Michael Den Tandt
Michael Den Tandt Sensei is ranked Yondan (Fourth degree black belt) and is Chief Instructor, Shihan, at Fudoshin Dojo. He began his training in Budo in 1982, while attending high school in Chatham, Ont, training in Tae Kwon Do for several years. In 1992, while living in Kingston, Ont., Den Tandt Sensei discovered Goju-Ryu Karate. Initially he trained with Chris Hurst Sensei, who was then a student of Chris Doyle Sensei. During this period Den Tandt Sensei also explored Jiu Jitsu, Judo and Muay Thai, and travelled to India, Nepal and Thailand, were he received training in meditation and Muay Thai, respectively.
In 1995 Den Tandt Sensei relocated to Toronto and began studying with Bill Hind Kyoshi, head of the Canada Goju Karate Association. In December of 2000 he received his Shodan degree. In late 2004 Den Tandt Sensei established a dojo in Wakefield, Que. In 2006 he relocated with his family to Owen Sound. In July of 2007 Den Tandt Sensei was awarded the rank of Nidan by Hind Sensei.
With the help of his friend John Snook Sensei, Den Tandt Sensei launched a traditional Karate dojo at the YMCA in Owen Sound, beginning classes in January of 2007. In 2008 Den Tandt Sensei began an exploration of the history and roots of Karate-Jutsu, the precursor to Karate-Do.
That led him to the Kearny, New Jersey dojo of Luis Morales, Hanshi 9th Dan, the senior North American instructor for the International Kenshi-Kai organization, whose headmaster is Hokama Tetsuhiro, Hanshi 10th Dan. Morales Hanshi is also ranked 7th Dan Grandmaster of Torite-Jutsu by The Dragon Society, under Grandmaster Tom Muncy Hanshi 10th Dan, and Grandmaster Rick Moneymaker Hanshi 10th Dan.
At this time Den Tandt Sensei began to explore oldstyle Karate. In late 2008 he became affiliated with Morales Hanshi. Shortly thereafter the dojo was re-christened Fudoshin Classical Karate Dojo.
In spring 2010 Den Tandt Sensei was recognized as a Nidan by the International Kenshi-kai Organization, and received his Instructor's Certificate from the IKO. In December of 2011 Den Tandt Sensei was promoted to the rank of Sandan. In Spring 2015 he received Yondan and Shihan grade. Den Tandt Sensei is also ranked Shodan in International Hokama Kobudo.
John Snook Sensei is ranked Yondan (fourth degree black belt) and is a Senior Instructor at Fudoshin Dojo. He was born in North London and learned to defend himself at an early age by necessity. At age 14 he became curious after seeing a bar fight in which one relatively small man defeated several larger men. "It impressed me very much the way he got out of the way and defended himself," Snook Sensei recalls. He later learned that the man was practicing one of the Asian fighting arts.
Soon after Snook Sensei read about Judo in a book and decided that he would try it. Friends of his joined a Judo club and asked him to join too, which he did. Thus began a seven-year period during which he immersed himself in the sport of Judo.
In 1977 Snook Sensei,by then married and starting a family, emigrated to Canada. The family settled in Elora, Ont. One of Sensei's young daughters decided that she wanted to study karate and dragged him to the local dojo. Having previously had a bad experience with another karate instructor, Snook Sensei was prepared to be disappointed. Instead he was pleasantly surprised by what he saw and heard. He watched a children's class, and then an adult class. Soon afterwards he asked the club's Sensei, Jay Purdy, if he could join. Thus began a 20-year relationship during which Sensei Snook studied traditional Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate in Elora. He fondly recalls this period as "the red-neck days." The back door in the Elora dojo often required replacing, Snook Sensei says, because of the frequency with which students in the midst of jiu kumite were tossed through it. During his time in Elora Snook Sensei received the rank of Sandan in the Canada Goju Karate Association.
In 2005 Snook Sensei retired and moved to the Owen Sound area. He trained for a time with in the dojo of Renshi John Bak, who introduced him to Michael Den Tandt Sensei, who was by then looking to start a dojo in Owen Sound. The two met and formed a partnership which endures to this day.
In 2010 Snook Sensei was recognized as a Nidan and certified instructor in the International Kenshi-kai Organization. In April of 2012 Snook Sensei was promoted to the rank of Sandan. In Spring 2015 he received the rank of Yondan.
Dan Burbank Sensei is ranked Sandan (third degree black belt) and is an Instructor at Fudoshin Dojo. He also holds Nidan rank in Shito-Ryu Itosu kai karate. He trained briefly in Kung Fu as a teen, but a change of location required him to abandon that pursuit. Years later, in 1990, he entered the Itosu Kai dojo in Meaford and commenced his career in karate, achieving Shodan in 1995, Shodan Kobudo in 1998, and Nidan Karate in 2004. Along the way he has made many friends in the local martial arts community, and has a working knowledge of Kendo and Muay Thai kickboxing.
Burbank Sensei's karate experience has been primarily sport-oriented, and he has been an instructor and dojo owner in the past. A period of self-searching led him to train in Kyokushin-style full contact Karate under Sensei Dan Goodfellow and Sensei Morrison. It was through this training, and two full contact losses, that he began to realize the significant difference between non-contact point sparring and traditional life preservation Karate.
In March 2011 he became a student of classical Okinawan Goju Ryu under Den Tandt Sensei and Snook Sensei. He received his Sandan degree from the International Kenshi-kai Organization in Spring 2015. Burbank Sensei is also ranked Shodan in International Hokama Kobudo.