Takayoshi -Sichiyama- Alvarez. Kyoshi, Hachidan. Was born in Trujillo City (today Santo Domingo de Guzman) Dominican Republic, on Sunday, January 22nd. 1956. At birth his given names were Rafael Bienvenido; family names were Álvarez Perez. He started martial arts as an autodidact in 1968, together with his childhood friend José Luis Cohén Suero (Güicho). For this ‘start’ they had bought a book named “Karate and Self Defense” by Carlos Hoffman. Two years later, at 2:06 P.M. of Monday, June 22, 1970, at the age of 14, began his formal training in Okinawa Seito Karate-do Goju ryu Shirenkan, Jujutsu and Kobudo, under the tutelage of Sensei Sakamoto Tameyoshi.
Between 1971 and 1974 he traveled to several U.S. cities to expand his knowledge related to the martial arts. In New York he practiced Shoreikan Goju Ryu under the tutelage of sensei Jose Santos. In December 1974, Sakamoto Sensei promoted him to Shodan; in March 1976 to Nidan; in April 1978 to Sandan (in that year also gave him the Japanese name that he holds today). He practiced Judo (1976-78) and Tae Kwon Do (1978-80) with Yamashita Masahisa sensei and Master Jose Ramon Reyes (Cuqui) in Judoyuku dojo and John Rhee Institute. On March 23, 1979, date of birth of Sakamoto sensei, Takayoshi won the National Full Contact middleweight Championship, beating the WAKO middleweight world sub champion, Nelson Colon. From 1983 to 1987 he practiced Nihon Koden Shindo Ryu Karate under the tutelage of sensei Felton Messina, Soke Hamada Hiroyuki’s student. In December 1984 he was promoted to Yondan; in December 1989 to Godan; in May 1996 to Rokudan; in October of the same year he was awarded with the honorary title of Tasshi (One who has complete knowledge and mastery in an art or activity). In March 2001, Sakamoto sensei promoted him to Nanadan and in July 2001, in Kurashiki, Okayama, Japan, gave a special document declaring him as sole heir of Shirenkan. In December 2008 Sakamoto sensei ascended him to Hachidan; range endorsed on January 15, 2009 by the Nippon Karate Do Rengo Kai Goju Ryu Taishukai, which awarded him the title of Kyoshi, a recognition given by Nakamura Isao sensei in August 2009, when he visited the Dominican Republic.
During his tour on the path of martial arts Takayoshi Alvarez has received instruction, guidance and / or training from the following sensei: Higaonna Morio, Kai Kuniyuki, Hichiya Yoshio, Yasuda Tetsunosuke, Minei Nankoh, Chinen Teruo, Yagi Meitetsu, Yagi Meitatsu, Kinjo Tsuneo, Peter Urban, Chuck Merriman, Miyazato Ei’Ichi, Kimeda Takeshi, Kanazawa Hirokazu, Osawa Osamu, Nakamura Tadashi, Nakamura Isao, Demura Fumio, Shimpo Matayoshi, Miyahira Katsuya, Dan Severn, Lieng Shen Feng, Matsunaga Mamoru, Masahisa Yamashita, Yamaguchi Tatsuo, Chico Pimentel, Hamada Hiroyuki, Moriyama Kenji, José Ramón Reyes, Ramón Smith, Vitelio Echavarria, Thimo Pimentel, Marcos Willamo, Toguchi Seikichi, José Santos, John Rhee, Sugimoto Kogi, Suzuki Hiromi, Suenori Tominaga, Sakumoto Tsuguo; and the professional boxers Carlos and Leonardo Cruz (world champions), Johnny de la Rosa and Filiberto Álvarez (Robocop).
Alvarez has completed several courses about arbitration for competitive kumite, kata and duo system self defense. Among his most enjoyable experiences we can mention that he has provided instruction to over 6,000 people from 1996 to 2012, of which there are over 400 black belts from Canada, Japan, India, Sri Lanka, Cuba, Colombia, Chile, Dominican Republic, Panama, Puerto Rico, Latvia, Kazakhstan, United Arab Emirates and Turkey. In such countries have won the affection and respect of most of the representatives of styles.
Takayoshi is the founder and director of the Okinawa Koshiki Goju ryu Karate-do Shirenkan (OKGKS), technical advisor of the Dominican Association of Okinawa Seito Karate-do Goju Ryu (ADOSEKAGR) and member of the Dominican Karate Federation (FEDOKARATE), which in turn is a member of the World Karate Federation (WKF).
Takayoshi is also a member of the National Court of Grades, as representative of Goju Ryu in that court. This court is an organ of the FEDOKARATE. Kyoshi Alvarez is also a passive member of Karate Ontario (provincial organization of Canada to the WKF), the Nippon Karatedo Goju Ryu Taishukai, and also serves as a consultant or adviser to several other Goju ryu and martial art’s organizations in Cuba, Canada, Chile, USA, India, Sri Lanka, Dubai and the Dominican Republic. At present, Kyoshi Takayoshi ‘Sichiyama’ Alvarez personally directs the “Sichiyama Dojo. OKGKS. Martial Arts Academy “in the urbanization” City of Millions “, National District, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
They train in Okinawa Goju Ryu and Kobudo on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 2:30 – 9:30 PM; from the two senpai Generoso Montero and Jose Dicarlo, Generoso become the closest helper to the author. At the dojo Sakamoto practice Judo on Tuesday-Thursday from 4:00 – 7:00 PM and Saturday 10:00 A.M. – 1:00 PM. In that Judo class Sakamoto sensei always teach the author using him as his partner.