Sunday 19th of August 2018
 Soke Joseph R. 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 by 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 Soke 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, Soke Ruiz moved to Augusta, Georgia, USA. 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 Shugo Kuniba. Soke Ruiz and Soke Baillargeon became good friends and Soke Ruiz joined the Seishin Kai. In l974, Soke 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 found the National Karate Jiu Jitsu Union (NKJU). Soke Ruiz was invited to be the Assistant Director and was awarded the title of Dai Shihan. 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, Soke Ruiz withdrew from the NKJU and formed the International Karate Kobudo Union (IKKU). In l990, he was awarded 8th Dan and awarded the title of Hanshi with the approval of Soke Kuniba. In 1996, Soke Ruiz was awarded 9th Dan and awarded 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. He is currently a council member.

For the record, Soke Ruiz has achieved 10th Dan in Koto-Su 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 and 2nd Dan in Goshin-Budo Jiu-Jitsu.

More information about Soke Ruiz and the International Karate Kobudo Union (IKKU) can be found on
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David C. Cook, All rights reserved.