John Roseberry

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john roseberry
BornMartch 8, 1935[citation needed]
StyleGōjū-ryū, Judo, Aikido
Teacher(s)Seikichi Toguchi (Karate), Takaski Matsumoto (Judo), Robert Hall (Aikido)
Rank7th Dan Japanese Judo; 9th Dan in Gōjū-ryū Karate Logo.png Search John Roseberry on Amazon.

John Roseberry is the founder of Shorei-Shobukan Karate.[citation needed] He has trained at the Academy of Sho-Rei-Shobu-Kan Karate Judo & Aikido.[1] He is the first non-Asian to have received black belts in both Judo and Karate.[citation needed] He is the second African-American to have left Asia with a black belt in Judo.[citation needed]

Martial arts history[edit]

Roseberry has been training in judo and karate since 1955. His judo instructor is Matsumoto. He started training Karate in 1956. John was introduced to Goju from his friend Joe White (the first African-American black belt in Goju), who would die during the Vietnam War.[citation needed] John Roseberry at the age of 21 was one of the first individuals to introduce pure Okinawan karate to the United States. He defeated E.H. Cates to become the overall winner at the 1964, 7th All Marine Judo Championships held in San Diego.[2] He was an alternate on the 1964 US Judo Olympic Team. In addition he was a seven time All Marine Corp Champion, and three time All Service Champion.[citation needed] He is the only American to capture the All Okinawan Judo Championship.[citation needed] In 1965, Roseberry became a 3rd dan in the Judo Black Belt Federation.[3] He also developed the Gakusei kata.


He currently holds a 9th degree black belt in karate, 7th degree black belt in judo and a third degree black belt in aikido. In 1997, he received his 9th Dan from the United States Karate Alliance. John started Goju as a student of Seikichi Toguchi, and began teaching Goju Ryu at the Great Lakes Naval Base in Illinois. In 1995, Roseberry won the "Russ White Memorial Sport Director of the Year" for the Cornhusker State Games.[4]


  1. "Japanese festival begins with program of karate, dance, film". Daily Nebraskan.
  2. "Black Belt".
  3. "Black Belt".
  4. "Sport Director of the Year - Cornhusker State Games".

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