Once you become a member of this school you are expected to show a sincere commitment to the study of karate. You must demonstrate a genuine desire to learn and absorb the knowledge and information that is presented to you. You must also learn to accept your responsibilities as a member of this school to uphold the standards in technique and in character. In particular developing humility and good manners.

The study of karate requires an enormous amount of your time. It is a way of life that requires perseverance and commitment. It is also a discipline, in this school, that encourages proper human relationships and challenges the individual to reach for new heights. From time to time, you will find the training demanding some sacrifices on other areas of your life. This does not mean that karate should be your first in priority.  But it does mean determination from you and every effort to make available to yourself all the opportunities to promote your understanding of karate and your growth as an individual.

You must study diligently and study with humility. To master the techniques you must practice endlessly and with greater endeavor. The road to perfection is long . There is no other means but patience, perseverance and hard work.. Do not be overcome by discouragement as this only defeats the mind. Understand the course of your training will be charted by many ups and downs, and it will be a continuous challenge throughout your life as long as you continue to train. It will test your mental fortitude and it will stretch and mold the fabric of your whole character. The knowledge is limitless and perfection is a life-long pursuit. I hope you will take on this challenge seriously and honestly.


Maurino Ruperto
Godan- (Fifth Degree)- Shito-Ryu
Sandan -(Third Degree) -Chito-Ryu
Shodan -(First Degree) Okinawan Kobudo (Weapons)
1st Kyu -(Brown Belt) -Shotokan

Victoria Renshikan's founder and Chief Instructor, Maurino (Rino) Ruperto, started his martial arts studies in the seventies in the 'Shoto-Kan' style. In the ensuing years he has also trained extensively in Chito-Ryu, Shito-Ryu styles and in Okinawan Kobudo (Okinawan Weapons).

In addition to being a certified Martial Arts Instructor, Rino is also a certified weight trainer (BCRPA), certified Personal Trainer (BCRPA), and has completed Level II Theory of the NCCP and Level I Karate Practical of the NCCP.

Larry Paike
Yondan- (Fourth Degree)- Shito-Ryu
Nidan -(Second Degree- Chito-Ryu)

Larry Paike started his martial arts studies in the early eighties. He trained in Prince Rupert and Vancouver before moving to Victoria in the mid-nineties. In his parallel life, Larry is the Conservation and Protection Director for the Pacific Region for Canada Ocean and Fisheries.



Andrew Ruperto
Nidan- (Second Degree)

Andrew has been with the club on and off for 20 years, returned recently to achieve Shodan Rank. Competed in Tournament level events across the island, and on the mainland throughout childhood and teenage years. Helps instruct with beginner & advanced classes.

Andrew runs two of our satellite clubs. Att Christ Church Cathedral and at Vic West Community Centre.



Steven Faust
Nidan- (Second Degree)



Steve began studying karate with the club at age 10. A regular tournament goer in his teens, Steve has competed at the provincial level. After a long hiatus to focus on career and family, Steve is back and can be found at the teen/adult classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays and helping teach on Saturday mornings. Steve currently works for the Department of National Defence as an electrician.



Jennifer Dunn
Nidan- (Second Degree) Shito-Ryu
Shodan- (First Degree) Shotokan


Jennifer Dunn has been with the club since 2004 and has been helping with the youth classes.  Prior to having children, she studied Shotokan Karate in Canada and the UK for about 12 years where she received her first black belt.  Jennifer works at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory developing software for telescopes around the world.  She is married and has 3 children.




Shivonne Dawe
Shodan- (First Degree)


Shivonne joined the club in 2003, and has been helping with the kids program since 2010. In her earlier years she competed in tournaments, in both kumite and kata. Now attending Camosun College, studying under the University Transfer program to obtain her Bachelors of Arts Degree in Psychology. 




Matthew Chin
Shodan- (First Degree)
  Matthew joined Victoria Renshikan Karate in 2009. Since joining at the age of five, he has participated and received medals in many tournaments, and enjoys instructing the junior classes as well. In the fall of 2022, Matthew will begin studying engineering at the University of British Columbia in the Fall 2022. One of his favourite parts of karate is sparring with his younger brother.



Jeffrey Chin
Shodan- (First Degree)
  .Jeffrey started practicing karate when he was 5 years old in 2011 and has participated in multiple tournaments since. He finds training for tournaments an effective way of progressing in karate.



Maryam Mtiraoui
Shodan- (First Degree)
  Maryam started training with Renshikan Karate in 2014. Maryam enjoyed participating in kata at her first tournament in November 2022 and enjoys helping instruct the youth classes. When Maryam is not training in karate, she plays rugby, attends Model UN conferences, and goes to the gym. Maryam will graduate from St. Margaret's School in 2024 and hopes to eventually study law at UBC.



