Michigan Suibukan

Authentic Karate, Kobudo, and Suikendo in Mid-Michigan


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Yamashita Suikendo!

The word Suikendo comes from the combination of the words “sui” 水 which means water, “ken” 拳 which means fist and “do” 道 which means way. “The way of the fist that flows like water” is the philosophy and the concept of this style. As the body moves hands and feet practice multiple striking and breaking techniques imitating the sense of water falling from high above.


Michigan Suibukan is Kyoshi Hayes' school in Williamston, MI, teaching Okinawan Shorin-Ryu Karate, Matayoshi Kobudo, and Yamashita Suikendo. Our class size is small for individualized attention.  Openings in adult class!

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Special Focus - Sensei

Shihan David Hayes - President, Michigan Suibukan

David Hayes was born in New York in 1958.  His family moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where they lived until 1969 and then moved to Muskegon, Michigan.  The new kid in school, he found himself having to fight many of the students at the school.  This was also a time of rising racial tensions in the area.  Feeling the lack of security, David began the study of Martial Arts as Muskegon Community College under Ernest Lieb in March of 1972.  Sensei Lieb was the best instructor to be found, with very good credentials.  He was the founder of the American Karate Association and the American Karate System which was the first American style of Karate.  Sensei Lieb was awarded the Man of the Year Award from Black Belt Magazine, which is the highest honor that can be received in the U.S.A. Sensei Lieb was also one of the top fighters in the U.S. and passed much of his knowledge on to Sensei Hayes.

Sensei Hayes received his Black Bett in the A.K.S. in 1975, at the age. of 16 to become the youngest person to receive that rank in the history of the A.K.S. the style does not allow Black Belt rank until the age of. 18. Sensei Lieb broke the rules for Mr. Hayes because he saw the talent, dedication, and maturity that he would need to hold the rank. Sensei Hayes proved his instructor made the right choice by winning the Black Belt division in the American Karate National Tournament that same year as a 16 year old. Sensei Hayes went on to win the Nationals 4 more times. He placed in over 150 other tournaments, he was rated in Karate Illustrated Magazine # 3 in fighting, and # 1 in kata in the Midwest . He was one of the winners of the first "Michigan Top Fighter” Award from the Michigan Karate Circuit.

Sensei Hayes, having met his own goals in tournament competition, and receiving a 5th degree Black Belt in the American Karate System, went seeking more knowledge and a more traditional style, which would feed his hunger for knowledge. He found Tadashi Yamashita whom he first met in 1973, in South Bend Indiana. Sensei Hayes spoke with Sensei Yamashita in Grand Rapids, Ml. and asked to study his style, Kobayashi Shorin Ryu. Sensei Yamashita took Mr. Hayes as a student.

Sensei Hayes, through his school the Michigan Suibukan, is dedicated to supporting Sensei Yamashita as our Chief Instructor, and is dedicated to the advancement of Okinawan Karate-Do in the State of Michigan, and believes that through karate training many people, especially here in the United States, with the fast paced lifestyles and many broken homes, can benefit from the philosophy and culture taught in Karate.

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Welcome to 2020!  

January is the time to rededicate ourselves to training, both of our bodies and minds, through karate.

Through self-discipline and effort we can make our bodies good servants, and bring the mind into compliance.


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