CANADIAN COUNTRY REPRESENTATIVE
AND BRANCH CHIEF FOR THE INTERNATIONAL KARATE ORGANIZATION
Shihan Roman Szyrajew
first started his karate training around 1969 under Sensei Roger Lesourd,
who brought Kyokushin Karate to Quebec when he returned from Japan, and
stayed with him until he was 1st kyu. He then studied under numerous
instructors until he went to Fairfield, Connecticut, in 1980 to meet with
Shihan Shigeru Oyama, joined with him, and trained under him for over 10
years. During this time, Roman participated in many seminars with Shihan Y.
Oyama and Shihan Miura. Under Shigeru Oyama's tutelage, Shihan Roman
received his Sandan and Yondan certificates. Shihan Roman was the Canadian
Representative for the North American Kyokushin Organization during this
association. Shihan Roman also had the privilege of studying with Shihan
Steve Arneil during his business trips to England, going two or three times
a year for periods of one to two weeks at a time. "I have learned a
tremendous amount from Shihan S. Oyama and Shihan S. Arneil, and thank them
enormously on all phases of Budo Kyokushin training."
Roman attended the World Tournament in November 1991 where he met Oyama
Sosai for the first time and was appointed Canadian Branch Chief. In July
1992, he had the honor of teaching for two weeks at Sensei Marc Van
Walleghem's dojo in Antwerpen, Belgium. Roman and Marc have remained
steadfast friends since the time they first met at the 1991 World
Tournament. In May 1993, Roman had the pleasure of experiencing the Yugawara
Camp where he was graded by Sosai Oyama to Godan and received his Kyoshi
Certificate (Instructor's Certificate). Roman also holds a Referee
Certificate from Honbu. Roman participated in the Oyama Cup in Katowicia,
Poland, in 1993. After the tournament, he had the honor of sitting with
Oyama Sosai at a restaurant and speaking with him. Sadly, it was to be the
last time before Sosai's death. In April 1994, he flew to Japan, like so
many hundreds of other karatekas, to attend Sosai's memorial ceremony.
Roman was one of the first to support Matsui Kancho upon his nomination as
director of the International Karate Organization (IKO). He trained under
his leadership and attended several seminars in Japan, including the
Mt.Mitsumine Camp. He has also had the honor of training under Shihan Isobe
and Shihan Royama during his trips to Japan. He had the privilege of
training with Shihan John Taylor at Yugawara Camp under Matsui Kancho.
Shihan Roman participated in the 1995 World Tournament, entering his
student, Sensei Joe Addesso, as a competitor. In July 1997, Shihan Roman
sent one of his student to Japan to train as Uchi-deshi at Honbu.
Shihan Roman personally helped many dojos to grow and prosper for free for
over 20 years before opening his own in 1991 because of the love he has for
the martial arts and what it has done for him. During that time, he promoted
Kyokushin Karate on many television programs with students of all ages.
Among these TV programs, there are two best and most memorable ones: "YOU
ASKED FOR IT", which was broadcast over 100 stations on national television
and hosted by comedian Rich Little; and "THE PIERRE LALONDE SHOW", a
well-known variety special in Quebec. Some of the feats he performed were:
breaking two baseball bats simultaneously with one blow from the sune
(shin); breaking ten blocks of cement with shuto (Knife hand) and hiji
(elbow); and breaking (with shuto) six blocks of ice measuring 10 inches
thick and 39 inches long, doused with gasoline an set aflame.
Throughout the years, there were many people Shihan Roman worked and trained
with, and received enormous support from. Among them Shihan Stuart Corrigal
of Vancouver, Canada, and Shihan Bobby Lowe of Hawaii. Roman joined Shihan
Corrigal many times at karate camps as well as teach at Shihan Corrigal's
dojo. He has high admiration for him and considers Shihan Stuart a very
long-time friend. Shihan Roman participated in numerous clinics with Shihan
Lowe and thanks him for all his knowledge and for his advice.
Learning from all the above teachers has made Shihan Roman a far more
complete karateka in true Budo spirit. Shihan Roman is known for teaching
hard and strenuous classes in the old style, which is harder and rougher. He
continues to promote Mas. Oyama's Kyokushin Karate at his own dojo and forms
others under his supervision.
As of December 1997, Roman has resigned from IKO-1 and is now affiliated
with IKO-3 under Shihan Yoshikazu Matsushima and Shihan John Taylor as
Canadian Country Representative and Branch Chief. Shihan Roman also is the
Chairman of the North America Kyokushinkai Organization.
Back to Kyokushin Karate Winnipeg