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History of Bermuda Karate Institute
Bermuda Karate Institute

Founded in 1970 by Skipper Ingham, 10o, Bermuda's highest ranked martial artist, Bermuda Karate Institute focuses on the Goju (hard/soft) style, one of the major branches of Japanese karate, which originally developed in Okinawa. O-Sensei Skipper received his rank from his sensei ( t e a c h e r ), Grand Patriarch Peter Urban, who introduced the Goju style to the eastern U.S. in the early fifties after study in Japan. Urban trained under Gogen Yamaguchi, considered until his death in 1989 as the grand patriarch of Japanese Goju, as Mr. Urban is regarded as the grand patriarch of U. S .A. Goju. Urban was also taught by Richard Kim, a fellow student of the late Matsutatsu Oyama of Kyoshukushinkai. During his travels as a merchant seaman, O-Sensei Skipper also trained in Manila underthe late Latino Gonzales, a founder of Philippine karate, and in Tokyo and Nagoya, Japan. In addition to the classical forms of Okinawan/ Japanese Goju, BKI incorporates contemporary tournament fighting, ippon kumite (self-defense), judo and jujitsu, kobudo (bo staff and sai) and iai (katana - sword- drawing). Emphasis is placed on conditioning and stretching especially for martial arts activity. O-Sensei Skipper, as assistant coach of the Trans World Oil Karate Team (originally the Atlantic World Karate Team) from 1987 to 1990, had the opportunity to coach and train with top international players in point karate and communicates the benefits of this unique experience to his students in Bermuda. From time to time BKI holds special training sessions under exceptionally qualified guest teachers. These have included Chuck Merriman, U.S. national karate coach for WKF; Kathy Baxter, AAU forms champion; Domingo LLanos, AAU forms champion and WUKO silver medalist; Teruo Chinen, student of goju founder Chogun Miyagi; Toshihiro Oshiro, Okinawan kobudo master; Toyotaro Miyazaki, forms and weapons champion; WUKO gold medalist Billy Blanks; and Joe Pina, trainer of several East Coast champions and coach of the Cape Verde 2000 Olympic Tae Kwon Do team. BKI sponsored the first ever karate tournament in Bermuda in 1972 and now annually sponsors two local tournaments, the Bermuda Open Karate Championships (BOKC) and the Skippy Peanut Butter KICK (Kids International Competition Karate) Skippy Peanut Butter KICKwhich have attracted competitors from the U.S., Canada, England, Germany and Argentina. The BOKC, founded in 1983, is Bermuda's longest running karate tournament. From 1985 to 1988 BKI promoted the Bermuda International Grandchampionships (BIG), Bermuda International Grandchampionships (BIG) which was described by "Inside Karate" magazine as "the ultimate karate tournament". Skipper and Kristina Ingham, with chief arbitrator Chuck Merriman, received an award from the Professional Karate League (PKL) Hall of Fame for BIG 1988 as "tournament of the year" for North America, beating such events as the Battle of Atlanta. BIG 1988 was also listed in "The Fighter" magazine's Hall of Fame in 1990. BKI organized the first karate federation in Bermuda (1973) and led the first Bermuda team in overseas competition (1974). O-Sensei is the only Bermudian martial artist to achieve a rating in North America (6th senior forms 1988) and the only Bermudian martial artist to appear on the cover of an international martial arts magazine ("Black Belt" 1988, "Traditional Karate" 1996); he has also been featured in articles in magazines in Italy, Malaysia and India. BKI students have consistently performed in competition over the years, culminating in October 1994 when Senior Instructor Gladwin "Roots" Phillips became the first Bermudian to win a world title in karate sparring (WKO World Championships Buenos Aires, Argentina, men's traditional sparring 67 kg). Previously O-Sensei achieved the first Bermudian world title in forms (senior division WKF World Championships Mestre, Italy, November 1992). Other recent titles for BKI include Head Trainer Kent Simmons' championship in weapons at the 1995 Battle of Boston. At the same event Judo Instructor Stephane Guillot defeated a field of 25 competitors in karate sparring (green belt division). Sensei Simmons also took the fighting grandchampionship at the 1995 House of Samurai Tournament in New Hampshire.

Zenji Ingham age 15 yoko tobi geri

Zenji Ingham age 15 flying sidekick

Zenji Ingham, Skipper's son, has been a lifelong student of the goju style, beginning his training with his father at an early age.