A BRIEF HISTORY OF CLUB NAHA KARATE-DO USA
Shihan Javier Diaz Piscil (the founder of Club Naha Karate-Do) began his Shudokan karate training under the instructions of Hanshi Angel Marquez Lopez (the founder of Toyama Karate-Do) and Sensei Angel Romero Arriaga in the 1970s and earned his black belt a few years later. During a work trip, Shihan Javier’s work crew stopped in the city of Iguala, Mexico for a break. Shihan Javier decided to walk around the city and that is when he saw a building that would be perfect to turn into a dojo and it inspired him to open his own karate school, and on February 6th, 1982, that’s exactly what he did, he opened his first dojo and named it Club Naha Karate-Do, after the capital city of Okinawa and the birthplace of karate.
Fast forward to 1986, Shihan Javier had the opportunity to live in the USA for a short while and that is where he met Shihan Ken Walsh. Shihan Javier was working out at a small park near the New Rochelle Boys and Girls Club in New Rochelle, New York, which is where Shihan Ken Walsh worked. The custodian of the Boys and Girls Club happen to see Shihan Javier practicing his karate and decided to introduce him to Shihan Ken Walsh. Shihan Javier persuaded Shihan Ken to start training in karate and together they established a Club Naha Karate-Do dojo at the New Rochelle, Boys and Girls Club. Unfortunately, in December of that same year, Shihan Javier Diaz had to move back to Mexico, leaving Shihan Ken without a karate instructor.
In 1999 Shihan Javier Diaz moved to Maine and began teaching the style of Shudokan Karate to the students of Club Naha, however in 2002 he again had to return to Mexico. During this time however the style of Hensan Ryu, which had a major Wonhwa Do influence began to look more and more like Shudokan Karate. In 2006 Shihan Ken promoted Renshi Craig to Head Instructor of Hensan Ryu
In June of 2007 Shihan Javier came to Maine and taught Shudokan to Renshi Craig and many of the advanced level students of Club Naha. Renshi Craig also began learning more about Shudokan under Shihan Javier Diaz’s oldest son Sensei Javier Diaz Jr.
As Renshi Craig continued learning more from the Shudokan system of karate, Hensen Ryu was gradually being transformed into a style looking less like Wonhwa Do and more and more like Shudokan.
In February of 1987, Shihan Ken was invited to begin training in the style of Wonhwa-Do (Now known as Tong Il Moo Do) under the tutelage of Kensaku Takahashi. Two years later Shihan Ken earned his black belt in the style of Wonhwa Do. During this time he also studied with many other great martial arts instructors such as, Kyoshi Tommy May of Isshin Ryu, Sifu Bonny Lim of Ngo Chu, Ken Parker of Judo, Dennis Campo of Tae Kwon Do, and the late Professor Vee of Vee Arnis Jujitsu. Soon after Shihan Ken develops the karate style, Hensan Ryu and teaches it to the students for the Club Naha dojo at the New Rochelle Boys and Girls Club and decides to continue calling his dojo Club Naha in honor of his first instructor Shihan Javier Diaz
In 1992 Shihan Ken moved to Maine and become the C.E.O. of the Waterville Boys and Girls Club, and quickly established a Club Naha dojo. September of that year Renshi Craig Sargent began his training in Hensan Ryu. When Renshi Craig was only a brown belt, he became one of the instructors at the Club Naha dojo. On December 3, 1995, Renshi Craig earned his first degree black belt and on April 20, 1997 he earned his second degree black belt.
In 2011 and 2012, Shihan Javier came to visit Maine to teach Shudokan. More Shudokan Karate was then added to Hensan Ryu. Eventually the style which was primarily Wonhwa Do was now mostly Shudokan. Due to this change of influence the style was renamed Kai Naha Karate-Do (Club “NAHA” Karate-Do) in honor of Shihan Javier Diaz and the Club De Karate-Do “NAHA” Dojo.
From 2013 on, Renshi Craig continued learning more and more about Shudokan and in December of 2020, Renshi Craig traveled to Iguala, Mexico to train at the Club "NAHA" Karate-Do headquarters dojo. There he received his sixth degree black belt in Shudokan Karate under Shihan Javier Diaz. On March 1, 2021 Shudokan Karate became the style taught at the Club Naha Karate-Do USA dojo. The Hensan-Ryu style is still practiced as extra material but it is not required for belt promotion.