Sensei Arcenio J. Advincula

by Cherry Douglas


rcenio J. Advincula started his training in the martial arts in 1946 at the age of eight. He was small and according to him, being of mixed ethnic background (Filipino and Caucasian) he "looked different" from the rest of his classmates in Alaska. Needless to say, he was a target of the bullies. On one occasion after school, he was jumped by a group of bullies who took a brand new cap and jacket that his father just bought for him. When he returned home and told his father about the incident, his father went to the home of the bullies and retrieved the clothes. Soon after, his father hired some friends, who were hand-to-hand combat instructors for the Philippine Army, to train Advincula in escrima and combat judo. Thus began his lifelong love, respect and commitment to the martial arts.

     In late November, 1958, on his first tour of duty on Okinawa as a United States Marine, he began his study of Isshin-ryu. When he was checking in, he saw a sign that announced free Judo classes. He asked his NCOIC about the class and his NCOIC, who was a green belt in Isshin-ryu told Advincula about Isshin-ryu and training under Tatsuo Shimabuku. On his first liberty, the NCOIC took him straight to the Agena dojo to meet and study Isshin-ryu from its founder, Master Tatsuo Shimabuku. The date was December 1, 1958 and in the forty years since, a part of each and every day involves some aspect of the martial arts. He is either training by himself, teaching or conducting workshops and seminars all over the United States and Canada, writing articles, studying the history of Okinawa or martial arts in general, or answering a million questions on the phone or over the internet from students like me.

     Advincula makes yearly trips to Okinawa for several reasons. He researches and studies karate and kobudo on the island and keeps in touch with Tatsuo's wife, Mrs. Shimabuku and Shinsho his second son. Advincula also conducts Okinawan Cultural Martial Arts Tours and since 1994 has had four of them. He plans for a fifth tour in April 1999. Another reason for his trips to Okinawa is to visit his in-laws. He has been married to Michie Nakamashi since January 23, 1961.

     Isshin-ryu and the martial arts are lucky to have Arcenio J. Advincula as an ambassador. For fifty-three years he has been studying, training and teaching in escrima, combat judo, kobudo, goju-ryu, shorin-ryu, uechi-ryu, hindiandi gung fu, just to name a few. December 1, 1998 marked his 40th anniversary studying and teaching Isshin-ryu karate. He continues to learn and he doesn't close his mind to change. He strives to keep the Isshin-ryu tradition and Tatsuo Shimabuku alive in our hearts.

I think he does a good job. Thank you Sensei.

* from Ole Miss Karate Club Web Site