On April 30th, I took portraits of Kiyohide Shinjo. He is a 9th-dan Uechi Ryu karate master and a nine-time all-Okinawa kata and kumite champion. He dominated karate to such an extent he was known as the Okinawan Superman.
Shinjo-sensei has conditioned his body to be able to withstand huge blows without sustaining damage. He can smack his knuckles, fingertips and toes into pretty much anyone or anything.
Shinjo sensei put on his serious face for the portraits, his whole body tense and ready to strike. I’m pretty sure opponents who witnessed this face were just about to lose their fight and quite possibly consciousness.
This was the second time I have photographed Shinjo-sensei, the first time was in 2006. Read my Island Icons interview with Kiyohide Shinjo for Okinawa Living Magazine.