9TH Dan, Matsumura Seito Shorin-Ryu, Director, President Michigan
John Hutchcroft began training in October, 1968, in the Shorei Goju-ryu system, Gladstone, Illinois. His first sensei was John L. Black. He attained rank of shodan (1st degree black belt) in July, 1972. In February of 1974, he started training with Mr. Chuck Bridgewater at Mr. Koeppel’s direction, to start his study of Shuri-ryu. After one year, he was ready to continue his training at the Peoria dojo with Sensei Randy Holman. Mr. Hutchcroft trained with Mr. Holman for the next 11 years.
During these formative years, he was inducted into the Trias International Society Hall of Fame in 1980 and promoted to Yondan, (4th degree black belt) Shuri-ryu, by Grandmaster Robert Trias. In 1983, Mr. Hutchcroft was promoted to Chief Instructor for the Shuri-ryu system by Grandmaster Robert Trias, along two karate ka of note Mr. Ridgely Abele and Mr. John Pachivas.
In July of 1984, Mr. Hutchcroft was introduced to Matsumura Seito Shorinryu, by Senseis Randy Holman, Master Koeppel, Yuichi Kuda & Mr. Ron Lindsey. After much introspection and thought, he started his training in that system and was later granted godan grade by Master Yuichi Kuda.
Master Koeppel accepted John as a student in 1995 and he joined the USKK, later becoming Secretary Counsel for that organization until November 2022.
John Hutchcroft supporting Okinawa Village Karate Association Dojos
-JULY, 1995: One of 13 founding members for the USKK Bushido International Society Hall of Fame. Founded for the purpose of recognizing USKK’s most spirited competitors in Robert A. Trias’ honor.
-JULY 16, 1995: Promoted to Rokudan (6th degree) Seito Matsumura Shorinryu by Master Koeppel.
-JULY 20, 1996: Elected 1st President of the Bushido International Society Hall of Fame.
-JUNE 7, 1997: Inducted into the DOUBLE BLADED AXE SOCIETY.
-AUGUST 16-27, 1997: Naha, Okinawa; Team Coach and Referee for United States Karate-Do Kai for 1st World Okinawan Karate Championships.
-JUNE 18, 1998: Promoted to Nana Dan (7th degree) black belt. Koeppel Hanshi designates me as uchi deshi (Hanshi Dai) of our ryuha, Matsumura Seito Shorinryu Koeppel Ha.
-JULY 10, 1999: Presented the Melvin Wise Memorial Bushido Award.
-JULY 22, 2000: Presented the Raymond Bloom Memorial Leadership Award.
-MARCH 17, 2001: Inducted into the CUCHULAINN SOCIETY, USKK Europe’s/Ireland equivalent to the Trias International Society Hall of Fame.
-JULY 27, 2002: Presented the Phillip W. Koeppel Karate Do Excellence Award. Won Master’s kata and the Trias Cup Grand Champion.
-MARCH 1, 2003: Presented Matsumura Seito Shorin Ryu, Koeppel Ha teacher’s certificate by Sensei Koeppel.
-MAY 10, 2012: Promoted to Hachi Dan (8th degree black belt) by Sensei Koeppel, at the 18th Annual Matsumura Seito Shorin Ryu Seminar in Holt, Michigan.
-August 11, 2017: Promoted to Ku Dan Hanshi Dai (9th degree black belt} by Sensei Koeppel, at the USKK Grand Nationals in Peoria, Illinois.
Since 1992, Mr. Hutchcroft has enjoyed many opportunities to train with Iha Seikichi, 10th dan hanshi, Shidokan Shorinryu, and his students. Mr. Hutchcroft would be remiss if he did not acknowledge the tremendous impact this karate has had on his own technique and understanding.
Mr. Hutchcroft’s competitive career has spanned five decades. He has won or placed in over 200 tournaments winning State, Regional, National and International titles. From 2000 to 2014, Mr. Hutchcroft is undefeated in Master’s Kata Competition.
1972-1974: Iowa City Shorei Ryu Karate Club, University of Iowa
1974-1979: Hutchcroft’s Okinawan Karate Dojo, Waterloo Iowa
1979-1985: Hutchcroft’s School of Okinawan Karate Do, Burlington, Iowa
1990-1994: Thomas M. Cooley Law School Karate Club, Lansing, Michigan
1994-Present: Okinawan Village Karate, DeWitt, Holt & Okemos, Michigan
Hutchcroft Sensei is currently working on his book and video, “PAPA Naihonshi”. As many shorin ryu stylists know, naihonshi kata is the keystone of importance to the ryu ha, and this treatise addresses PAPA, (predictable acts of physical assault) and life protection applications derived from naihonshi to neutralize those attacks.