Alvin Yanchuk
Shodan- (First Degree)

Alvin has been with the club since 2000, and enjoys helping out with the youth classes when possible. Alvin works for the British Columbia Forest Service in the area of genetics research.   



Amanda Illmayer
Nidan- (Second Degree)


Amanda has been part of the club since 2007 and has been involved in teaching the youth groups since shortly after she joined.
She competes regularly at Island's and Provincialy type tournaments and, in the near future, she plans on becoming involved as a referee/judge as well. 
Amanda is currently employed as an accountant with a local firm..



Elias Tan
Shodan-Ho (Junior Black Belt)
  Elias joined Victoria Renshikan Karate in 2013 when he was 4. Elias likes to try out different things and enjoys mountain biking. He plays basketball, volleyball and badminton for St. Andrew's High School. He will graduate in 2027






Club's Black Belts not presently training


David Noshad
Shodan- (First Degree)

David has been with the club since 2011. He was involved in other types of martial arts before Karate. He is very happy to practice karate and enjoys helping out with the youth classes when possible.  David is a scientist working on different projects with UVic and other organizations.  He enjoys hiking, scuba diving and rowing as well.



George Schell
7th Dan- (Shichidan Kyoshi) Chito-ryu
5th Dan (Godan Renshi) Shotokan
2nd Dan (Nidan) Aikido
1st Dan (Shodan) Judo



After training in Judo for six years,  George began his karate training in 1959 at Canada's first karate dojo, under the tutelage of O'Sensei Masami Tsuruoka, now 10th Dan. In 1962, George participated in the first karate tournament held in Canada in Toronto.  Promoted to Shodan in 1965 by Dr. Chitose 10th Dan, George continued his training throughout North America, Europe, India, China, Okinawa, and Japan in karate and other  martial arts. He still considers himself a student of Tsuruoka O'Sensei.
He trained in Chito-ryu, Shotokan and Goju-ryu styles prior to Shito-ryu at Victoria Renshikan. George is a certified karate Provincial Senior Referee and Coach.
Since retiring from his profession as a sport medicine practitioner in the late1980's, George has consulted and volunteered with various organizations and housing societies to provide aid and shelter to the less fortunate.



Alex MacDonell
Nidan- (Second Degree)

  Alex has been with Victoria Renshikan for 10 years and recieved his first degree black belt in June 2015.
Alex will be graduating from Claremont in 2016 and and hopes to eventually study medicine at UBC. He is also a long distance runner and loves volunteering with KEY club.



Marina Dunn
Shodan- (First Degree)
  Marina has been with the club since 2004. She left at a young age and returned in 2010. She is pursuing an undergraduate degree in software engineering at UVic and hopes to study the healing arts when she has graduated. She also enjoys kickboxing, yoga and zumba.



Sarah Doctor
Shodan- (First Degree)


Sarah has been part of the club since 2004 and has been involved in teaching the kids classes since 2010.  She regularly competes in tournaments at the local and provincial level. Sarah is currently attending Camosun College.



Tim Callin
Shodan- (First Degree)
  Tim has been training with the club since 2008. In the past, he has competed regularly at both the local and provincial levels in both kata and kumite. He also continues to enjoy helping at the youth classes. Tim currently teaches English at Camosun College.



Jakob Callin
Shodan- (First Degree)



Ben White
Shodan- (First Degree)
   Ben is a high school student whom enjoys training in karate.  He also likes exploring other martial arts, learning to play the guitar, camping and other outdoor activities. 



Cooper Christie
Shodan- (First Degree)

Cooper has been studying Karate with Victoria Renshikan for 10 years.
He will be  graduating from Claremont High School in 2020 and hopes to pursue a career in law enforcement.



Todd Shannon
Shodan- (First Degree)
  Todd has been with the club since 2013.  He enjoys practicing and learning karate and helping with the youth classes.  He has past experience with Shotokan karate and judo.  Todd’s background is in biology and parks management and he is currently working as an Operations Supervisor with CRD Regional Parks.  He also enjoys mountain biking, trail running, climbing, skiing and SCUBA diving



Jayden McLaren
Shodan-Ho (Junior Black Belt)


Jayden did her first karate class at the club when she was 4 years old, earning her black belt in 2013. She has been helping teach the youth classes since 2010. She enjoys karate tournaments, and has competed at the local, provincial and international level. Jayden currently attends Stelly's Secondary where she is a member of the rock climbing academy.



