My name is Tomas Hernandez, I started practicing Karate when I was 3 years old, and now, 30 years later, my motivation is proportional to my many questions. I´m a 4th Dan (4th Degree Black Belt) of the World Shotokan Karate – Do Federation (WSKF), a telecommunications engineer and I have a master’s degree in political science with a specialization in communications. I am currently competing at elite level both in Kata and Kumite.
To tell you a little bit of my story, and to be fair, I must divide my career in the martial art in 5 stages. For me it has been a privilege to train with great instructors and to all I owe a part of my Karate.
- Beginnings: Up to when I was 5 years old, I trained with Sensei Alejandro Castro in Caracas, Venezuela, as part of the SKIF (Shotokan Karate-Do International Federation). Here I had the opportunity to train with Sensei Hirokazu Kanazawa on several occasions and assist at this young age to my first international event in 1990 in Las Vegas, United States, getting 3rd place in Kata.
- Childhood: I arrived to the dojo of Sensei Fouad Korban also in Caracas and with him consolidated my technical level up to 1st Kyu Brown belt at age 9. By that time Sensei Korban was part of the JKA Japan Karate Association. During this stage I trained and made examinations for Kyu levels belts with top Shotokan Instructors such as Sensei Teriyuki Okazaki, Sensei Shigeru Takashina, Takayuki Mikami Sensei, Sensei Yutaka Yaguchi , Sensei Shohiro Koyama, among others.
- Teenage years: I had the privilege of training 4 days a week for 4 years with Sensei Shigeru Takashina 8th Dan from the JKA while living in Florida, United States. Reaching black belt (Shodan) with him at 10 years old was a great pride because I was the youngest student of all the dojo. The experience with Sensei Takashina took my technique and passion for Karate to another level.
- Adult: the good son always finds his way back home, and at age 19 I was back training with Sensei Fouad Korban in Caracas, Venezuela. My departure in 1994 to the United States coincided with the departure of Sensei Korban from the JKA and entering the WSKF World Shotokan Karate Do Federation. At this stage I met Sensei Hitoshi Kasuya and his unique approach to Karate. His perspective is scientific, philosophical, but above all very dynamic. I had the honor of representing the country on several occasions in International Tournaments and be the captain of the national WSKF team on 2 occasions. I consider Sensei Korban as the great architect of my Karate.
- Now: I live in Panama and am part of the directive of WSKF Panama that it’s ran by Sensei Kaiser Ponce. In less than 2 years of activity, with a unique way of management, have consolidated 6 dojos and 300 students. I keep training with the requirements of any high performance athlete for all 2018-2019 competition goals.
- Sensei Hitoshi Kasuya: 8th Dan, Chief Instructor WSKF.
- Sensei Shigeru Takashina: 8th Dan from the JKA, died unfortunately in 2013.
- Sensei Fouad Korban: 7th Dan, Vice President of WSKF and Chief Instructor WSKF Venezuela
- Sensei Alejandro Castro: 7th Dan, Chief Instructor of SKIF Venezuela and official coach of the Venezuelan national team.
- Sensei Kaiser Ponce: 5th Dan, Chief Instructor WSKF Panama.