Biography of Shihan Ubiratan de Souza Lima
Ubiratan de Souza Lima was born on June 24, 1967 in the city of Tupa, in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil. His dad, Oswaldo de Souza Lima, was a veteranian and his mom was a language teacher in the government schools and taught Portuguese and French. He is married with Marcia Xavier, and has two daughters, Laura and Luisa. He also has two other children from his first marriage, Raphael and Carolina. His only sister is named Gina.
During his growing up years in the city of Tupa, there was a strong influence of the Japanese culture because of the large number of Japanese immigrants after World War II. Since his parents lived among many of these Japanese families they came to understand and admire the oriental culture that they chose to teach it to their son, Ubiratan, and his older sister, Gina de Souza Lima. He has always been a good son, a boy with a good heart and very studious.
In 1974 he moved to the city of Sao Jose do Rio Preto with his parents. His father had received orders from the company he worked for because they wanted him taking control of that region working as a vet and seller of livestock feed for cattle, pigs, horses and birds. Within two years, they were able to move from the middle class to the upper middle class that it allowed him and his sister to study at an excellent private Catholic college called Sao Jose, one of the best in the country. While studying at college, the life of Christ greatly influenced him that at one point in his life, he dreamed of pursuing a professional life as a Priest.
Since he was a child, he already had the calling of serving people and truly loving mankind. In December of 1978, during Christmas, he received a bike from his parents only to give it away to a friend who had not received an gifts because his family was very poor. Unfortunately, he received a big spanking from his father for giving it away.
On June 24, 1977, at 10 years old, he asked his parents, as a present for his birthday, to enroll him in a martial arts school called Matsumi Association of Judo and Karate. His parents granted his request and went with him to sign up. He found that relying on the philosophy of Karate-do was something refreshing for his soul and as a result, completely changed his life.
On July 25, 1994, his mother, Neide, died at the age of 51 years old, in a car accident. During the time of his mother's burial, his father Oswaldo suffered a cardio-respiratory arrest and was taken urgently to the hospital and entered a process of spiritual depression where is kidneys stopped functioning. His father did not want to live so he would not have to endure the loss of his great love of your life. Ubiratan cared for his father's until the day of his death on July 25, 1995 which was the anniversary date his mother's death.
He practiced martial arts at the Matsumi Association of Judo and Karate-do Shotokan until 1995. During this time, he received his first degree black belt and various titles as an athlete. He was state and national champion and was respected for his abilities in kumite but, principally, for his friendly and sincere spirit with everyone that surrounded him. Ubiratan was also always admired for his high level of knowledge of the Japanese culture which gave him the ability to correctly understand the spirit of Budo. He also taught karate, at his home, to children that did not have a home or family but lived in the streets of Sao Jose do Rio Preto.
Being a great student of karate-do, in June of 1996, he was invited to participate in a clinic with the international master of Shitoryu karate, Soke Teruo Hayashi,10th Dan, who came from Japan to Brazil for the first time and participated in the first Hayashi-Ha Shitoryu South America Cup event where Ubiratan was the Champion in the Open category. He received his award from master, Teruo Hayashi who invited him to join the Hayashi-Ha of Brazil.
His way of thinking and living completely changed after the death of his parents. In 1997, he constantly had dreams of his parent's spirit, where they would encourage him to teach karate-do to the poor children.
On March 10, 1998, he conceived and initiated the social project, Educating With Karate-do, to help poor and needy children at risk in society by taking them off the streets. He was granted permission to help combat organized crime, drug trafficking and drug use.
In 1999, he received his Yondan level of black belt in the Hayashi-Ha Shitoryu style. He remained affiliated as a member until the year 2003 when in September, for not agreeing with the political administration, decided to disaffiliate himself from the Hayashi-Ha Shitoryu Kai.
He also received, from 1996 to 2001, training from Sensei Yasunori Yonamine - Hanshi 8th Dan, representative of Okinawa Meibukan Gojuryu of Brazil.
In 2004 he was elected as the Delegate Holder of the 6th Regional Precinct of FPK - Paulista Federation of Karate-do, state entity affiliated with the Brazilian Confederation of karate, recognized by WKF - World Karate Federation. He was also involved with the official arbitrators of the FPK.
With his disaffiliation from Hayashi-ha Shitoryu Kai in 2003, he received an invitation from Hanshi Yasunori Yonamine to affiliate with Okinawa Meibukan Gojuryu in Brasil, but decided to decline because he planned to continue in the Shitoryu style and to establish his own organization of karate-do and contact in the middle term a Master outside of Brazil that had the same moral principles as him.
On January 17, 2004, he founded an ONG - Non-Governmental Organization Uniao Brasil Karate-Do Shitoryu Kai.
Strategically between the years 2004 to 2006, did not allow his organization and students to participate in any sporting event but instead concentrated in developing nine instructors with superb knowledge in the philosophy of Budo with the aim of achieving excellence among Brazilian organizations.
He also opened up dojos so his instructors could live professionally with karate-do and follow the example of his life as educators, saving children against organized crime in drug trafficking, child prostitution and dysfunctional homes.
