Sensei Eric Tomlinson – 1947 – 2016

Sadly enough, sensei Eric Tomlinson, a distinct member of the world Shito-ryu Shukokai Union, passed away this morning, at the age of 68, due to kidney failure. The news are shocking for all of us in Yamada-ha Shito-ryu Shukokai Union, all over the world, as sensei Eric was not only a great instructor, but he was also dear to everyone. We would like to wish his family our deepest sympathy and condolences. May he Rest In Peace. He will be missed…

Announcement from Haruyoshi YAMADA Sōke and Tsutomu KAMOHARA sensei

yamada-haruyoshi kamohara-tsutomu

“We lost our words at the sad news of Eric Tomlinson’s sudden death. We cannot find the words to express our sorrow and can only offer our deepest sympathy for Eric’s family.

He was very active to expand our style especially in the South-East Asian countries and South America.
We will always remember him as our family of Yamada-ha Shito-ryu Shukokai World Union, and we will never forget the many kind, considerate things he did for us.”


Yamada-ha Shito-ryu Shukokai World Union
Haruyoshi Yamada
Yamada-ha Shito-ryu Shukokai World Union
Chief Instructor/Vice president
Tsutomu Kamohara




A more personalised memory by sensei Tsutomu Kamohara:

My trip to Glens Falls is  one of the most  unfforgettable  ones in my life.
I  was with my wife and Eric waited for us at The J.F.K Airport in New York.
It was October in 2003. He organized the Seminar with Mr Michael Berkowitz. Eric drove all the way from Missouri ,more than 2000km to the JFK Airport and he drove us again about 600km to Glens Falls.
He welcomed us with a big smile and a cheerful voice, he relaxed us completely  from the fatigue of the flight. We trained together with pleasure, he was always kind, friendly, cheerful and funny, tried to make the ambience confortable for everybody .
He did the same in our Union, he always tried to gather people in familial ambience. He expanded our style of Karate by moving from the U.S.A. to the Philippines, Argentina, Brasil but unfortunately his trip ended.*
We will follow his footsteps with the members of YAMADAHA SHITORYU SHUKOKAI WORLD UNION that he loved.

I will miss him very much. Eric, I will be loooking forward to seeing you again, I hope you keep training Karate in peace by then.

Tsutomu Kamohara

A few words from Kanako Kamohara, Assistant General Secretary of the World SSU:

kamohara-kanako“When I heard of Eric’s sad news, my whole body trembled with sorrow.
I feel like I have lost my family.

I still remember our first meeting in U.S.A, then several times in Japan, we exchanged e-mails, telephone calls and sometimes we called by Skype, we had fun by talking, even though we lived on the other side of the world. Eric was always friendly, kind and a positive minded person.

I keep always those good memories of Eric on my mind and I will never forget the precious friendship he gave to me.
I am very proud that we had such a good member of Yamada-ha Shito-ryu Shukokai World Union.”

Yamada-ha Shito-ryu Shukokai World Union
Assistant general secretary
Kanako Kamohara

orita-masao-senseiA few words from ORITA MASAO sensei, 6th Dan, from Japan:


“It was too early for Eric to leave us. We all feel so sorry to have lost such a nice person”.

Orita sensei was kind enough to send us a few pictures of Eric, along with Orita sensei and his family, in Orita sensei’s dojo, in Japan.

Masao ORITA, 6th Dan



eric-tomlinson-orita-sensei-1 eric-tomlinson-orita-sensei-2 eric-tomlinson-orita-sensei-3 eric-tomlinson-orita-sensei-4 eric-tomlinson-orita-sensei-5 eric-tomlinson-orita-sensei-6

A few words from sensei Thomas Geiger, Assistant Treasurer of the World SSU and Chief Instructor of SSU Germany:

“It is on behalf of Shitoryu Shukokai Germany that we express our most sincere condolences and deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Eric Tomlinson. The Shito-Ryu Shukokai Union has lost a very respected member. I personally lost a good friend. We will always remember Eric and we all should always keep him in best memory.
My thoughts and prayers are with you. Rest in peace, Eric…”


