Biography of Shihan Joan Gombau Ventura
I started my way in martial arts when I was eight years old taking Tae Kwon Do lessons for 2 years. After that period I started taking karate lessons at school, and since then I have practiced Shito-ryu Karate do in two different lines.
The first time I practiced the line coming from ShitoKai Yashunari Ishimi master, student of Tsujikawa. Ishimi had moved to Madrid, Spain where he taught Alonso Henandez, VI DAN. Alonso founded a gym in M'stoles (near Madrid). A student of his named Luis Ballesteros moved to Barcelona and was one of the founders of the OEKD (Organization of Schools of Karate Do), now disbanded, but was dedicated to youth and child karate and had celebrated more than a hundred activities such as championships, stages, etc. The OEKD had achieved success to the Catalan national level, Spanish National level and including European shores.
During the time I lived in Barcelona (I was born there), I started competition when I was 14 years old. For 11 years I represented Catalonia at the National level in the Catalan selection team in Kata modality and for 4 years in Kumite modality (the first 4 years, after that I had specialized in Kata modality).
In 1988 I was promoted to 1st DAN.
Three times I won the Catalonia Championship (between 1989 and 1992), two times I was awarded the silver medal and the other two times I received the bronze medal. I participated in the Spanish National Championship eight times representing Catalonia. I was also awarded the bronze medal in the 1st Mediterranean Countries Championship in 1990.
During that period I began teaching karate and studying Law.
I was the sempai responsible; and by the time I had reached the age of eighteen years old I had the responsibility for a total of 85 students. Ithen proceeded to increse enrollment to 150 students (two of them became Catalonia Champions).
In 1991 I was promoted to 2nd DAN.
After that Spain suffered a great economic crisis which pushed me to look for a job outside of the karate life. I became a police officer and finished my Law studies while my group was getting smaller and smaller. I then turned it over to my sempai.
In 1994 I was promoted to 3rd DAN.
In 1999, my wife and I moved to a small town 125 miles far from Barcelona. I then started over, giving karate lessons in schools using their facilities. Since then, I have continued practicing the Shito-ryu line of Yoshiaka Tsujikawa under Masayuki Kuninaga of Spain. He founded a dojo in Vilanova i La Geltr•, Catalonia and had a young student Jordi Ferrando VI DAN.
In 2001 I started studying Matayoshi Okinawa Kobudo. I•ve been practicing the Matayoshi Kobudo line from hanshi Kenyu Chinen who was Shimpo Matayoshi sempai. And after Matayoshi left, he founded 33 years ago the Wold Oshukai Federation.
In 2002 I was promoted to Karate 4th DAN.
My group continued growing every year. I then founded the Traditional Karate & Kobudo Association in order to give the legal covertures to my students.
In May 2003 I was promoted to Matayoshi Kobudo 1st DAN.
In May 2005 I was promoted to Matayoshi Kobudo 2nd DAN.
In April 2008 I was promoted to Matayoshi Kobudo 3rd DAN.
In 2009 I joined TKFI and was promoted to Saito-ha Shito-ryu Karate-do 5th DAN at Grants Pass Gasshuku.
I had the honor of becoming Soke Del Saito's student and his representation in Spain. After that I joined the TKFI Shihan Kai for the main purpose of serving all the TKFI Family and preserving the most traditional Karate-do Shito-ryu branch.
Shihan Joan Gombau Ventura