Kobushi Dojo​

Traditional Japanese Karate

Renshi Joel "Taka" Coffin

Master Instructor

5th Dan Karate

5th Dan Kobudo


Shihan Jay "Aki" Herbst

Master Instructor

5th Dan Karate

5th Dan Kobudo

Shihan Jay "Aki" Herbst has been practicing the art of karate-do for more than 40 years, and is one of Grandmaster Brooks’ longest-training direct students and karate disciples. He began studying under Grandmaster (Soke) and Lady Teruko Kurokawa-Brooks soon after they moved to the United States from Japan, in the early 1970’s.   

Receiving his first black belt at the age of 17, Shihan Aki handled the difficulties of college and professional school through the study of Shito-Ryu. He credits his karate training with providing him with the discipline and focus needed to succeed in school and ultimately become a practicing physician and surgeon. One of his favorite quotes is, “In karate, you don’t just use your arms and legs, you also use your brain.”  He very effectively conveys this philosophy to his karate students.  

Shihan Aki currently holds the rank of Go Dan (5th degree) in Karate, his Go Dan (5th degree) in Okinawan Kobudo, and his San Dan (3rd degree) in Tonfa-jutsu. He is one of the head coaches for the tournament teams and has been certified as a referee by both the AAU and the USA-NKF.   

Soke Timothy M. Brooks

Grand Master

8th Dan Karate

9th Dan Kobudo

Renshi Joel "Taka" Coffin has been practicing the art of Karate-do for over 25 years. He received his black belt in 1993 from Soke Brooks. He currently holds the rank of Go Dan (5th degree) in Karate and Go Dan (5th degree) in Okinawan Kobudo.

Renshi Taka is well-recognized for his precision in kata (forms) and his superior kumite (fighting) skills. High ranking students and advanced practitioners of Shito-Ryu and other karate styles seek him out for private lessons, to gain insight into his techniques and benefit from his effective teaching methods. His skills have led him to win multiple state and national championships. 

Renshi Taka is the head coach of Kobushi Dojo's tournament team and is certified by the AAU as a Technical Coach and as a Referee. He has coached many athletes to state and national titles and because of his dedication and attention to detail, he has helped Team Kobushi become one of the top karate clubs in the nation. 

Soke Timothy M. Brooks accompanied his Christian missionary parents to Japan as a child. During his time there, he studied the arts of Karate and Kobudo under Masters Shogo Kuniba, Ryuso Sakagami and Teruo Hayashi as “monjin” or direct disciple. 

After studying in Japan for many years, Soke Brooks and his family returned to the United States in 1970 to teach Shito Ryu Karate. In 1985, Soke Brooks received the title of Shihan and also holds an upper rank from World Union Karate Organization (W.U.K.O). Soke Brooks served as National Vice Chairman for Hayashi Shito Ryu Kai, USA from 1988-1995 and as a National Referee for USANKF and AAU.

His success in Karate-Do and his mastery of the Japanese language and culture are, in no small part, due to Soke Brooks good fortune in finding a wife of Samurai lineage, Lady Teruko Kurokawa. Soke Brooks has been studying, training and teaching Karate for nearly half a century.