Sensei Hanula


The quality of an instructor is best measured by their expertise, experience and their ability to transmit knowledge, skills, and abilities to their students. Sensei Hanula has devoted a great deal of his time and effort towards martial arts teaching excellence. He has dedicated himself to the mission of providing public access to high quality martial arts instruction. With over thirty seven years of experience as a martial arts instructor his devotion and dedication has produced many individual successes over the decades.

One of his favorite quotations, which he feels best describes his attitude and beliefs as a martial arts teacher, comes from Sherman Harrill (1941-2002), one of his teachers.

“I do not teach Karate, because that alone is the art of empty hand fighting. I teach Karate-Do, which is a way of life. The longer you are in this dojo, the more you will understand the great difference between the two.”


Sensei Hanula
In 1964, Isshin-Ryu founder Tatsuo Shimabuku visited the American residence of Jack Sipe and promoted him to Black belt. Shimabuku personally signed the certificate, making this the first Black belt promotion that Shimabuku made in the United States.

Sensei Hanula began his commitment to the classical fighting arts as a way of life in 1968. Sensei Hanula is a direct student of Sensei Jack Sipe. Sensei Sipe was a student of Dick Keith, one of Tatsuo Shimabuku’s first American students, who trained on Okinawa. Sipe subsequently trained directly with Tatsuo Shimabuku. Sensei Hanula, proud and grateful of his training lineage to Isshin-Ryu karate founder Tatsuo Shimabuku, has practiced Isshin-Ryu karate & kobudo uninterrupted for over 49 years.


  • Holds a 9th Degree rank in Isshin-ryu Karate & Kobudo
  • Recognized as a certified instructor by the Okinawa Isshin-ryu Karate & Kobu-Do Association, of Gushikawa City, Okinawa, Japan
  • Holds a 5th Degree Black belt rank in JuJitsu
  • On May 17, 1998, he was inducted into the Martial Arts Masters, Pioneers & Legends Hall of Fame as Master Instructor of the Year
  • On May 1, 1999, he was inducted into the Okinawan Isshin-ryu Karate Kobu-Do Association Hall of Fame
  • Trained in Okinawa, Europe, and the US with numerous world class martial art instructors
  • Extensive training experience includes many years of a considerable amount of training with Sipe, Uezu, Advincula, and Harrill. Continuous research, study and training also occurred with the other prominent Isshin-Ryu pioneers noted below. Additional research, study and/or training with others also occurred, including but not limited to:
    • Sensei Jack Sipe *
    • Sensei Dick Keith *
    • Grand Master Angi Uezu *
    • Sensei Arcenio J. Advincula *
    • Sensei Sherman Harrill *
    • Sensei Harry G. Smith *
    • Sensei Tsuyoshi Uechi
    • Grand Master Kichiro Shimabuku *
    • Sensei Kensho Tokumura *, 6th Degree Black Belt Goju-Ryu Karate
    • Sensei Don Nagle *
    • Sensei Robert Safreed *
    • O’Sensei Philip S. Porter, 9th Degree Black Belt – Judo; 10th Degree jujitsu; 10th Degree
    • Taiho Jitsu; 10th Degree Shihan Ryu Aikido, etc.
    • George Dillman, 10th Degree Black Belt in Ryukyu Kempo Tomari-te,
    • Taika Seiyu Oyata, 10th Degree Grand Master, Ryukyu Kempo
    • Ryuko Tomoyose, 10th Dan Shohei Ryu (Uechi Ryu Karate)
    • Zenpo Shimabukuro, 9th Dan, Sukunaihayashi Shorin Ryu Karate
    • Meitatsu Yagi, 10th Dan, Meibokan Goju Ryu Karate

* Denotes an individual who trained directly with Isshin-Ryu Karate founder Tatsuo Shimabuku