On this day, 2 July 2013, Shoei Miyazato, a Kobayashi Shorin-ryu master and early student of Katsuya Miyahira (the successor to Chosin Chibana), died aged 85 years.
Although born in Okinawa, Miyazato attended elementary and high school in Osaka, Japan. As it was during the 2nd World War he had to undergo mandatory training in Kendo, Judo and military affairs.
At the age of 13 Miyazato began learning Shito-ryu from his uncle. At age 17 he also began to learn boxing.
Miyazato and his family eventually returned back to Okinawa from Japan. He decided to take his Karate training seriously, joining the dojo of Katsuya Miyahira. Miyazato progressed rapidly, eventually becoming Miyahira’s assistant instructor. 1955 he was the first student in the dojo to be awarded a black at the level of 3rd Dan.
In 1959 Miyazato, along with his wife, six children and his parents emigrated to Cordoba, Argentina. He opened his own dojo located on the roof of his house.
Miyazato taught in Cordoba for over fifty years, producing his first black belt in 1966. He would eventually have 60 schools in 15 Argentinian states, as well as schools in Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Mexico, Uruguay, Spain, Sweden and Israel. He received Argentinian residency in 1979. In honor of his contributions a monument was erected in Cordoba in 2007.
Miyazato was awarded his 6th Dan in 1965 and would eventually receive the rank of 8th Dan in 1974.
Even though Miyazato lived in Argentina, he kept in contact with his teacher, Miyahira, and other Okinawan masters. He even sent some of of his students to train in Okinawa.
Shoei Miyazato died at his home from respiratory failure.