Sensei Mirko Buchwald, 5th Degree Black Belt and chief instructor of the San Francisco Zanshin Martial Arts Center, has been studying Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate for over 25 years. Originally from England, Sensei Buchwald came to the United States in 1989 with a team from the U.K. to compete in the international “Miyagi Chojun Festival” karate tournament. (He placed first in men’s advanced fighting) He decided to stay on after the tournament and take the unique opportunity to train with one of the greatest living karate masters, Goju Ryu world chief instructor Sensei Morio Higaonna.
Since then Sensei Buchwald has made the U.S. his home, continuing to train directly under Higaonna Sensei. This has taken him not only to the “Honbu Dojo” (world headquarters), located in Okinawa, Japan and also on several occasions to Japan where he has trained privately with Higaonna Sensei as well as with legendary karate master Anichi Miyagi (Higaonna Sensei’s direct teacher), Anichi Sensei is the direct successor of Goju Ryu founder Miyagi Chojun . In 1997 Sensei Buchwald moved to San Francisco. Soon after he discerned a need for a traditional dojo that gave students a solid foundation in the martial arts. “I couldn’t find a school to train at myself that was consistent in what it taught” he recalls. “Most of them were a very commercialized, people starting out in the martial arts need a good, solid foundation. I feel that people who are investing their time and money in studying a martial art should really be getting what they are paying for.”
In June 1998, Sensei Buchwald opened the Zanshin Dojo, giving people in the Bay Area a chance to learn the physical and mental aspects of martial arts, in a traditional environment. “When you walk in to our school I think it’s evident from the technical standard of the students as well as the atmosphere that this is a great place to come in San Francisco if you really want to study martial arts,” he says.
In recent years Sensei Buchwald has frequently served as an assistant to Higaonna Sensei. He has aided Goju Ryu's World Chief Instructor in teaching and demonstrations all over the world - the San Francisco Cherry Blossom Festival, the Rengokai world Karate championships in Georgia & Okinawa, and most recently the Budokan in Tokyo and Okinawa Japan. Sensei was also selected U.S. team captain for the world I.O.G.K.F karate championships in Orlando, 2001. Most recently he returned to competition when he entered the prestigious Kanazawa Cup Tournament in 2006 where he placed first in men’s black belt fighting and was also the men’s overall black belt grand champion. He was most recently invited to teach at the 2010 Miyagi Chojun Festival in Washington an event that draws students from all of North America. He was also selected to fight on the 2010 IOGKF USA karate team that will be competing in the world championships in South Africa in October 2010. He is dedicated to helping others achieve their own goals in the martial arts. He is very passionate about teaching children how to use karate, and martial arts as a tool for developing the important life skills that will help them succeed in life. He is also passionate about animal welfare and has been a vegetarian and vegan for over 25 years.