Soke Joseph R. Ruiz – 10th Dan
Soke Ruiz is the founder of the International Karate Kobudo Union (IKKU). This union was founded to further the instruction of the Shito Ryu Karate, Koga Ryu Kobudo and Katsu Ryu Kempo systems. These systems were taught to Soke Ruiz during a life-long study of martial arts.
Joseph R. Ruiz was born in Hawaii in l943. In l955, he began his karate training with Sensei Tommy Morita in Wahiwa, Hawaii. He soon transferred to Sensei Kyoshi Aihara’s dojo in Honolulu where he studied the Zen Shoto Kai system of Karate. He was awarded the rank of Nidan (2nd degree black) at age 22.
Shortly thereafter, Sensei Ruiz joined the U.S. Army and was stationed in Korea. There he was able to travel to Japan and train at the main school for Zen Shoto Kai Karate Do. While there Sensei Ruiz trained under Master Kanki Izumikawa of the Goju Ryu Karate, Koga Ryu Kobudo and Katsu Ryu Kempo system. He soon discovered that Master Aihara had also studied under Master Izumikawa as well as Master Egami of the Shoto Kai Karate System.
In l972, Sensei Ruiz moved to Augusta, Georgia. There he met Richard P. Baillargeon. Soke Baillargeon was the U.S. representative of the Motobu-Ha Shito Ryu Seishin Kai Karate Union (SKKU). The SKKU was under the leadership of Soke Shogo Kuniba. Sensei Ruiz and Soke Baillargeon became good friends and Sense Ruiz joined the Seishin Kai. In l974, Sensei Ruiz tested for 4th Dan in Shito Ryu Karate-Do under Soke Kuniba and was awarded that rank.
In l974, Soke Baillargeon withdrew from the Seishin Kai and founded the National Karate Jiu Jitsu Union (NKJU). Sensei Ruiz was invited to be the assistant Director and was awarded the title of Shihan Dai. He remained in this position for 15 years. During that time, he was confirmed by Soke Kuniba as 6th and 7th dan and awarded the title of Saiko Shihan.
In l985, Saiko Shihan Ruiz withdrew from the NKJU and in 1986 formed the International Karate Kobudo Union (IKKU). In l990, he was awarded 8th dan and given the title of Hanshi with the approval of Soke Kuniba. In 1996, Hanshi Ruiz was awarded 9th dan and given the title of Soke. In 2005 after 50 years in the martial arts, Soke Ruiz was awarded the rank of 10th dan.
Soke Ruiz was inducted in the World Head of Family Sokeship Council in 1998 and is currently a council member.
- 10th Dan in Kotosu-Ha Shito Ryu Karate Do
- 8th Dan in the Motobu-Ha/Kuniba Ha Karate Do
- 7th Dan in Koga Ryu Kobudo
- 6th Dan in Katsu Ryu Kempo
- 4th Dan in Zen Shoto Kai Karate Do
- 2nd Dan in Goshin-Budo Jiu-Jitsu