6th Dan, Okinawa Village Karate Michigan

Ryan Rivard earned his 6th Dan at the Okinawa Village Karate Dojo
Ryan Rivard earned his 6th Dan at the Okinawa Village Karate Dojo

I met Sensei Hutchcroft through our love of training at World Gym and began training in Matsumura Seito Shorinryu with Sensei Hutchcroft in 2001.
Sensei encouraged younger students to compete in tournaments to improve focus in training, to challenge themselves, and to demonstrate our system and school’s karate. While competing in my younger years, I was brown belt kumite national champion in 2003/2004.

Sensei Hutchcroft has given me the responsibility and trust to teach in his Hombu dojo and I’ve been teaching kids classes for over 15 years. I believe that through teaching, yudansha receive a different type of learning that is critical to their development and understanding.

I was promoted by Sensei Hutchcroft to the following ranks:

  • November, 2005: Shodan (1st degree black belt)
  • December, 2006: Nidan (2nd degree black belt)
  • May, 2008: Sandan (3rd degree black belt)
  • October, 2012: Yondan (4th degree black belt)
  • September, 2016: Godan (5th degree black belt)
  • October, 2021: Rokudan (6th degree black belt)

I’m honored to have been awarded the small Double Bladed Axe from Sensei Hutchcroft and given the role of uchi deshi in our dojo.

I’ve had the opportunity to travel with Sensei Hutchcroft around the country to seminars that he’s taught and to seminars by karateka that Sensei Hutchcroft respects and learns from. I’m grateful that my Sensei has allowed and encouraged his students to learn from other classical ryu has and senseis in order to better understanding our karate.

Sensei group picture -Ruby Graham
Sensei group picture -Ryan Rivard (behind behind between Lucky Phillips and Phillip Koeppel)