About Toru

With over three decades of experience, Toru Shimoji is a renowned Traditional Karate practitioner with numerous national and international championship titles. He currently runs a dojo (Japanese martial arts school) in Atlanta, GA, and travels extensively teaching his art. As a sculptor, he is self-taught, concentrating mostly on wood and metal. He is most influenced by three masters, Michelangelo, Julio Gonzalez, and Miyamoto Musashi. He found his unique artistic “voice” when he finally figured out the link between self-expression and spatial composition.


  • Born in Okinawa, Japan in 1959
  • Immigrated to US in 1970
  • Started martial arts training in 1974, Oahu, Hawaii
  • Studied under famed Karate master H. Nishiyama, 1982-1991, Los Angeles, CA
  • Received B.S. in Kinesiology in 1991, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
  • Studied Japanese Calligraphy from 1991 to 1995, Okinawa, Japan
  • Became Traditional Karate Technical Director, South Atlantic Region in 1996-present, Atlanta, GA
  • Received Diploma of Welding Technology in 2004, Gwinnett Technical College, Lawrenceville, GA
  • AAKF National Kata Champion 1982-1987
  • ITKF Pan American Kata Champion 1985
  • Kata Champion, World Cup 2000, Moscow, Russia
  • Kata 2nd Place, ITKF World Championships 2002, Belgrade, Yugoslavia
  • Calligraphy Exhibit, Naha, Okinawa (Japan), 1994
  • Sculptures, “Eldron”, “Passion” and “Repose” displayed at Juliet Gallery, 2005, Atlanta, GA
  • Sculptures, “Passion” displayed at Hudgens Center for the Arts, 2007, Duluth, GA