Kogan, Daniel (1968 ~ )
Daniel Kogan's interest in karate stemmed from his earliest memories of watching his uncle teach his father karate in the back of their house in Santiago, Chile. Daniel began his karate training as a 9 year-old in Coquitlam BC, Canada (a suburb of Vancouver) in 1978, shortly after his older brother started taking sports karate lessons at a local community center. Daniel spent 10 years training, often upwards of 5 days a week, at the community center dojo and several related dojo and eventually obtained the rank of Ni-dan in 1988.
During that 10-year period and after finishing high school in 1986, Daniel had the opportunity to travel to and live in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He spent a year there training an average of 6 days a week with Jorge Julio Brinkmann, in the Shorin-yu Kenshinkan system, which was Daniel's first introduction to Okinawan karate. During his time in Argentina, Daniel travelled throughout the country and was privileged to train with a number of teachers who had a deep understanding of karate.
Daniel returned home to Canada to pursue his university studies, but visited Buenos Aires again in 1988 on a short vacation that changed the way his life would unfold. During the vacation, he paid a visit to a former student of J.J. Brinkmann sensei, Ramos sensei, who had left the Kenshinkan to become a student of Onaga Yoshimitsu sensei. Coincidentally, Onaga sensei was visiting Ramos sensei at the time of Daniel's visit and it was then that he had the opportunity to meet and learn from Onaga sensei for the first time.
The following year Daniel moved to Japan. After spending time in mainland, attempting to acquire basic Japanese language skills and earning a bit of money teaching English, he made his way to Okinawa, arriving in the middle of the summer. The plan was to join the Onaga dojo and learn directly from Onaga sensei, but it was not simple. It took some convincing and several rejections, over a few days.
Onaga sensei encouraged him to seek out other teachers and dojo. However, after several attempts Onaga sensei relented and allowed Daniel to take class that summer. Daniel left Okinawa but returned the following year, at which time Onaga sensei permitted him to live in the dojo and become the first ever Uchi-deshi (inside disciple) of the Onaga Karate Dojo.
Living and training at the Onaga Karate Dojo (which would eventually become known as the Shinjinbukan Hombu Dojo), Daniel trained 6 days a week for 7-8 hours per day on average; he slept on the dojo floor and was expected to wear his karate-Gi all day, every day, regardless of whether he was training in the dojo or out walking on the streets of Naha City. The training was long with classes often going late into the night; finishing at 2 or even 3 o'clock in the morning was not uncommon. Over the years, Daniel estimates that he has had the privilege of living and training nearly 3 years in total at the Onaga karate dojo in the Asato district of Naha City Okinawa.
When Daniel returned to Vancouver from Okinawa and finished his university studies he began teaching Onaga sensei's karate at his own Shibu dojo, first in Coquitlam, then in Vancouver at a private dojo shared with Nikolas Kontogiannis Sifu, then later at the Kitsilano Dojo inaugurated in 1996. After moving to the Seattle, WA metropolitan area in 2001, for career reasons, he opened a dojo in Issaquah WA which has since moved to Sammamish WA. The purpose built private dojo at Pine Lake, Sammamish WA was opened in 2011, just in time to celebrate the 20th year of Daniel's branch of the Onaga Karate Dojo.
Daniel has had the pleasure, honor and responsibility of being: the first Uchi-deshi at the Onaga dojo; the student who introduced Onaga sensei's karate to North America; and, the first student to use both the Shinjinbukan and Kokusai Shinjinbukan names. Daniel is the only non-Okinawan to have received a sixth dan (roku-dan) from Onaga sensei; he is a Shibu-cho (branch director) and is the International Director of the Kokusai Shinjinbukan.
In the years that have followed his time spent as an Uchi-deshi at the Onaga Karate Dojo, each year Daniel has either travelled back to Okinawa or Onaga sensei has visited Daniel's branch dojo for what has become an annual Gasshuku.