Manuel Agosto Kyoshi, also known as Manny to his family and close friends, began his martial arts career with Shotokan in 1980, under the tutelage of the late Toyotaro Miyazaki Sensei, in Queens, New York. Between going to High School, having a part time job to pay for classes and participating on the track team Agosto Sensei still found time to train and establish a solid foundation in karate. Upon graduation from high school, he entered active military service and spent 4 years as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division, Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. While stationed at Ft. Bragg he was exposed to various other forms of martial arts, such as, Okinawan Shorin- ryu, traditional Judo, traditional Japanese Jujutsu, and boxing. Upon his discharge from active duty, he began his academic life attending John Jay College of Criminal Justice. It was at there where he met Al Gotay Sensei, a Pioneer of Karate in America and an original student of Peter Urban Sensei. Agosto Sensei trained hard in Goju ryu karate as a member of the John Jay Karate Club and eventually joined the Karate Team. Agosto Sensei eventually earned his Shodan. In 1990 Agosto Sensei was voted MVP for the team, was made team captain and voted in as President of the John Jay College Karate Club. Eventually Agosto Sensei rose through the ranks to eventually receive Sandan, 3rd Degree black belt from Gotay Sensei.
In 1997 Agosto Sensei moved with his family to South Florida where he still lives today. It was there that fate had him cross paths with a direct student of Taika Seiyu Oyata. That student was Jed C. Oyasato. It was through Oyasato Sensei that Agosto-san was introduced to Taika Oyata and began a new way of life for him. Throughout the years Manny trained hard with Jed and attended many training seminars to train directly with Taika Oyata. Jed eventually was honored with the rank of Nanadan, 7th degree black belt with the title of Kyoshi awarded from Taika Oyata, in the family art of Oyata Shin Shu Ho ryu. Manny for many years was the only student and favorite uke to train with Oyasato Sensei, and therefore privy to receiving personal training. Manny rose through the ranks after starting over again, and at the insistence of his teacher and friend tested and was one of the last students to receive the rank of Godan, 5th degree black belt from Taika Oyata’s Ryu Te Association in 2012. A very close relationship was established between Manny and his teacher Jed. In 2014 Jed Oyasato passed away due to cancer, his final wish was for Manny to take his ashes home to his family in Hawaii, where Jed was born and raised. Manny gladly accepted this request and took Jed home. Upon his return Manny found himself as the leader of the of a small group of karate students, and established Shisakan dojo, in memory of his friend Jed Oyasato.
Manny continued to teach and train diligently, in 2015 together with a small group of Oyata black belt students founded the Zensekai Karate Kobujitsu Renmei (ZKKR), with Greg Lindquist as the head of the association. Lindquist Sensei was the recipient of the Nin Tei Sho scroll from Taika Oyata, giving him the rights and privileges to continue teaching and ranking in Ryu Te and Oyata Shin Shu Ho ryu. Lindquist Sensei was also bestowed the title of Tasshi, signifying that he was the heir to continue Taika’s legacy.
In 2017 Manny made his first trip to Okinawa, Japan accompanying the founding members of the ZKKR, and was able to experience the culture of his late teachers firsthand. Manny returned the following year 2018, to participate in a training seminar with members of several karate associations from around the world. It was in 2018 in Okinawa that Lindquist Sensei, surprised and promoted Manny to the rank of Rokudan, 6th degree black belt and bestowed the title of Renshi upon him. Lindquist Sensei also gave name Tsugushikan (Inheritor of the Lion’s Hall) to Manny, thus establishing his own dojo. Manny has since trained and taught not only in the United States but also in Europe and South America.
In 2020 Lindquist Sensei, honored Agosto Sensei with the certificate of Kyoju Dairi, this certificate recognizes Agosto Sensei as Representative Instructor under Lindquist Sensei. Agosto Sensei is one of only two members of the ZKKR to hold such a certificate. Agosto Sensei has used his skill and time to work with the founding members of the ZKKR to codify and develop the syllabus and training structure for teaching and bestowing rank in the weapons training art of Oyakata Kobujitsu. This is the weapons system taught by Taika Oyata to his students which he inherited from his teacher Uhugusuku no Tanmei. Oyakata Kobujitsu is now taught, not only within the ZKKR, but to members of other karate associations around the world.
Because of his hard work and dedication to building the ZKKR and Oyakata Kobujitsu, Agosto Sensei was instructed by Lindquist Sensei to once again be tested. Most recently Agosto Sensei, upon completion of testing was elevated to the rank of Nanadan, 7th degree black belt, and bestowed the title of Kyoshi. Agosto Sensei was also one of the first recipients to receive one of the first black belt certificates in Oyakata Kobujitsu.
Today Agosto Sensei continues to train and teach. He has most recently taken up the study of Kyudo, Japanese Archery, to broaden his knowledge. He has also participated in training as a student of Ogasawara ryu, the oldest school of Japanese Archery, Etiquette and Yabusame (Horse Mounted Archery), dating back more than 800 years. Agosto Sensei loves to share training and history about anything karate related.
* 重役 – Jūyaku executive, director, high executive, heavy responsibilities