Born in Lebanon (1973) Kyle Kamal Helou is a graduate of Villanova University, Pennsylvania - USA, with a BA in Philosophy and a Concentration in Biology (1993). He began his studies of Japanese traditional arts in the United States of America in January 1997. He began his training in Karate with Mr. John McClary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Shortly after, he started formal lessons in Shakuhachi with Mr. Steven Rowland in Princeton, New Jersey. Mr. Rowland is a senior student of Mr. Ralph Samuelson. |
Following his first trip to Japan in August 2000, Kyle moved to Japan in 2001 and began full time Karate and Shakuhachi studies.
Residing at the Teikyo University (T.U) dormitory for Karate students, in Hachiyoji, Tokyo, he trained with the T.U Karate Team for six months under the instruction of Mr. Masao Kagawa. T.U is known for its toughest training and strongest Karate team in Japan. In addition, he began weekly private Shakuhachi lessons with Mr. Christopher Yohmei Blasdel, studying the Kinko-ryu Shakuhachi of Mr. Goro Yamaguchi. He also began private lessons in Shakuhachi with Mr. Kinya Sogawa, studying the Doukyoku Shakuhachi of Watazumido and Yokoyama Katsuya, in addition to lessons in the making of the instrument with Mr. Sogawa.
In March 2002, having decided to remain in Japan, Kyle relocated close to the Headquarters of the Japan Karate Shoto-Federation (JKS) where he trained during the regular members classes until March 31st, 2005.
Having started a family late in 2002 and after four very trying years of combined university training and JKS Headquarters training leading up to the examination for the Instructor Training Program Candidacy, Kyle was admitted as a three-year Instructor Trainee (Kenshusei/Shugyosei) on the JKS Instructor Training Program.
On April 1st, 2005 (the beginning of the Japanese fiscal year), along with Mr. Shinji Nagaki and Mr. Takuro Nihei, 9 years his juniors, Kyle began his training as an Instructor Trainee of the JKS under the tutelage of JKS Technical Director Mr. Masao Kagawa. Three years later, to the day, April 1st, 2008, Kyle completed and graduated from this program.
In August 2008 Kyle received his Associate Master of Shakuhachi from the Chikumeisha Shakuhachi Guild under the tutelage of Christopher Yohmei Blasdel.
Appointed by Mr. Kagawa as the Director of JKS Middle East, Kyle is now in Lebanon teaching JKS Shotokan Karate at Shinkukan Dojo. Daily classes in are available for children and adults, women and men of all ages. For a location near you please click here.
The JKS in the Middle East aims at developing the true spirit and techniques of Karate-do taught at the JKS Headquarters Dojo in Tokyo, Japan.
Kyle is also teaching and performing a combination of both styles of Shakuhachi that he studied in Japan, including the Watazumido style of Mr. Sogawa and the Kinko-ryu style of Mr. Blasdel.