When the boy turned 3, tragedy struck his family when his father died. His mother, who remained a widow for life since remarriage is forbidden in this country, devoted her entire life to raising her son. Five years later, mother and son moved to Okinawa Island, where Tadashi lived for about 16 years, which is why he considers this island his homeland. When he turned 24, he went to the United States and later became an American citizen.
Tadashi's first acquaintance with martial arts happened at the age of 11. And now, for 27 years, he has continued to practice them. It all started with the unruliness of the student in the school, constant provocations from peers, and challenging behavior with teachers. This led to the local police department being forced to put him on record, although the punishment taken did not change Tadashi's manners at all.
Problems with the police
Soon, the chief of police became interested in him and decided to meet with the unruly teenager to conduct another moral lesson. When the student's classes ended, the law enforcement officer met him at the door, but Tadashi, as usual, attacked him with fists as if he were not a friend but the worst enemy. After such a greeting, Tadashi was caught by the policeman, who literally dragged him into the dojo. Being not only a law enforcer but also a karate teacher, the chief of police began teaching the disobedient teenager the principles of proper striking, thus instilling discipline in the young man, as one is impossible without the other. This rather interesting introduction to martial arts played a huge role in the young man's life path.
Tadashi's mentor managed to rid the young man of destructive tendencies and, in addition, revealed the true talent of the young man.
Unstoppable energy becomes the form of a master
The beginner student was able to see and appreciate the splendor of martial arts, which later became the purpose of his entire life and even his faith. The talented teenager was rewarded with a black belt at the age of 16. The year 1970 marked Tadashi's victory in free combat in Shorin-ryu.
Following brighter sensations and victories, Yamashita went to Southern California in 1972. The professional tournament held in Los Angeles in 1973 was among the first competitions where the young man managed to demonstrate his own talent. After such a victory, Tadashi won the love of martial arts fans, and his popularity in the United States began to grow exponentially. Participation in many competitions helped him establish his title as an outstanding karate master and weapons expert.
Today, the position of Chief Instructor of Shorin-ryu in the United States and Chief Instructor of the American Karate Association rightfully belongs to Tadashi Yamashita.