Grandmaster Tenzan Hirakawa
Grandmaster Hirakawa’s life work has been to promote the health and the spiritual benefits of both Karate and Tai-Chi to the people of the U.S. He has an extensive knowledge of the martial arts, including black belt degrees in Karate, Aikido, Judo, Iaido (swordsmanship), and weaponry. His studies in the martial arts span thirty seven years and include twenty-two years of teaching in the U.S.
Grandmaster Hirakawa was born in Tokushima, Japan in 1949. As a youth he showed athletic promise and studied gymnastics in high school. His first instruction to the martial arts was when he enrolled in a Karate Dojo during his teenage years. This initial introduction ignited a lifelong passion for the martial arts. Intensive training and commitment to the arts earned him advanced black belts in Goju-Ryu and Kenbu-Kai Karate. His enthusiasm for the martial arts expanded into other areas, as he also earned black belts in Bugekikai Aikido & Iaido (sword), Judo and Ryukyu Kobudo (Weapons).
In 1980’s marked a turning point for Grandmaster Hirakawa. He joined Tokushin-kai Association where he was trained in Tai-Chi and a unique style of karate called Juken-do. In Juken-do, the “hard” techniques generally associated with traditional karate would incorporate “soft” movements relient on internal power. This internal power would be cultivated through rigorous training in Tai-Chi. Grandmaster Hirkakawa became the first Tai-Chi master recognized by the Tokushinkai Association in the United States .
In August of 1994, Grandmaster Hirakawa became independent of his teacher in Japan and formed his own association, Tenshin-kai.
Sensei Kerry Ikehara
Kerry Ikehara is a 4th degree black belt in traditional Japanese karate. He has been a student of Grandmaster Tenzan Hirakawa (Kancho) of Tenshin-kai, Tenshin-ryu for over 25 years. In 1990, he received his black belt and was promoted to head instructor, certified to teach karate and taichi. Kerry has also studied hapkido, judo, jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai kickboxing, and kung fu.
Presently, Kerry’s title is, “Branch Chief” (Shihon). He teaches karate at Tenshin-kai Headquarters in Westchester, the Japanese Institute of Sawtelle in West Los Angeles, and Gardena Dance Studio in the South Bay area.
Kerry is passionate in teaching the “Martial Arts Technique Mastery” system to students one-on-one or in small group classes. His philosophy is quality training in a private setting, giving students the special attention required to progress and master techniques.