Brian began studying Okinawan Shorin-Ryu karate in the fall of 1982 under the tutelage of world-reknown instructor Frank Hargrove. Brian received his Shodan (1st degree black belt) on December 15, 1985. Kyoshi (expert) Frank Hargove taught and coached Brian from white belt through 3rd degree black belt. In 1991, Kyoshi Hargrove bestowed the honorific title of Shihan-Dai (Chief Instructor) of his dojo. In 1994, Brian tested and received the rank of 4th degree black belt under Hanshi-10th Degree Shugoro Nakazato (Frank Hargrove’s instructor).
In 1999, Brian and his father, Charles Hobson, opened The Brian Hobson “Tekkikan” Karate Studio. Brian then aligned himself and his dojo with Kyoshi Doug Perry, the current head of the Shorinkan-Kyokai (Shugoro Nakazato’s Karate Association based in Okinawa). By May 2000, Brian had earned the rank of Godan (5th degree). Four years later he tested and passed his Rokudan (6th degree). Presently he holds a 8th degree black belt under Hanshi Seiei Nakaza (Kiyobukan Association).
Brian has trained with Hanshi Shugoro Nakazato several times since 1983. Brian has been to his dojo in Okinawa five times and has trained with him almost every time Nakazato visited the U.S. In 2007, due to not being satisfied with the level of knowledge being passed on at the Shorinkan Hombu dojo in Okinawa (headquarters), Brian asked Kyoshi Hargrove if he could connect with other Shorinkan dojos in Okinawa. At that time, foreigners training at affiliate dojos in Okinawa was forbidden by Hanshi Nakazato. Only special permission was granted in special situations. Brian then made the secretive trip by hisself to Okinawa to train with Hanshi, Seiei Nakaza (9th degree black belt) and Hanshi Kinjo Kempo, not knowing what really to expect. Brian initially met Nakaza and Kempo in 1985, when Hargrove brought them to the the U.S with a host of other instructors from the Shorinkan including Shugoro Nakazato. The following year, in 2008, Brian went to Okinawa to train exclusively with Hanshi Nakaza. This was the first time Brian brought one of his students with him to train. After seeing the high level of karate that Brian had taught his student, Hanshi awarded him a Shihan (instructor’s liscence) certificate. It was the very first one that was given out by Nakaza. Before the trip was over, Nakaza asked Brian to become a part of his newly formed group called the Kiyobukan. Brian was honored to have such a high ranking Okinawan sensei take so much intrest in him, so he accepted.
Brian began competing in tournaments immediately after starting karate. In 1983, Brian won the State AAU Championship in fighting and went on to win 3rd at the AAU Nationals in Elizabeth, New Jersey. The next year Brian successfully defended his State Championship title and due to his performance at the National Championship was placed on the very first AAU Junior National Karate Team.
Brian remained on the AAU junior team and then later joined the adult team that competed throughout the world for the USA Karate Federation (sanctioned by the U.S. Olympic Committee). Brian competed in: ’86 Jr. World Cup in Taiwan, two Pan-American Championships, the North American Cup, a Mexican Olympic Festival and several goodwill exchanges with other countries. Before Brian retired in 2005, he won well over 400 trophies, 45 State Championships, 20 National Championships and 21 All-American awards. Brian has been National Champion in all 4 categories (fighting, forms, long weapons and short weapons), a feat that very few have accomplished. In addition to his personal successes, Brian has an outstanding record as an instructor and coach. In less than one year of opening his dojo, twenty six of Brian’s students competed in the 2000 AAU National Championships, twenty one gold medals were won. As a result, the AAU presented Brian with an award for having one of the top twenty karate schools in the country! Since then Brian’s students compete regularly in state, regional and national tournaments given by the AAU and the USA-NKF (governing body of karate in the U.S.).
Brian is a native Hamptonian, graduating from Bethel H.S. in ’87. He graduated from Hampton University in ’91, with a Sociology degree. In ’97, he received his Masters degree in Sports Management from the U.S. Sports Academy in Mobile, Alabama.
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