About Us: The Story of Pinan-Do
Pinan-Do was established through the collaborative efforts of the following martial artists: Sosai Donna Harris, Sosai Harry Harris, Sosai Tony Bennett, Sosai Mark Fryover, Sosai Randy Martin and Sosai Bill Parquette.
Each had witnessed the loss of the true purpose of the martial arts amongst other practitioners they knew. All agreed that they felt the need to create a style of martial arts that goes back to it’s original roots, and in doing so strengthens ones mind and body and brings purpose to our very existence.
The founders of Pinan-Do Karate blended the knowledge and experience of each of its creators to form the ultimate martial art. The techniques and Kata of Pinan-Do Karate can be traced back to great masters such as: Gischin Funakoshi (1868-1957), & Shigeru Nakumura. (1894-1969)
Gischin Funakoshi received training in Karate from Anko Itosu, who trained with Sokun Masurmur (1787-1890) also known as the father of modern Karate-do. Nakamura received training from Kentsu Yabu and Chomo Hanishiro both elite students of Itosu.
Nakamura later formed Okinawan Kenpo and Funakoshi formed Shotokan and was also credited with bringing Karate to mainland Japan. Mas Oyama (1923-1994) was a student of Gischin Funakoshi and later went on to form the style known as Kyokushin. The techniques, Kata, Weapons and Self-Defense techniques studied in Pinan-Do are a blend from these systems.
Pinan-Do translates to Peaceful Way and it is our goal to create a Peaceful Discipline where one can truly explore their strengths Physically, Mentally and Spiritually and in doing so discover their own true value. We believe that Karate should not be studied or promoted as a way to cause harm to others but rather as a way to unlock ones hidden strengths, and weaknesses and use these lessons to discover your individual purpose.
We believe that the experience we have gained is to be shared, as was the belief of the original Karate masters.
Having accomplished almost everything he set out to do, Master Nakamura still had one goal left, to unify all styles of karate. It made him very sad to see that karate schools were not in agreement with one another. They were hostile and jealous of each other, not respecting each other's styles. There was constant argument about which style had the best method and skill. Nakamura openly criticized the other senseis for their destructive egos. He held meetings to try to unite and form one powerful organization which would include all the styles in Okinawa. Unfortunately, at the age of 75, he passed away before he could see his dream come true.
Gichin Funakoshi was a humble man. He preached and practiced an essential humility. He did not preach the humility of virtue, but a basic humility of a man who is rooted in the true perspective of things, full of life and awareness. He lived at peace with himself and with his fellow men.
Whenever the name of Gichin Funakoshi is mentioned, it brings to mind the parable of "A Man of Tao (Do) and a Little Man". As it is told, a student once asked, "What is the difference between a man of Tao and a little man?" The sensei replies, "It is simple. When the little man receives his first dan (degree or rank), he can hardly wait to run home and shout at the top of his voice to tell everyone that he has obtained his first dan. Upon receiving his second dan, he will climb to the rooftops and shout to the people. Upon receiving his third dan, he will jump in his automobile and parade through town blowing the horn, telling one and all about his third dan".
The sensei continues, "When the man of Tao receives his first dan, he will bow his head in gratitude. Upon receiving his second dan, he will bow his head and his shoulders. Upon receiving his third dan, he will bow at the waist and quietly walk alongside the wall so that people will not see him or notice him".
Funakoshi was a man of Tao. He placed no emphasis whatsoever on competitions, record breaking or championships. He placed emphasis on individual self-perfection. He believed in the common decency and respect that one human being owes another. He was the master of masters.
While most styles of karate are founded by one person, Pinan-Do is the result of a combination of experiences from six experienced martial artists, each of whom contributes their own unique interpretation, thus forming an exceptionally well-rounded study of the arts. As unique as the founders of Pinan-Do Karate are they share a common goal to be true to themselves and their students and always follow the way of Peace. PINAN-DO KARATE.