Grand Master Peter G. Urban
© Dayton Guinee 1983You will find many of the dates in reference to the chronological path of Sensei Urban’s Karate life in the history page on this site and many others web sites and writings that exist today. I will describe what is my belief and perception of who Sensei was and how he adjusted and evolved throughout the many years of his life, both as a man and a martial artist.
Even though he was the Grand Patriarch or the Grand Master of all USA Goju Systems (USAGA), he preferred to be called Sensei which he would be most comfortable, known as, and called throughout his life by most of his students and others. Sensei Urban was in the US NAVY which played a major roll on his method of operation and procedures. His everyday life ran from a flow chart and that never changed.
Sensei was stationed in Japan where he would find himself in the midst of a culture that would also influence and engulf his entire being. Some of the most interesting stories would emerge from his time spent there not only as a military man, but a young man learning a new culture and a life of a martial artist. In most cases we think about our first day when we entered the dojo and what our training meant to us. It was no different for him. He used to tell of how uncomfortable it was for him at first in that environment especially being one of the only Caucasians in the dojo at that time. However, Sensei was fluent in Japanese and was very much attracted to their lifestyle which he admired and was also very fitting for him. He would go on to marry a very beautiful Japanese woman, return to the USA with her and have a wonderful daughter named Julia.
Sensei’s training in Japan was grueling but he was determined to succeed and did. Sensei was incredibly strong and was extremely well versed in technique and all self defense modes. He had the good fortune of being able to train with three of the greatest Sensei’s of their time concomitantly. He was certainly influenced by all three in a profound and positive way. Perhaps that’s why he was so unique. The Three men were Richard Kim, Mas Oyama, and Gogen Yamaguchi. It is my belief that they all taught him to be a seeker and not a follower. Sensei Urban was a special man with a one of a kind personality. He was extremely well schooled and a scholar and gentleman of the highest quality. He was also a bit of an eccentric. Throughout his years of teaching and mentoring, he produced hundreds of black belts, thousands of students and affected the lives of martial arts practitioners around the world in all martial art styles. Sensei taught the importance of having a strong and sound “mind, body, and spirit”, and how it would play a roll in your making good decisions to ensure a healthy future and life. Sensei was a tough but fair man. When in the dojo it was strictly business and he did not allow complaining, or excuses. He was an encourager that stressed excellence and would not accept mediocrity from anyone.
Sensei was extraordinary in many ways and his accomplishments were many. He was a man who stressed the importance of not being misunderstood and had a need for all relationships and matters to be crystal clear. Sensei Urban was a winner in life and someone who wanted to have a positive impact on all he met. He did indeed do just that. Sensei had not only courage; he possessed the knowledge, strength and spirit to follow his dream. Sensei Peter G Urban founded USA GOJU, American GOJU (USAGA) and became one of the most well known and admired martial artist of his time around the world. I admired him, for him just being him.
I am proud to have been a part of this great man’s life.
Personal Profile – Peter Urban
- 1953 – Personal uchi-deshi (apprentice) to Master Richard Kim in Yokohama.
- 1954 – Full time student of Gogen Yamaguchi in Tokyo.
- 1955 – Student of Master Masatatsu Oyama in Tokyo.
- 1957 – Competes for Yamaguchi in all Japan Colliegate championships in Tokyo.
- 1958 – Peter Urban marries wife Meiko In Japan.
- 1959 – Returns to America. Establishes first Goju-Ryu Dojo in Union City, N.J.
- 1961 – Propagates Yamaguchi, Oyama, and Kim names in the United States.
- 1962 – Chief referee at Oyama’s tournament in what may have been the first major tournament in this country.
- 1963 – Appears as Karate pioneer on the Tonight show, The Merv Griffin Show,and the Long John Nebel Show.
- 1964 – Returns to Japan for further study and research.
- 1965 – Incorporates the style name legally in New York.
- 1966 – First book, “The Karate Dojo” is published. It recieves international acclaim and becomes a Martial Arts Classic.
- 1967 – Opens famous “Chinatown” Dojo. He leads the way for Martial Arts instructors to teach publically in America.
- 1968/1976 – Produced the careers of; William Louie, Anthony Lau, Aaron Banks, Johnny Kuhl, Al Gotay, Joe Lopez, Thomas Boddie, Bill Liquori, Lou Angel, Ron Van Clief and Ric Pascetta
- 1977 – Establishes U.S.A. Goju colony in Italy. First European installation of this style.
- 1987 – Receives the first of several Doctorates,in Metaphysics.
- 1996 – Peter Urban was awarded the following greatest honor of all honors from the World Head of Family Sokeship Council by Dr. Frank E. Sanchez of Florida:
- 1996 – Creates his 1st Official Website through Dayton Guinee
- 1998 – The official website USA/AMERICAN GOJU HONBU and the FIGHT SCHOOL NETWORK is established with the names of his”now”supporters. http://www.americanheritagegoju.com/profiles-master-urban/
- 2018 To be updated!!!
To: Maestro Peter Urban – America’s Greatest Writer – And Goju Sensei-Laureate.
- 1997 Received The Presidential Sports Award from President Bill Clinton.
- This is Urban’s most treasured professional social credit above all else in his lifetime.
American Heritage Dojo
USA GOJU HONBU