Soke Crando (Kazuo) Saito - Chief Instructor
The Soke of SHINBUKAN AUSTRALIA, Mr Crando (Kazuo) Saito, has had extensive experience in traditional Japanese martial arts since 1957 and is currently the highest ranking 10th Dan Karate Master in Australia.
Soke Saito is the 16th Grandmaster of Igaryu Ninjutsu, Grandmaster of Goju-Ryu Karate Do, 7th Dan Master of Shintoryu Iai-Do, Isshinryu Aiki-Jujutsu Soshi and has also reached Hanshi 8th dan Sports Chanbara (weapons combat) and Hanshi 8th dan in Tameshigiri Iaido. Soke Saito is also an ordained Shingon Buddhist Monk and Abbott.
Some of the iconic masters that Soke Saito has studied with are:
Seiko Fujita (14th Soke-Koga Ryu Ninjustu)
Heishichiro Okuse (15th Soke-Iga Ryu Ninjutsu)
Gogen Yamaguchi (Goju Kai)
Shuji Tasaki (Goju Ryu Seiwa Kai)
Gonnohye Yamamoto (Goju Ryu I.K.O.)
Akio Takahashi (Goju Ryu Kenwa Kai)
Takeshi Mochizuki (Shinto Ryu Iai Batto Jutsu and Isshin Ryu Aiki Ju Jutsu)
Tetsundo Tanabe (Tameshigiri Iaido and Goshindo)
In 1995 Soke Saito was awarded Blitz Magazine Hall of Fame Ninjutsu Instructor of the year.
Soke Saito has also dedicated a large amount of time to the study of various schools of Japanese Buddhism and currently holds the following position of Ajari (Abbott) of Koyasan Shingo-Shu.
Sensei Saito's Goju Ryu Karate History
William Crando Saito grew up in the rough area of Senzoku, Asakusa, which was dominated by the Yakuza (Japanese gangsters) during late World War II. Self defence was vital to survive with daily crime and violence. Saito began his Goju Ryu Karate training at 3 years of age when his mother took him to Gogen Yamaguchi Sensei's dojo, but was rejected as he was too young of age. Saito attended the Senzoku Primary School, a violence notorious school. This is where he learnt basic karate movements (punch and kicks) such as Sanchin Tensho and Goju Ryu katas from his older brother's friends, Kobayashi Sensei and Ounishi Sensei. They were students of Gogen Yamaguchi Sensei. Saito attended these lessons until he was in Junior High School, aged 15.
After High School, Saito first began to train under Gogen Yamaguchi Sensei in Yushima Ueno Dojo when he was in his late teens. The training involved intense full contact fighting, including groin kicks. These training sessions lasted 2 hours and classes were almost every day of the week.
Gogen Yamaguchi Sensei relocated his Headquarters Dojo to Zenpukuji Ogikubo Suginami, Tokyo in 1968. Saito continued to train under Gogen Yamaguchi Sensei while serving as a translator, for Yamaguchi Sensei between foreigners. Saito met many American, Australian and English karate practitioners, including Tino Cebrano Sensei from Australia. Gogen Yamaguchi's number one student, Shuuji Tasaki sensei, left Gogen Yamaguchi Sensei's Dojo in 1970, and many of Gogen Yamaguchi's students such as Akio Takahashi sensei, left and followed Shuuji Tasaki Sensei, including Saito. Shuuji Tasaki founded his own Karate organisation, called Seiwakai. Saito continued to train with Seiwakai and Yamaguchi Sensei's Dojo and was offered to come to Australia under the sponsorship of his friend, Tino Sebrano sensei.
Saito migrated to Australia in March 1978 with permanent residency as a Karate Instructor from a letter of recommendation from Tasaki Sensei. However, while teaching Karate in Australia under Seiwakai for 5 years, Saito decided to resign from Seiwakai to create his own school, Shinbukan.
In 1992, Saito founded his own school called Shinbukan and received 10th Dan Hanshi on the 1st of June 2013 from Yamamoto Gonnohyoue Sensei, 10th dan Hanshi, a student of the late Yamaguchi Sensei.