Tadashi Yamashita was born in Japan in 1942 and moved to Okinawa when he was three after the second world war. In 1966 at age of 24, he moved from Okinawa to the United States where he became a citizen and currently resides.
Tadashi Yamashita's experience in the martial arts began at age 11. He was the roughest kid in school and picked fights with other students as well as the teachers. This was brought to the attention of the PTA, which realized they could not handle him. One day, the PTA president, who was also a Karate instructor, stopped by to pick up Tadashi after school.
When Tadashi tried to fight him also, the instructor grabbed the rebellious youngster and dragged him off to his Karate dojo. Through the discipline of traditional Karate culture, young Tadashi found a way to transform his destructive tendencies into a hidden talent. The young man had found an art form, a philosophy and a way of life.
Tadashi Yamashita was awarded his Black Belt at the age of 16. He went on to capture the All-Okinawan Shorin-Ryu Karate Free Sparring Grand Championship Title. In 1968, he was promoted to 7th Dan (Degree Black Belt) by both his primary instructor, Shugoro Nakazato, 10th Dan and secondary instructor, the famous Grandmaster Chosin Chibana, 10th Dan. This made Tadashi Yamashita the youngest person in Japanese history with such a high rank.
In 1973, Tadashi Yamashita demonstrated his Karate talents at the Pro-Am Tournament in Los Angeles where he brought 7,000 spectators to their feet for a standing ovation. From that moment on the magic of his Karate and Kobudo (weapons) genius spread throughout the martial arts world.
Tadashi Yamashita’s talents were recognized by talent agents who recruited him in the movie business. He started in many big screen and television roles alongside well known celebrities. Tadashi Yamashita also met and taught nunchaku to the famous Bruce Lee.
Tadashi Yamashita has literally dedicated his entire life to the practice Karatedo and Kobudo. He also developed the Suikendo training system for advanced practical Karate application. A highly respected man in all circles of the martial arts, Tadashi Yamashita is sought after for martial arts seminars from all over the world. He currently retains the rank of 10th Degree Black Belt and is also President and Director of U.S. Shorin-Ryu Karate Association, U.S.A. President of the Zen Okinawan Kobudo Association.