Instructors

Kousaku Yokota Joe Scaglione Larry Khan-Smith Beverly Yu Milind Gadre
Kousaku Yokota Late Joe Scaglione Larry Khan-Smith Beverly Yu Milind Gadre

Chief Instructor – Sensei Kousaku Yokota

Yokota Sensei has extensive martial arts experience. Not only does he have over 40 years of Shotokan Karate experience, he has also studied other styles of Karate such as Goju-Ryu and Kyokushinkai, Judo and Ki. He has experience with weapons as well, and has studied the ways of Nunchaku and Sai to deepen and supplement his knowledge and experience in Karate-do.

Yokota Sensei started his martial arts training in 1960 when he was just 13 years old. He began his training in Judo by taking lessons at the Hyogo Prefecture Police station. At this Judo dojo, there was a student who also practiced Karate – he was practicing Judo to further improve his fighting skills. This practitioner impressed Yokota Sensei so much that even though he had been training in Judo for two years, Yokota Sensei switched his martial arts training to Karate. He joined the JKA affiliated Kobe YMCA Karate Club.

In 1973, Yokota Sensei moved to Philadelphia, PA and became a full time instructor at the ISKF headquarters as well as a personal assistant to Master Okazaki, 9th dan, ISKF Chairman.

Yokota Sensei was one of the top competitors in the East Coast Regional tournaments in the 1970’s. He returned to his hometown Kobe in 1981 to complete his instructor’s training under the late Master Sugano, 9th dan, JKA Vice Chairman. As soon as he returned to Japan, he entered the Prefecture tournament and became the champion that year, and again in the following year. He also represented his prefecture in the JKA All National Championship in Tokyo in 1981 and 1982.

After completing the JKA instructor’s training, Yokota Sensei moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1983 to teach at an ISKF dojo in Mountain View (now defunct). He has also taught at UC Berkeley, San Jose State and De Anza College, as well as at a dojo in Redwood City (now defunct). He attained Go-dan (5th dan) from JKA in 1994.

Yokota Sensei returned to Tokyo with his family in 1997. While he was living in Tokyo, he trained in Ki under Master Nishino, Grand Master of Nishinoryu Kokyuho for two and a half years. In 2000, he returned to the bay area and started the current dojo in San Jose. Yokota Sensei is a certified instructor as well as a certified examiner under Asai Sensei. Yokota Sensei received Roku-dan (6th dan) from Master Asai in 2005 that made him the highest ranked IJKA instructor in the USA. WUKO (World Union Karate Organization) presented 8th dan rank in 2009.

Late Sensei Joe Scaglione

Sensei Joe Scaglione holds a Sandan rank (3rd degree black belt, JKS) and is a veteran instructor with 25 years of Karate experience. He began his Shotokan training in 1979 and started training with Sensei Kousaku Yokota, in 1991. Additionally, Sensei Scaglione achieved the rank of Yondan (4th degree) with the Pacific Coast Karate Do (PCKD) in 1994; worked as an assistance instructor with PCKD, MontaVista Karate Do and the ISKF in Santa Cruz, CA; and trained in Aikido for three years.

To our great shock, Sensei Scaglione passed away unexpectedly on November 20, 2008. He was only 47 and only a week before his 48th birthday. We believe late Sensei Scaglione is with us whenever we train so Byakkokan Dojo decided to keep his position permanently in its instructors’ page.

Sensei Larry Khan-Smith

Larry first began his karate training in 1993 at the Pacific Shotokan Karatedo (PSK) in Honolulu, Hawaii. He obtained his Shodan rank in 1996 under Sensei Harry Tagomori and Sensei Eugene Watanabe. At the time of his training, although the PSK dojo was under the umbrella of the Japan Karate Association (JKA) and the International Shotokan Karate Federation (ISKF), it was not officially a member of either organization.

In 1997, Larry relocated to San Jose, California and in 2002, resumed his karate training with Sensei Kousaku Yokota at the JKA Dojo of San Jose. In 2003, he retested for his black belt and officially achieved his Shodan rank under JKA/ISKF. In 2004, the JKA Dojo of San Jose changed affiliation and became a member of the Japan Karate Shoto-renmei (JKS). At such time, Larry was encouraged to test for his next dan rank in front of Chief Instructor Master Tetsuhiko Asai and subsequently received his Nidan.

Sensei Khan-Smith passed 3rd dan examination in November 2008. He was promoted to a full instructor position effective on January first, 2009.

Beverly Yu

Bev started her formal training in Shotokan karate in 1989 under Sensei Ken Nemire in Santa Cruz. In 1991, she started training with Sensei Kousaku Yokota in Redwood City until Sensei Yokota returned to Japan in 1996. During his absence, Bev trained with Sensei Hajime Yokota in Palo Alto, and later with Sensei Jon Keeling in Redwood City where she received her Shodan. Upon Sensei Kousaku Yokota’s return from Japan, Bev rejoined him for training. Under Sensei Yokota’s tutelage, Bev passed her Nidan exam with Master Asai of JKS in 2004. Sensei Yu was promoted to Sandan (3rd degree) in December 2009.

Milind Gadre

Milind first became interested in martial arts after watching Bruce Lee movies in high school. However, he only started regular practice in early 1988 while he was a graduate student at UC Berkeley. Classes were held at the International House auditorium where Sensei Kousaku Yokota would teach a Sunday morning class, and Sensei Jeff Bradt would teach on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. The high level of energy, camaraderie and quality of instruction had him hooked.

After graduation in 1990, he moved to Mountain View and continued to train with Sensei Yokota in Redwood City. In 1994 and 1995, when he had to make extended business trips to Nagoya, Japan, he had the fortunate opportunity to train with Sensei Hitoshi Katayama, 7th Dan, JKA, who has since moved to the Japan Karate Shoto-renmei (JKS). Milind received his Shodan rank in 1996 from Sensei Shojiro Koyama (JKA Western Region, Phoenix, AZ).

Shortly after, work pressures prevented Milind from training regularly and Sensei Yokota also returned to Japan for a few years. Whenever he could, Milind would train for short periods with Sensei Hajime Yokota (Palo Alto) and Sensei Jon Keeling (Redwood City). Upon Sensei Yokota’s return from Japan, he rejoined Sensei Yokota at the JKA Dojo of San Jose in 2002. In 2004, the dojo’s affiliation was changed to Japan Karate Shoto-renmei (JKS). When JKS’s Chief Instructor Master Asai visited the Bay Area in June, Milind tested for and received his Nidan from him.