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Monday, November 3, 2014

Karate Master Miyazaki Toyotaro

Contained within the June 1976 issue of Marvel Comics' Warlock #13 we find the advertisement for Kung-Fu and karate lessons - lessons that you can follow via a record to become, supposedly, adept at these martial arts.

If you click on the the image above, it should expand for you - enough to read it.

It offers a 12" 33-1/3 rpm instruction record which contains 35 complete and separate lessons to teach the art of self-defense within the confines of karate and kung-fu.

The offer also consists of a picture lesson book with 135 photos and illustrations,

While you follow the book and record, you are coached one the step-by-step techniques by Japan's Miyazaki Toyotaro (surname first), a 5th Dan Black Belt from the world famous Kenkojuku Dojo in Tokyo, Japan.

How much did it cost back in 1976? Why only $4.98 plus $0.50 for postage and handling = $5.48.

I found this ad while re-reading this 38-year-old comic book the other day... and wondered just WHY comcic books nowadays rarely have any advertisements in them anymore (I once sent in a few coins and got a comic book catalog of oldies for sale - from Howard G. Rogofsky, I think... there was also a Howard D...) and... was this martial arts master for real?

Turns out - yes, he is.

Who is Miyazaki Toyotaro?

Well... born on September 25, 1944 in Tokyo, Miyazaki is apparently the Head of the International Shotokai Federation of karate.

Although he no longer performs or even trains, at one time he was THE master of the Japanese martial art of karate.

Master Miyazaki Toyotaro (flying) about to deliver a flying side kick. That's so bad-ass.

He began training at the relatively late age of 15 under Master Tomasaburo Okano at the Kenkojyuku Dojo, the man who was a student of the founder of Shotokan Karate Gichin Funakoshi.... which if you ever watched any of the Kunf-Fu Panda movies, having lineage to the great masters of the past lends one greater credence in the martial arts world. It's kind of like six degrees of Kevin Bacon. I myself need three degrees to find myself with Mr. Bacon.

I'm taking the rest from a fairly weak Wikipedia entry, where I just tidy it up a bit:  

He trained in Kenkojuku Karate (Shotokan Style) in Japan until his mid-20s befor moving to the U.S. to lead the Tokutai Karate-Do .

It was here that became famous for his ferociousness in competition in Kata and Kumite styles, so much so that he was teh cover-boy on such martial arts magazines as Black Belt Magazine, Karate Illustrated, and Official Karate Magazine.

He retired from competition in 1971.

God help me, but the rest of the bio is even weaker, suffice to say it appears as though Master Miyazaki is still alive.

So... yeah... sometimes - even in the 1970s - there might have been truth in advertising... but I doubt they all were. Below is one perched on the page opposite Miyazaki's karate ad.
It IS a Charles Atlas ad, though.
Between 1994 and 1999, I used to work my ass off at the gym - six days a week and at least a couple of hours a day. I ate right, took whey protein powders, creatine and even some steroids... and yeah... I looked good... but it still took me over six years... not seven days. I'm good, not God. Atlas or other.
Miyazaki Toyotaro and a body that took longer than seven days to hone.
Andrew Joseph


  1. Replies
    1. Wow! So... how was he as a teacher? Tough?
      I blew my meniscus out two years ago doing Taikwondo... did judo for a few years as well... but never tried karate. Wish I had... but the meniscus never heals, so I'm done.

  2. I only trained with him a couple or times (he retired back to japan and no longer teaches) but I'm still a student at his school. Oh, and I do own this masterpiece. The picture book was great to follow up the audio.

    1. That's awesome!
      Did you get the book and audio first, or was this something you picked up later in your training?
      Is there something about his teachings and school that mark it as being different in a good way?

    2. I picked it up at a later date, after being at the school for a while. I fell in love with the school because both management and senseis there are not only direct students of Miyazaki, but really take care of the students (they are not crazy rigid with the class times like other places I've seen. They actually stay after class to help the students. As far as his teachings, he was very meticulous and demanding in terms of power applied to each movement no matter if slow or fast. He was very adamant about "snapping" fast. That said I do not have much experience with other schools so I can't really compare.