against his traditionalist foes, no matter what the sword style. These thoughts and comments also apply to the jo kata, and the jo kata we have received is only kihon! I cannot wait to see their koryo and advanced katas.
I am very anxious to attend the next seminar in May to receive corrections and revisions to the forms I have learned already. I am also hoping to pick up some more advanced revisions to my current techniques and, hopefully, to receive further instruction in sword and jo applications.
I have been practicing in karate, mainly Goju-Ryu, for about 28 years. My sensei for most of this time has been David Shaneman, Rokudan in Goju karate through Goju-Ryu Karate-Do Kyokai, Ed Boyd, Godan and director of Goju-Ryu Karate-Do Kyokai, and Eric Johnson, Godan in Springfield Goju Karate Club. I have also studied Shorin-Ryu karate with senseis Koeppel and Phillips and am currently studying Whispering Gung Fu, Hung Gar Gung Fu, Goju-Ryu, Shito-Ryu Tai Chi, Kendo, and Iai Jutsu under various senseis and sifus.
Ranks Currently Held in Karate:
Godan in Goju-Ryu from Goju-Ryu Karate-Do Kyokai Yondan in Goju-Ryu from United States Karate-Do Kai Yondan in Goju-Ryu from Springfield Goju Karate Club Shodan in Whispering Gung Fu from Universal Martial Arts
Ranks Currently Held in Kobudo:
Ichi-Kyu in Kendo through All United Staes Kendo Federation Shodan-Ho in Iai Jutsu through Nippon Kobudo Jikishin-Kai
Instructors Whose Seminars are Attended on a Regular Basis:
Sensei Teruo Chinen, Chairman, Jundokan International
Sensei Motoo Yamakura, Chairman, Goju-Ryu Karate-Do Kyokai
Sensei Ted Rabino, 6th Dan, Chief Instructor, Japan Shito-Kai Murayama USA
Sensei Kimo Wall, Goju-Ryu Karate
Shigeki Yamanaka Sensei, 8th Dan Kiyoshi, Kendo
Shigeki Saito Sensei, 8th Dan Kiyoshi, Kendo
Steven K. Foster
When Mr. Freeman invited me to his seminar I accepted more out of courtesy than the opportunity to learn something. But 20 minutes into the workout told me this was no ordinary seminar. Kobushi Gossett and Seibushi Stark shouwed they knew what they were talking about, and could back up what they taught. Their knowledge of weapons and empty hand was excellent, and you could feel the enthusiasm intheir teaching. The atmosphere was very relaxed. I felt as though I was with friends, not a teacher-student relationship.
I have been to two of Mr. Gossetts and Mr. Starks seminars and would not hesitate to return for the next one. If you have the opporturnity to attend one of their seminars, please do; you willnot be disappointed.
Steven K. Foster
Go-Dan, Okinawan Goju-ryu
"It is with hesitation that I write this. Not because of a lack of enthusiasm but rather that I have no talent for the written word and I fear I may not express myself well. I whole heartedly endorse everyone taking part in any available training activities that are being directed by Mr. Gossett and Mr. Stark.
I typically do not like Karate “seminars”. Personally I do not really care for the word “seminar”. I believe this is because I come from the business world. Seminars in the business world are typically events where sales men try to sell you something. You can’t buy Karate. Karate has to be built on a foundation of pain and hard work. I will go to Karate seminars sometimes because I have old friends and the only time we get to see each other is at Karate related functions.
When I went to my first event directed by Mr. Gossett and Mr. Stark I did not have any expectations. I just went to support a friend who was hosting the seminar.
I learned a lot. The first training event caused me to rethink much of what I had been taught in Bojutsu.
I grapple. I’m an old Judoka and a student of Gracie Jiu Jitstu. Mr Gossett is a very talented grappler, I found out. I took away some very enlightening ideas concerning arm drags in a stand up grappling situations. I doubt that these lessons were on the original lesson plan but they ranked among the highpoints of our first meeting. Someday I would like to bring my son, who wrestles, to a class so we could train together with Mr. Gossett.
These “seminars” Mr. Gossett and Mr. Stark do instruction in, do not feel like seminars. To me training sessions feel like a class. I get the feeling of being involved in a real student teacher relationship. Mr. Gossett and Mr. Stark are my kind of people. They are not salesmen. They do not offer any sort of magic beans. There are no magic beans in Karate, only technique and hard work. They will provide techniques. You need to provide the work. These gentlemen are my kind of people. They are very knowledgeable and I will continue to learn from them any time the opportunity presents itself."
Short Bio for Ed Boyd:
Director for the Goju Ryu Karate Do Kyokai United States of America
Goju Ryu, Goju ryu Seminar instructor, Judo, Gracie jiu jutsu, kobudo, wrestling, grappling, 20 plus years experience.