Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Zen Goshindo Karate: Some Lineage

I have a few minutes this morning and I decided to respond to a question from ZenHG at the Dojo Floor Blog. He was curious about Zen Goshindo Karate.

Our branch of Goshindo Karate was originated by Master Frank Van Lenten of Goju-ryu Karate. He had studied with a myriad of Karate instructors while in Okinawa with the Marines. He was also a student of Master Shimabuku of Isshin-ryu Karate. The first Kata's we learned were beginning Isshin-ryu (combo of Goju and Shorin-ryu) Katas of Sesan, Sanchin and Naihanchi.

My instructor Shihan Paul Dean, after achieving rank in Goshindo Karate, started studying with Master Tadashi Yamashita (Shorin-ryu) while Master Yamashita was living in Grand Rapids, Michigan. (I have some old 8 mm film of Master Yamashita teaching Naihanchi). Through Master Yamashita we learned the Pinan system of katas.

As I matured in the arts I had the opportunity to train with Master Yozan Mozig. He is a Master of Zen Shuri-te Karate, Psychology Professor (University of Nebraska-Kearney) and Zen Buddhist Priest. He inspired me to add Zen to our Goshindo to illustrate the Zen focus of our art. At that time I was studying Zen with Reverend Nonin Chowaney of the Nebraska Zen Center.

Zen Goshindo Karate is about simplicity and self-discovery. Zen Goshindo means Self-discovery through the way of self-defense. Our principle Kata is Sanchin. More on this later.

Gotta go.

Take Care,


  1. My old Teacher, Mike Dascenzo, used to train in Nebraska.
    His Teacher maintains the Hombu Dojo for the Sho Rei Shobu Kan out of Lincoln, trained there a few times myself.
    His Teacher's name is John Roseberry, great Budoka, has been training for many years.

  2. Further note, Dascenzo Sensei also spent two years at Tassajara and is currently a practitioner of Zen in the lineage of Suzuki Roshi.

  3. Small world. When I moved to Lincoln the first dojo I went to pay my respects to was Mr. Roseberry's. Very nice and knowledgable. He knew Mr. Van Lenten and shared some stories.

    Your Sensei's lineage and mine are 'cousins'. Suzuki Roshi and Katagiri Roshi were contemporaries and starting zendos throughout the US. My teacher, Nonin, also spent much time at Tassagara.

    Yes, a small world it is.

  4. Frank Van Lenten passed away on July 1, 2010.

  5. Thank You Anonymous.
    Greatly appreciated.