Stewart Jack
Shodan- (First Degree)
  Stewart joined the Victoria Renshikan Karate club in 1999 at the age of 42.  Since then, his business travel has also given him the opportunity to train with karate clubs in Ottawa, Ontario; Hartford, Connecticut and Fort Worth, Texas.  Stewart is a member of the Professional Photographer’s Association of Canada as well as the branch manager for KnowledgeTech Consulting Inc



Brendan Flower
Nidan- (Second Degree)

  Brendan has been part of the club since 2001 and a youth class
instructor since 2008.   While part of the youth class, Brendan
competed regularly in tournaments both in kumite and kata winning a
number of medals.  Always interested in developing personally and in
helping others, since 2008 he has been involved in tournaments as a
referee, earning his Provincial Referee ticket in 2013.




Todd Conrod
Sandan- (Third Degree)

Todd has been with the club since the mid nineties and has been instructing with the youth classes for the past several years. Todd recently graduated from high school and is pursuing his studies for a career in the electrical field.




Peter Kelly
Nidan- (Second Degree)


Peter has been training for approximately 15 years and has been regularly instructing with the youth classes for several years.  Peter is now an MD practicing in Comox



Gary Gibson
Shodan- (First Degree)

Gary is a Black Belt and has been with Victoria Renshikan as an instructor since the mid nineties. His natural ability to connect with children and exceptional teaching skills with beginners makes Gary the ideal choice for leading the beginner classes on Saturdays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.

Before retiring, Gary was a supervisor with VIHA



Uma Bhattacharya
Shodan-Ho (Junior Black Belt)


Uma joined the club in 2008 and has been involved in teaching youth classes since 2012. Since joining, she has enjoyed competing in both kata and kumite. She is currently an honour roll secondary student. 



Stephanie Robertson
Shodan- (First Degree)

  Stephanie started training with the club in 2006 and graded to shodan in June 2015. She enjoys working with children and youth and likes helping with youth classes. She hopes to continue her training at the club in the future. Stephanie has a bachelor's degree in engineering and is currently pursuing a teaching degree so she can teach highschool math and science.



Danny Riches
Shodan- (First Degree)
  Danny has been with the club since the late nineties and has competed extensively at the Local and Provincial level, winning numerous medals -including gold- in all events.



Alyshia Lan-Phavongkham
Shodan- (First Degree)


Since joining the club in 2006, Alyshia has been a regular member in both attending and now instructing classes. In her earlier years, Alyshia participated in many tournaments and competitions, performing in both kata and kumite.
Now attending the University of Victoria, Alyshia now aspires to pursue a career in Law after receiving her undergraduate degree in the Faculty of Social Sciences.



Brian Lecky
Shodan- (First Degree)



Jim Ewens
Shodan- (First degree)


Jim joined the Victoria Renshikan club in 2004 after entering his (5 yr old) daughter Sydney, in the a Tournament in Victoria…after watching Sydney compete, he thought it reasonable he get a better understanding of what was “going on” and wise that he learned how to block! After earning his 3rd Kyu (Green Belt) in 2006, Jim began working with the Saturday classes continuing until he earned his Shodan (Black Belt) in 2011. Jim has relocated to Whitehorse for a couple of years and still trains with Sydney and Luke.



Andrew Cowan
Shodan- (First Degree)

Andrew studied Uechi Ryu karate in the lower mainland for several years in the early 1990's.    Andrew joined the club in 2004 with two of his children as a way to get involved in something as a family after they moved to Victoria.  Andrew has worked in several areas around the Province over the past 20 years as an RCMP Officer and also instructs with the youth classes.



Christina Kube
Shodan- (First Degree)
   Christina joined the club only recently, when she decided to spend a year in Canada after finishing school in Germany. She started karate training in 2008 and has since been active in tournaments and very involved in kids' training. Unfortunately, she will only stay for one year and will then go back to Germany to start her studies.



Kaitlyn Dawe
Shodan- (First Degree)

Kaitlyn has been part of the club since 2000. She has competed in tournaments in kata, kumite, team kata and weapons. She is currently studying Creative Writing at Uvic.



David Williams
Shodan- (First Degree)

David has been a part of the club since 2009, and previously studied at the Kelowna dojo under Sensei Tom Mah and before that in Prince Rupert. He started his karate training in 1999. He is currently studying Computer Science and Physics at the University of Victoria, as part of the officer training program with the Canadian Forces.



