Sensei Documentary

Interview #2 with Senaga Sensei

Sensei: Masters of Okinawan Karate is a documentary series about the amazing martial arts teachers living on Okinawa, the birthplace of karate.

The documentary series grew out of the Karate Masters Portrait Project which began in 2012. The portrait project allowed us amazing access to the sensei, but it was only James Pankiewicz and I who got to hear their stories. The documentary series is a way for us to share that unique knowledge with the international karate community.

It is completely free to watch on YouTube anywhere in the world, the videos in this series are not monetized through YouTube so there are not even any annoying advertisements!

Main Series Sponsors

Fusei Kise, Isao Kise and the OSMKKF-USA  

Jerry Figgiani – Shorin Ryu Karate Do International

Beikoku Shidokan Karatedo Association

Grant Campbell – USA Karate Federation

Series Sponsors

Cezar Borkowski – Northern Karate Schools

Marguerite “Peggy” Hess – Jensen Beach Uechi Ryu Karate Do Dojo

Reece Cummings – Cummings Karate Dojo

Michael Quinn – Okinawa Shogen-Ryu Karate-Do Europe

Martin Pinto – Essex Goju Ryu Karate

Mark Spear – Black Bear Dojo

Okinawa Karate Podcast

Series Supporters

Tim Herlihy

Robin Ross

Joshua Simmers 

Jeff Perkins

Paul Punshon  

John J. Strangeway

Gerry Campbell

Shelley Cormier

K V Manoharan 

Phil Butler      

Danny Smith   

Justin Rathert

Adam Carter 

Mike Powers

Miguel Da Luz 

Robert Roberto Curtis

Josh Ryer

Belgi Serin

Igor Vakos

Lisken Dus

Andrew Pearce

Christopher Ford

Cos Vona

Steve Ouslis

Sandro Simonetta

Axel Heinrich

Jiří Matouš

Jose Planas

Andy Morris

Steve Armes

Olaf Steinbrecher

Interview #1 with Arakaki Sensei Sept 2017 – 1 camera, a couple of small mics.
Interview #4 with Tamaki Sensei March 2019 – 2 cameras, shotgun mic and lavalier mic.


Who will you interview?

  1. Toshimitsu Arakaki – Matsubayashi Ryu
  2. Yoshitsune Senaga – Uechi Ryu
  3. Koichi Nakasone – Ryukyu Kingdom Sui-di Bujutsu
  4. Takeshi Tamaki – Shorin Ryu Karate Do International
  5. Kiyomasa Maeda – Okinawa Shogen-Ryu Karate-Do
  6.  Kenyu Chinen – World Oshukai Okinawa Shorin-Ryu Karate Do
  7. Tsuguo Sakumoto – Ryuei-ryu Karate
  8. Seikichi Iha – Beikoku Shidokan Karatedo Association
  9. Takehiro Gaja – Uechi-ryu Karate
  10. to 12. These will depend on which sensei have the time and patience to let us interview them. I’m happy to take suggestions from the karate community, but ultimately the sensei have to be willing to take part.

How can I help?

Share the videos, subscribe to the channel, and please consider becoming a sponsor or supporter.

The goal is to produce a high quality 4K production on a minimal budget. Volunteers are giving their time, we don’t need to fly anyone into Okinawa, and most of the gear I’ve already purchased. However, to bring the production quality of the series to the next level with better audio, multiple angles of video, and to manage the data, I need to purchase equipment and data storage (each video takes up about 1TB of raw data!). 

I’d also like to cover basic expenses like gasoline and highway fees for myself and other volunteers. 

I think it is important to be able to give the karate masters a gift at the end of each interview for their time. For the Karate Masters Portrait Project we returned to each dojo with two or three large prints from their photo shoot, but for the video series I’d like to give an honorarium 謝礼金 (gift envelope with ¥10,000) as a way to give thanks and express that we value their time. 

To help cover all these costs I believe the international karate community could help. I’m hoping that individuals, dojos, or organizations would be excited to share some of expenses with me. I acknowledge the generosity of all supporters and sponsors in the credits of the videos. I’ve tried my best to reach out to Okinawa Prefecture, the Okinawan Karate Promotions Division, and Okinawan Tourism organizations but so far none show any interest in supporting a project they haven’t created themselves. This leaves it all up to the international karate community. If this series is something that you see as worthwhile please help in keeping it going.

US$1000 Main Sponsor 

Main sponsors will have their name / dojo / organization and their logo at the end of all remaining videos in the series in the credits. 

US$500 Sponsor

Sponsors will have their name / dojo / organization at the end of all remaining videos in the series in the credits. 

US$50 Individual Supporter

Supporters will have their name at the end of all remaining videos in the series in the credits. 

How do I become a supporter, sponsor or main sponsor?

First, thank you for wanting to do this. You are making this documentary series possible. Please click on the link below and make your donation with PayPal.

In the “add a note” section please give the name as you’d like it to appear in the credits and an email address that we can contact you to give you updates on the project along with any other comments. For main sponsors I’ll also be in contact with you to get logo data for the credits. 

Questions or other ideas on how you can help, you can reach me via email at or through Facebook