In May of 2007, he felt that it was the time to make contact with some master of Shitoryu outside of Brasil so he sent various emails to organizations of Japan and the United States. Many responded quickly but, the only thing that Ubiratan Sensei perceived from them was financial gain and the commerce of Budo.
On a beautiful day of sunshine and intense heat, I received a response from Hanshi Del Saito, 9th Dan, of the United States and realized that his words were somewhat different from the other contacts because at no point in the letter did it speak about money or financial expenses. Ubiratan felt a great emotion that invaded his heart and soul with happiness. He felt that he had found the master that he had always been looking for all of his life. In July of the same year, Hanshi, Del Saito together with Tony Mendonca Shihan 5th dan, traveled for the first time to Brazil with an invitation from Ubiratan Sensei and members from Uniao Brasil Karate-Do. Those were wonderful story-like magical days where true friendship and brotherhood was manifested between Master Del Saito, Sensei Ubiratan, his students and family.
Hanshi Del Saito, tested Sensei Ubiratan and awarded him with Rokudan. As for the instructors, Manabu - Sandan, Elza - Nidan, Edson - Nidan, Carlo - Nidan, Rodrigo - Shodan, Crislaine - Shodan, Naiane - Shodan, Diego - Shodan and Eder - Shodan-Ho. Before returning to the USA, Master Saito Sensei invited Sensei Ubiratan to the Gasshuku that would take place in July 2008 in the city of Grants Pass, Oregon.
Ubiratan Sensei traveled to the Gasshuku in the United States and was met by Master Del Saito and lodged in his home as a guest of honor. It was a very special and unforgettable moment in the life of Sensei Ubiratan. He had the honor of meeting Mrs. Ida Saito, wife of his master, and to receive the generosity and courtesy from her.
I also was able to get to know the Shihan Kai consisting of Ceci Cheung from whom I received a yellow and green shirt with the word Brazil written on the chest. This was very touching for him. Later he met Danilo Torri, a great man, Italian immigrant in which I came to consider my blood brother because of his mom, Neide Guiducci who was also Italian. Then there was Dwight Grover with his guitar tuned and the prayer of great kindness, and Tony Mendonca, a great brother, friend and companion on the journey that he could see again.
Besides the Shihan Kai, it was very special being friends with Senseis Jim Hamilton and his wife Misty who took me to their home, Margaret and her daughter always so gentle, Quintyn with her timid way of being and her mother so lovely, Matt Collins with all of his physical strength and humility, Jake Lessard unforgettable personality, whom I had the honor to help with Lisa Keller's estate, also got the opportunity to visit the house of the great and fun Bob, husband of Ceci Shihan and receive the courteous assistance of Sensei Kim who served me green tea, to visit Sensei Altieri home and to meet his wife, Monica, to have the opportunity to lodge at Soke's home and spend time with him and Irene Salazar, to have Sofia Parada and Irene be my efficient interpreters, then later to have the opportunity to meet and spend some time talking with Koto, the husband of Sofia, and also with their beautiful daughters. I also remember Julie Lee, Sensei Kim, and Elizabeth.
During this period of time, he was privileged to honorably participate as a founder member of the Shihan Kai of Shitoryu Saito-Ha Karate-do, and together sign, with the other Shihans, the diploma which recognized Master, Del Saito, as Soke 10th Dan.
At the end of Gasshuku, he was overcome with much emotion seeing the good intention of all the TKFI members who helped him financially. He promised that he would use this money only for the needs of the students.
In July 2008, Ubiratan Shihan along with members from Uniao Brasil Karate-Do, again welcomed to Brazil, Master Del Saito, Sensei Irene Salazar and Sempai Jack Chelgren. The reason for this visit was for the Launching Ceremony of Saito-ha Shitoryu Karate-do in South America giving Brazil a first position advantage in his country as a representative in the continent. The event took place in the evening during a cocktail party where we had several top officials from the Brazilian Government, Military, Rotary Club, Masonry, Head of the Civil House of the State of Sao Paulo, Military Police, and politicians besides the students and their families. During this occasion, an Endorsement Book was presented to Soke Saito which contained copies of all of the endorsement letters from all of the authorities present at the launching.
He was able to arrange for Del Saito, Soke to be a Distinguished Guest of Honor, in solemn ceremony, at the Rotary Club International in the city of Mirassol.
He had the joy of taking Del Saito, Soke to the homes of his instructors so he could get to know where they live.
During the preparatory training for the examination of black belt, Shihan Ubiratan and his instructors voluntarily swore allegiance and fidelity to the last days of their lives and promised that the name, Shitoryu Saito-ha Karate-Do, will never be forgotten even after the death of Soke.
Shihan Ubiratan believes that life only has meaning if it is to serve those close to you. One of the thoughts which he most admires was stated by the president of USA, John F. Kennedy: "Ask not what your country can do for you; Ask what you can do for your country."
Currently the Uniao Brasil Karate-Do Shitoryu Kai, has the meritorious title of Governmental Public Utility. With this title, he intends to seek financial help from state and federal governments to be able to continually help more disadvantaged children from the poor working class and collaborate with Saito-ha Shitoryu Karate-do and also the Traditional Karate-do Federation International.
Shihan Ubiratan de Souza Lima