Thomas Geiger (President of Shitoryu Shukokai Karate Germany)
Paul Gruber (Vice President of Shitoryu Shukokai Karate Germany)
Daniel Maske (Vice President of Shitoryu Shukokai Karate Germany)


A few words from sensei Denis Casey, 8th Dan, Vice President of the World SSU and Chief Instructor of SSU UK:

denis-casey“It’s very sad news.
I have known Eric for over 40 years, first as a team mate on the SHUKOKAI KARATE ENGLAND TEAM, traveling around Europe competing having a good laugh and lots of adventures, then as colleagues teaching at the same Dojo in Middleton in Manchester.
I lost touch with him for almost 20 years , then one day out of the blue he phoned me up from AMERICA . his first words were , “hello Denis its me Eric” I didn’t have to ask Eric who? He never lost his accent, “Eric , were the hell have you been? ” he then went on to tell me he was living and working in America, and all about his life there.
It didn’t take long before the conversation turned to Karate and in particular the sad loss of Kimura sensei, this had a big effect on him and he was beginning to lose his enthusiasm for Karate because of the political situation within Kimura Shukokai .
He asked me what I was doing now. I informed him that I had gone back to my roots , and had traveled to Japan to train under the head of SHUKOKAI , Yamada Haruyoshi sensei, and had now formed the SSKU in England. (1998).
This seemed to light a spark with Eric, he wanted to know all about it and we soon started to discuss about how he could go about joining. He invited me over to the states to teach on some seminars over there and explain all about THE SHITO RYU SHUKOKAI UNION to his students.
He met me at St Louis airport, we recognised each other straight away, it went from a hand shake to hugs and kisses (man kisses) in no time. He then informed me that he was still working and if I would mind if he made a drop off on the way back home,
He asked to wait outside and he would drive round and pick me up, I couldn’t believe my eyes when the biggest petrol tanker I had ever seen pulled up and out popped Eric’s head,” jump in Den” oh yes he was a character !!!!! And he never changed.


Sensei Eric Tomlinson & sensei Denis Casey
2003- USA

We arrived back at his place at about 10 pm , I was absolutely shattered with all the traveling but he managed to ply me with drink and keep me up until 7am , talking karate and reminiscing about the old days. That was just the start of it !!!!!!
We travelled across America from east coast to west teaching, meeting with lots of other Karateka, and lots more late nights.
Eric became the chief instructor for the USA , and was instrumental in introducing
Other members from around the world to the SSKU.
His Legacy will live on through them.
His love of Shukokai Karate never diminished , we spent many a long night through to the early hours of the morning discussing technique , reminiscing and having a good laugh, whenever we met up , in England, Japan, The Philippines etc etc.
The Shito- Ryu Shukokai Union has lost a good member and the members of the Union have lost a good friend, I am proud to count myself amongst them.
God bless you Eric RIP.”

“Healing By Karate”

Utilising the limb movements and breathing techniques of Karate-do
by soke Yamada Haruyoshi, 10th Dan

Healing by Karate book - By Yamada Haruyoshi

This book by Yamada soke will be for sale soon. We will keep you updated for information very soon!


Shito-ryu Shukokai Union is the official world governing body for Yamada-ha Shito-ryu Shukokai Karatedo. Our headquarters are based in Amagasaki, Hyogo, Japan and in Europe, in Vienna, Austria.



Shito-ryu Shukokai Union is a traditional Japanese Karate organisation.
Founded by o-sensei Chojiro Tani after WWII, the World SSU is lead
by soke Yamada Haruyoshi, 10th Dan



We are all over the world!
Shito-ryu Shukokai Union has
17 fully committed country members!

See the full list by clicking the button below!


Interested to join our Union? Get in contact now! We are looking for new members!

Send us an e-mail!