Nobuyoshi Higashi grew up in Kumamoto Japan where he excelled in the sport of Judo. He fought on the prestigious Kokushikan University Judo team then later became a coach. In 1960 as part of a global initiative to spread judo across the world, he took an exchange position under the University to teach Judo in the United States. He expanded his training to other arts such as Karate, Aikido and Jujitsu.
He authored many martial arts books and eventually developed his own style of Jujitsu called Kokushi-Ryu Jujutsu. In his various studies, he has achieved the ranks of 9th dan Red belt in Judo from the Kodokan/USJF, 8th dan in Aikido and 8th dan in Karate.
Shintaro Higashi grew up training at the Kokushi Budo Institute of NY under his father Nobuyoshi Higashi. He achieved success at the world level in Judo in the IJF international Judo circuit. He climbed as high as 43rd in the world, medalling in multiple World Cups, competing in the World Championship for the US team. He fought in other martial arts as well.
He was selected for the Pan American and the World Championships teams for USA in the sport of Sambo. He is also a 2x all-state wrestler, in HS and in the NCAA (New York State). He holds the rank of 6th degree red/white belt in Judo from the Kodokan/USJF and numerous other ranks under his father in JJ, Aikido and Karate. He currently resides in Manhattan and appreciates arts and culture.
Eugene Seki Freeburg, cousin of Shintaro Higashi, was born and raised in New York City. He grew up playing sports such as soccer and track and field, Judo and wrestling. He fights in numerous local and national tournaments, including 3rd at the New York State Judo Championships. He holds the rank of Nidan, second-degree black belt under the USJF and Kodokan. Outside of the dojo, Eugene enjoys weightlifting, music, and chess. He received his B.S. in Biology and plans to become a Doctor of Physical Therapy.