10th Dan Menjo Issued to Taiani Kaiso
The Kodansha-kai of Ichikawa-ha Goju-ryu International Karate-do Sosui-kai released an open letter of congratulations to Taiani Kaiso on his achievement:
February 7, 2016
An Open Letter to our Friends and Colleagues in Karate-do:
Fifty six years ago. That’s two generations. The cost of U.S. postage was 4 cents. The average cost of a new car was $2,600 and the cost of a gallon of gas to put in that car was 25 cents.
That’s how long Robert Choji Taiani Kaiso has been actively involved in Karate-do and has never rested since the first day he walked into the Brownsville Boy’s Club and took his first class in this exotic and very special fighting art that was known by only a handful of people.
Over the years, Taiani Kaiso has had the pleasure to meet and train with some of the most famous figures in martial arts. In 1968, he was fortunate enough to be invited by none other than Yamaguchi Gogen Sensei to be his personal guest at the Goju Kai in Tokyo. During his stay there and in between serious beatings, Taiani Kaiso was taken under the wing of one of Japan’s most fearsome fighters, Yamamoto Gonnohyoe So-Shihan and ultimately followed him after he broke away from the Goju Kai and formed the International Karate-do Organization (IKO). Since the first evening class at the Goju Kai when Taiani Kaiso met the revered Yamamoto Sensei, who would hardly acknowledge Taiani Kaiso’s presence when he wasn’t on the receiving end of a technique, a senior-junior relationship developed that would last for the next 48 years. It is important to highlight that, in addition to Yamamoto So-Shihan being Taiani Kaiso’s mentor and sharing with him his tremendous abilities in karate-do, he was also the individual that introduced Taiani Kaiso to the most influential figure in his karate-do career; Ichikawa Sosui Kensei, who would then share with him, his first western student, the mastery of his 64 years of diligent Budo Study that Taiani Kaiso cherishes and reflects upon every day.
It is no secret that since his introduction to Ichikawa Kensei in 1973, Taiani Kaiso has dedicated his life to the principles of his teaching. It is also widely known among his organization and peers that Yamamoto So-Shihan and Taiani Kaiso have always maintained a strong relationship as Yamamoto So-Shihan has observed and contributed immensely to Taiani Kaiso’s personal development. It is with this that I would like to announce to all of you that Yamamoto Gonnohyoe So-Shihan has promoted Robert Choji Taiani Kaiso to Ju-Dan (10th Dan) Hanshi.
In contemplation of accepting this grade, the words of Yamamoto So-Shihan were a driving catalyst to Taiani Kaiso when he outlined the following, “Bob, nobody went through what you went through for as long as you did. You and I were part of an era of karate that will no longer be.” It was passages like these and much more personal dialogue that filled the three-page hand-written letter sent to Taiani Kaiso from Yamamoto So-Shihan spelling-out his deserving to be recognized as Ju-Dan (10th Dan) Hanshi on the date of January 20th, 2016.
We, the students of Robert Choji Taiani Kaiso and the Kodansha Kai of the Ichikawa-ha Goju-ryu International Karate-do Sosui-kai would like to congratulate him on this monumental achievement.