Interviews
Posted By Matthew

Interview: Bill Hayes, “Old Student”, Okinawa Shobayashi-ryu Karate-do (Part 1)


I’m very pleased to present this interview with Bill Hayes, Kyoshi of Shobayashi Karate-do. Hayes Sensei became a senior student of famed Okinawan instructor Eizo Shimabukuro and has worked diligently to pass along karate as it was originally taught to him over the course of multiple decades.

bill hayes karate tuite

Hayes Sensei is a retired Major of the United States Marine Corps, having served two active tours of duty in Vietnam as well as three tours on Okinawa. He is often considered the “complete package” of Okinawan Karate, embodying Okinawan culture, diligent wellness, strong character, and technical transcendence.

Hayes Sensei is the author of the book “My Journey With the Grandmaster“, a work not originally intended for public consumption but now a staple in many traditional artist’s libraries. Hayes Sensei also publishes a quarterly newsletter containing rare bits of history and wisdom accrued over many years of research and study.

These days Hayes Sensei heads the Okinawa Shorin Ryu Karatedo Kenkyu Kai Shobayashi-Kan, a semi-private research group that he uses to guide students in a very personal way that mirrors the core essence of his original training on Okinawa.

I recently had the chance to sit down with Hayes Sensei and ask him a wide variety of questions, ranging from his personal experiences to matters of technique, as well as philosophical issues in present day training. I hope you enjoy the following videos, broken into topical sections.

————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Beginnings, and Training with Eizo Shimabukuro OSensei

In the first video I ask Hayes Sensei to explain how he originally became interested in martial arts training. We go on to explore his original tours of duty in Vietnam and how they introduced him to the island of Okinawa. Also discussed is how Hayes Sensei originally met Eizo Shimabukuro, and what about OSensei made him so special.
_

_

_

Karate Influences and Learning Theory, Meeting Korean “Tae Kwon Do”

Hayes Sensei explores some of his karate influences, as well as explaining how learning changes and adapts over the course of many years. Also discussed is some of Hayes Sensei’s travels to Okinawa and Japan, as well as training and teaching with South Korean Marines in Vietnam.
_

_
_

Okinawa Evolves, The Tournament Scene, and the Development of MCMAP

In this video Hayes Sensei explains how he has seen Okinawa evolve over the years, and how certain “pipelines” of karate are fading away. Hayes Sensei also discusses his involvement with tournaments in the early days, and how he gained a reputation as a top tier Sai practitioner. The video is concluded with a discussion on Hayes Sensei’s involvement with the development of MCMAP, the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program.
_

_
_
————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Read more in part 2 as Hayes Sensei discusses bunkai, hacho (allowable differences), long term wellness, philosophy, and much more!