About Us

Oscar Silvera, Sensei

Silvera, Sensei is the Dojo's Hombu Cho (Headquarters Director) and Chief Instructor in Karate of the International Budo Ryokukai in Michigan. A direct student of Katzumi Niikura, Sensei; 8th Dan in Karate & 5th Dan in Aikido, founder of the International Budo Ryokukai.

He started training in variety of Martial Arts; such as Iaido, Aikido, Taekwondo, Judo, Krav Maga, Tai chi, Kickboxing, Kung fu and others. His martial arts training started in Lima-Peru, back in 1984. Currently holds 5th Dan in Shotokan Karate, Black Belt Dan in Iaido, and in Tae Kwon Do. Sensei Silvera offers insights into the relationships between various martial arts and the effective training methods found in those arts. He is also a member in good-standing of the USA Karate-do Federation, the Shinshin Ryu Iajutsu and the International Budo Ryokukai.

He has been fortunate enough to train with Sensei Victor Torres, Sensei Hector E. Lizano Palomino (6 DAN - WKF) Peruvian-Junior Kata Coach and Mirian Lizano (International Seitokan), Sensei Kiei Gibo (World Champion Master - WUKO 2007), Sensei Yasu Tanaka and Sensei Katsumi Niikura (International Budo Ryokukai), Sensei Tony Valvona (4th Dan), Sensei Nick Palise(6th Dan, JKA Michigan), and Morris Lawrence III, (6th Dan, JKA Michigan) in Karate.

Sensei Silvera has attended seminars held by world renown Martial Arts Instructors like: Sensei Masao Kagawa (8th Dan, World Chief Instructor Japan Karate Shotorenmei), Sensei Azuma Takashi (Daido Juku, Founder), Sensei Akio Tamashiro, Sensei Bill "Superfoot" Wallace, Sensei Falah Kanani (6th Dan JKA San Diego), Vince Morris 8th Dan Kissaki-Kai, Sensei Scott Langley 6th Dan, Sensei Takeshi Kitagawa Sensei 6th Dan JKS, Sensei Ali Hamie - 8th Degree Black Belt WKF/JKAand other good instructors.

One of his latest awards was a Japan Karate Shoto Federation Pan American 2010 Kata Champion (Gold Medal) and Kumite Champion (Silver Medal).

Katsumi Niikura, Sensei

Katsumi Niikura was born in 1943 in Japan. In 1955, at the age of 12, Niikura began to study karate and judo. At the time, karate was not well thought of.  Many people in Japan associated Karate with organized crime and the criminal classes.  So, he began to study Karatedo 'on the sly', without his parents knowledge. In the late '50s, he won a Junior Championship at the prefecture level (equivalent to our state level).  A neighbor, reading of it in the paper, came over to congratulate his father and this is how his parents found out that he was studying Karatedo.  He continued to study Karate and Judo through high school.

In 1961, at the same time he was increasing the intensity of his physical training, Niikura began to seek a balance in his life by pursuing restful, mental training in the form of Ikebana, the Japanese style of flower arranging. As members of the warrior class of Japan had for hundreds of years, he found that Ikebana added harmony to his life and an inner peace that allowed him to continue to excel to greater plateaus in his martial arts career. 

In 1963, Niikura was elevated to the rank of Shodan (1st degree black belt).  In this same year, he began to study other styles of karate as well as Aikido. 

In 1967, Niikura was elevated to the rank of Sandan (3rd degree black belt). In this year, he also won the All -Japan/Asia Karatedo Championship in Kumite (sparring). Since the Kumite competition had no weight classes, it was quite a feat for someone standing only 5’3” and 130 pounds to win!  It was in 1967 that Niikura was also awarded his Ikebana teacher's license. In 1968, he began to study Iaido (samurai swordsmanship) under Nakamura Taizaburo (founder of Nakamura-Ryu). He also made his first trip to the United States this year, where he gave karate exhibitions.  It was during this trip that Niikura became aquatinted with Don Madden (head coach for the USA Karate Federation - USAKF).  This trip was the first of several exchange visits between American and Japanese martial arts students coordinated by Niikura and Madden.

At age 30 in 1973, Katsumi Niikura founded International Ryokukai Karatedo, a Karate school based on the best of what he had discovered through his study of different Karate styles, Aikido, Judo, and Iaido. In 1976, the first Ryokukai dojo outside Japan was founded in Brazil (International Ryokukai Brazil).

In 1979, Niikura accepted Tokey Hill, an American sport karate competitor, as a student at his Japanese dojo. Hill trained with Niikura daily and was eventually promoted by Niikura to the rank of sandan.  Tokey Hill become World Light Heavyweight champion in Kumite in 1980.  He was the first American ever to place so highly in karate competition.

In 1984, Katsumi Niikura moved to the US and in the process moved the home dojo of International Ryokukai to Sterling Heights, Michigan where it resides today.  Sensei Niikura continues to be active within the dojo, teaching several classes each week.


Contact Us

Japanese Martial Arts Academy, LLC

Address: 13101 Eckles Rd. Blg2, Suite 209 Plymouth, Michigan 48170

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  • (734) 447-3000 main
    (734) 365-6925 call/text

Customer Service Hours:

  • Mon – Fri: 10 am – 5:00 pm (Eastern Time)

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