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 History - Tradition - Heritage
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Sensei Anthony Mirakian
( 1933 - present day )
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Anthony Mirakian began his karate training in Okinawa during the 1950's when he was stationed there as an airman with the U.S. Air Force.  This was "The Golden Age" of Okinawan karate.  It was "the time" when authentic, traditional Okinawan karate instruction was first opened to western participation.
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While there, Mirakian met and began his Okinawan karate training with Master Seikichi Toguchi, at his Shoreikan dojo in Nakanomachi, Okinawa.  The weather was hot and very humid.  The regimen was strict and the training was intensive - running 4 1/2 hours per day, 6 days per week.  100% effort was expected from all. 
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At Toguchi's dojo, he was introduced to Master Ryuritsu Arakaki.  Arakaki, a man in his mid-40's at the time, was a 7th degree black belt master who had studied with Goju-ryu Grandmaster Chojun Miyagi and his assistant, Grandmaster Seiko HigaMirakian began training with Arakaki.  As their relationship grew, Arakaki befriended Mirakian and soon began treating him as a protégé.  They had many long discussions about the old masters, Chojun Miyagi and his training in China, and Okinawan karate history.  Arakaki also took Mirakian around to various dojo's and introduced him to many great Okinawan masters of the time.
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One day, Arakaki took Mirakian aside and said,

"I can see that you have a great passion and desire to train in Goju-ryu karate.
You should train with the foremost authority on Goju-ryu in Okinawa,
Grandmaster Meitoku Yagi - the top, senior student of Chojun Miyagi."
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Mirakian was initially reluctant, but Arakaki insisted,

"You must train under him."
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Arakaki spoke with Grandmaster Yagi and recommended that he consider accepting Mirakian as a student.  He took Mirakian to meet Yagi at his dojo in Kume, Naha City. Mirakian's first impression upon meeting Grandmaster Yagi was that he was in the presence of a great master, and recalls saying to himself,

"Here is a man of great physical, mental,
and spiritual power."
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Though Grandmaster Yagi was very gracious, he asked Mirakian many questions and had Mirakian perform a kata for him.  When the kata was finished, Yagi remarked to Arakaki that Mirakian had a build like a spider - like the great Chinese Kempo masters.  Finally, Grandmaster Yagi simply said,

 "I will accept Mr. Mirakian as a student,
and I expect nothing more in return than a few words of gratitude."
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With that, Mirakian became the first westerner accepted as a student by Grandmaster Yagi.  In keeping with Okinawan karate tradition, training under Yagi was challenging and arduous.  All workout sessions were led by Yagi personally and ran for 4 hours, 5 nights a week.  Testing occurred periodically and was rigorous. Mirakian practiced diligently, displayed great determination and skill, and became the first westerner ever to receive a black belt from Grandmaster Yagi.  By the time he returned to the United States in 1960, Mirakian had been promoted by Yagi to 3rd degree black belt (Sandan)..
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Mirakian set up residence in Massachusetts and became the first teacher to offer instruction in traditional Okinawan Meibukan Goju-ryu Karate-do in the Americas.  At that time, he began his lifetime effort to educate the American public on the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits of a lifestyle that incorporates traditional karate-do study and training.  Eventually, he opened the Okinawan Karate-do Academy in Watertown, MA, and still offers classes there today. .
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In 1972, Mirakian was appointed by Grandmaster Yagi to be the Overseas General Manager for the Meibukan Goju-ryu Karate-do Association, an international karate-do association association founded in 1960 by Yagi in Kume, Naha City, Okinawa..  Mirakian's academy in Watertown, MA was designated as the official North American Headquarters for that organization, and it remains so to this day.
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In 1985, Mirakian was invited to attend Grandmaster Yagi's 73rd birthday celebration in Okinawa by his older son, Meitatsu Yagi.  As the official United States representative of Meibukan Goju-ryu karate-do, Mirakian attended the event with his family, gave a congratulatory address, and performed a Seenchin kata in Meitoku Yagi's honor.  On the occasion of that visit, Grandmaster Yagi promoted Mirakian to 8th degree black belt (Hachidan, Kyoshi).
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In 1990, Mirakian returned to Okinawa again to attend and participate in the 30th Anniversary celebration of the founding of the Meibukan Goju-ryu Karate-do Association.  It was held on August 18, 1990 at the Shimin Kaikan in Ginowan, Okinawa.  Mirakian was accompanied by a number of his karate students, who also performed at this historic event.  On the occasion of that visit, on October 21, 1990, Grandmaster Yagi promoted Mirakian to the very high rank of 9th degree black belt (Kudan, Hanshi).  He is the first and only Goju-ryu master outside of Okinawa to be granted that honor to this day.
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Sensei Anthony Mirakian is currently the most senior active student of Grandmaster Meitoku Yagi.  He has been teaching "the true art" for over 40 years. His Okinawan Karate-do Academy offers traditional Goju-ryu karate-do training in its purest traditional form - featuring a rigorous training program based on the intensive training he received under Grandmaster Yagi in Okinawa decades ago. 
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He is a recognized and celebrated pioneer in promoting the practice of traditional Okinawan Goju-ryu karate-do outside of Okinawa. He has been featured, discussed, and quoted in a number of prominent martial arts books and journals on karate - such as the "Martial Arts - Traditions, History, People" by John Corcoran and Emil Farkas, "Martial Arts for Beginners" by Ron Sieh, "Fighting Arts International" Journal, "Professional Karate" magazine, etc.  And, he is a living testament to the benefits of life-long karate-do practice.
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Sensei Mirakian currently has two international representatives that he has authorized to represent his authentic Okinawan Meibukan Goju-ryu karate-do tradition.  They are:

     Lex Opdam (Netherlands)
     Hing-Poon Chan  (Canada)
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Copyright  © 2005   All Rights Reserved.  Anthony Mirakian.
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