Head Instructor at Rembuden Kilbirnie is Sensei William Young who started training under Jarvis Sensei in 1975 when Rembuden Honbu Dojo was based in Wellington City in a building overlooking "Pigeon Park". Initially the training was in the Kyokushinkai style, but when Rembuden changed to Okinawa Goju Ryu, he came under the tutelage of Higaonna Morio, ex Jundokan student based then in Tokyo, who was in the process of setting up his own international organisation.
As a Rembuden tradition, Sensei William had to undertake a physical grading and then successfully complete a 40 man fight (Kumite), before being graded a Black Belt in 1979 - a practice which was later dropped after we began our association with Master Higaonna. Of 15 Brown Belts who presented themselves for the Black Belt Grading at Otaki Bridge Lodge in 1979, only 2 were successful. The 2 were Sensei William, and Steve Riley, a junior from Masterton, who graded Junior Shodan.
Sensei William made his first trip to Okinawa in 1983, and was instantly struck by the high temperatures under which the local Okinawans carried out their training. It was not unusual to stop half way through a 2 hour session to go and re-hydrate oneself. After almost 20 years with Master Higaonna, he resigned from Higaonna's organisation in 1995 to operate Rembuden Kilbirnie as an independent Dojo.
Sensei William has furthered his own personal training with visits to the Jundokan in Okinawa Japan, having last visited in July 2006. During these visits he received personal Kata coaching from the late Yasuda Tetsunosuke Sensei 10th Dan, the most senior ranking member of the Jundokan Dojo. The Jundokan Dojo was founded by the late Miyazato Ei'ichi Sensei, one of Master Chojun Miyagi's most senior students. This is the same Dojo at which Higaonna Morio received his own training in Okinawa Goju Ryu prior to leaving for Tokyo in 1960.
2022 is William's 48th consecutive year practising and teaching Karate. He has 3 adult children, the youngest (Scott) is also a member of the Dojo and holds a Shodan Black Belt Grade.