Martial Arts History of H. J. Heyman — Gil Baca’s Shotokan Sensei
Written in his own words:
I started boxing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at 12-13 years old. I got help from the great former Light
Heavyweight Champion Billy Conn and his son. Later I was good enough to spar with former Heavyweight Champion Sonny Liston.
I started training in Shotokan Karate in a small JKA (Japan Karate Association) club in Denver. I took a
clinic under JKA master instructor Hidetaka Nishiyama, author of “Karate: Art of Empty Hand Fighting,”
then spent time with JKA U.S. affiliate AAKF (All American Karate Federation) in Los Angeles, CA, under Sensei Nishiyama, then back to Denver, when JKA master instructor Yutaka Yaguchi was sent there. Essentially, he was my first full time instructor (Sensei). I also trained with Sensei Koyama (JKA Phoenix), Sensai Mikami (New Orleans) and Sensai Okazaki (Philadelphia). I also took clinics when all were teaching. I earned the Shodan rank.
In 1967, in the U.S. Army in Europe, I trained when I could with European JKA Master Kanazawa and
Sensei Enoeda (London). I earned Nidan rank. Back in the U.S., I continued to train when I could, as I had now become a Special Agent for the U.S. Justice Department. While in federal government, I trained with Sensei Yuguchi and in Miami with Sensei Takashina. Wherever and whenever I could, I trained with JKA master instructors and received my Sandan rank. I won most of the competitions I entered until I was 45 years old.
I spent time in Los Angeles and trained at the California Karate Association (JKA in CA) with Sensei Futishima, who is now the senior U.S. Instructor for Shotokan Karate International, where Sensei Kanazawa is the World Leader. Sensei’s Yaguchi and Okazaki formed the International Shotokan Karate Federation, (ISKF) where Okazaki who is now the World Head, since JKA fragmented. I earned Yondan rank and founded JKA of New Mexico, where I was Head Instructor under ISKF Sensei Yagucki. I also worked with American JKA under Sensei Dalke. Received Godin Rank.
Back in the 1960’s, I trained with Dalke at the very hard Team Training at Sensai Nishiyama’s Dojo in Los Angeles. It was the toughest training I ever did with the best U.S. and Japanese Karatekos. In that era, no one in the U.S. was even close, which includes some famous “karate” movie star martial artists who used to watch us train. (Very respectfully, I might add.) I was trained in the 1960s with Dr. Hatsumi, the 37th Grand Master of the Togagure Ryu Ninja, continuous since 867 A.D., one of the truly legitimate Ninja groups in the world. We became close friends. When in the middle 1980’s, I started to train in Muay Thai, under Ajarn (Fighting Master) Surichai Sirisute of Thai Boxing U.S.A. Team and a former Thai World Champion. I spent ten years getting the Kun Kru (Instructor) level. I trained or assisted with instructors in several styles for boxing, Muay Thai and blended Shotokan/Thai to teach their kickboxers, some of whom have become TV stars in cage and MMA fighting.
I also taught street survival combatives for the Justice Department Intelligence Agencies and the U.S. Military, including edged weapon training, which I learned from my instructors and in special clinics within the U.S. Government. Then I taught techniques on bladed weapons, which includes my field experience in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and South America/Mexico on covert/special operations for intelligence agencies. When working for the U.S. Government, I was also a Range Officer for the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD) now known as the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in Region 5 (Miami) (Collateral duty). I also trained and maintained the firearms standards for DEA which obviously required specialized advanced government firearms training as well.
I have been privileged to train with the absolute best in their arts and have been fortunate to be taken in by them for the regular and very special and private clinics. I have also represented the U.S. in international level World Competitions, and have been a U.S. champion as well.