Kim MacDonell
(Junior Black Belt)






Konrad Loy
(Junior Black Belt)






Adam Faust
(First Degree)






Nathan Stretch
Shodan (First Degree)






Spencer Nelson
Shodan (First Degree)





Kristin Zibart
Shodan (First Degree)


 Karate History...
The history of karate is one shrouded in controversy by historians and martial arts scholars alike. Many trace the origins of karate back 1400 years, to Daruma, founder of Zen Buddhism in Western India. Itís thought that physical training, heavily imbued with Daruma's philosophical principles, was taught in the Shaolin Temple in the year 500 A.D. Shaolin (Shorin) kung-fu, from northern China, was characterized by very colorful, rapid, and dynamic movements; the Shokei school of southern China was known for more powerful and sober techniques. Itís believed that these two styles found their way to Okinawa, and had their influence on Okinawa's own original fighting method, called Okinawa-te (Okinawan hand) or simply te. A ban on weapons in Okinawa for two long periods in its history is also partly responsible for the high degree of development of unarmed fighting techniques on the island.

In summary, karate in Okinawa (the largely accepted birthplace of karate) developed from a synthesis of two fighting techniques. The first one, used by the inhabitants of Okinawa, was very simple but terribly effective and, above all, very close to reality since it was used throughout many centuries in real combat. The second one, much more elaborate and impregnated with philosophical teachings, was a product of the ancient culture of China. These two origins can explain the double character of Karate -- very violent and efficient but at the same time a strict and austere discipline and philosophy with a nonviolent emphasis.

 Club Policies...
Limit of Liability



David Akutagawa
8th Dan (Hachidan- -Shian-Shito-Ryu)_
6th Dan- (Renshi Chito-Ryu)


The founder and Chief Instructor of Renshikan Karate, Akutagawa Sensei, has devoted over fifty years to the study of martial arts.

He based Renshikan upon the study of many traditional karate styles, focusing primarily upon the 'Chito-Ryu', 'Shito-Ryu' and 'Goju-Ryu' styles.

International Karate-Do Kai

Renshikan Karate-Do International

Karate BC

National Karate Association

 World Karate Federation


What is our Karate Style?

Shito-Ryu Karate is one of the four major styles of Japanese Karate(goyo-ryu,wado-ryu,shotokan,shito-ryu).  It combines the techniques and strategies of the two original schools of Okinawan Karate: Shorin-shuri (speed) and  Shorei-naha (power). Our style was founded byMaster Kenwa Mabuni (1889-1957), combining the teachings of his two great masters: Itosu (1830-1915) and Higashionna (1851-1915).

Shito-Ryu on Wikipedia (opens a new window)


Shitō-ryū is a combination style, which attempts to unite the diverse roots of karate. On one hand, Shitō-ryū has the physical strength and long powerful stances of Shuri-te derived styles, on the other hand Shitō-ryū has circular and eight-directional movements, breathing power, hard and soft characteristics of Naha-Te and Tomari-te (泊手) styles. Shitō-ryū is extremely fast, but still can be artistic and powerful. In addition, Shitō-ryū formalizes and emphasizes the five rules of defense, developed by Kenwa Mabuni, and known as Uke no go gensoku (受けの五原則), Uke no go genri (受けの五原理) or Uke no go ho (受けの五法) :


  •  落 花 (rakka, "falling petals"). The art of blocking with such force and precision as to completely destroy the opponent's attacking motion.     Examples of rakka are the most well-known blocks, such as gedan-barai (下段払い) or soto-uke (外受け).
  • 流 水 (ryūsui, "running water"). The art of flowing around the attacker's motion, and through it, soft blocking. Examples are nagashi-uke (流し受け) and osae-uke (押さえ受け).
  • 屈 伸 (kusshin, "elasticity"). This is the art of bouncing back, storing energy while recoiling from the opponent's attack, changing or lowering stance only to immediately unwind and counterattack. Classic examples are stance transitions zenkutsu (前屈立ち) to kōkutsu (後屈立ち) and moto-dachi (基立ち) to nekoashi-dachi (猫足立ち).
  • 転 位 (ten'i, "transposition"). Ten'i is the utilization of all eight directions of movement, most importantly stepping away from the line of attack.
  • 反 撃 (hangeki, "counterattack"). A hangeki defense is an attack which at the same time deflects the opponent's attack before it can reach the defender. Examples of this are various kinds of tsuki-uke (突き受け), including yama-tsuki (山突き).


Modern Shitō-ryū styles also place a strong emphasis on sparring. Shitō-ryū stresses speed, and fighting is generally initiated from a higher, more upright stance than Shotokan employs. On the other hand, because the style has so many kata, a great deal of time is spent perfecting any one of its 40 to 60 forms.


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