In the years to come, Robert A. Trias found himself fascinated in a study that would lead him on a mission. Karate was quickly becoming a constant passion in his life. While working with the Arizona Highway Patrol, Mr. Trias opened up the first karate dojo in the United States. That dojo was located in Phoenix, Arizona at the Boy's Club, and soon became the 'hot-spot' for what was to become a 'wild-fire' of martial arts spread throughout the North American continent. In the few years to follow, Sensei Trias was teaching the art of Shorei-ryu Karate to his eager students. Many of whom traveled far to be in his classes. In 1948, Sensei Trias founded the United States Karate Association. An organization which was to grow to be the largest and oldest martial arts organizations in the world. He was the man responsible for organizing the first rules for karate competition in 1955 and having conducted the first karate tournament also in 1955. He was the first to wirte and publish a karate textbook in North America in 1958 and made the first instructional film in 1958. In 1963, he held the first World Karate Tournament in Chicago, Illinois and followed by the first Professional Karate Tournament in San Antonio, Texas in 1968.
Along with his dynamic competition team, Robert Trias would travel to Asia and Europe entering in karate tournaments and meeting the masters. In one such trip to Japan, he met with Yasuhiro Konishi and Makoto Gima. Master Konishi was the developer / founder of Shindo jinen-ryu (Godly, natural style). He was known to have spent much time training with Master Choki Motobu, whom he greatly admired for his 'karate genius'. While in the studies of Shorin-ryu, Master Mabuni had also studied Naha-te under Kanryo Higaonna. Naha-te later became known as Goju-ryu. It was Masters Konishi and Motobu's connection to studying briefly under Kenwa Mabuni that gave us a part in the Naha-te lineage. In 1960, Mr. Charles Iverson, a Goju-ryu practioner, was introduced into the Trias dojo. Much of his Goju-ryu became the basis of what we practice today in Goju-Shorei-ryu. Master Trias eventually formalized his karate as Shuri-ryu and on July 16, 1964, Master Yasuhiro Konishi recognized Master Trias as 9th degree black belt, international stylehead of the Shuri-ryu system.
In 1983, Grandmaster Trias was promoted to 10th degree black belt and titled Hanshi by Master Makoto Gima, chief Instructor for Master Gichin Funakoshi. Through the years, Grandmaster Trias recorded the techniques, methods and katas of his Shuri-ryu karate in publications. His literary works are: "The Hand is My Sword", "Karate is My Life", "The Methods of Shuri-ryu", "The Pinnacle of Karate", "Render Yourself Empty" and "The Supreme Way". Much for the world of karate in the world was attributed to this man. Having lived a life of great depth, Grandmaster Trias passed away on July 11, 1989, after a courageous and bitter battle with bone cancer. He is the man that very many of us are proud to have shared the history with and all of us are proud to have the lineage with. May we never forget the man!
GRANDMASTER ROBERT A. TRIAS JUST PRIOR TO HIS PASSING IN JULY 11, 1989
60'S PHOTO OF ROBERT A. TRIAS
O'SENSEI TRIAS INSTRUCTING IN THE 80'S
60'S PHOTO OF TRIAS PERFORMING KATA
O'SENSEI ROBERT A. TRIAS
GRANDMASTER ROBERT A. TRIAS IN OKINAWAN FORMAL ATTIRE
MASTER TRIAS SPEAKING AT USKA BOARD
MASTER TRIAS DEMONSTRATING THE NUNCHAKUN
MASTER TRIAS AS CHIEF REFEREE IN LATE 60'S TOURNAMENT
Born March 18, 1922, Robert A. Trias' life was dedicated to serving the public. In 1942, during the war in the Pacific, he was called upon to serve his country in the United States Navy, where he served in his MO as a welder and repair-tech for the pacific fleet PT / Delco boats. He was stationed in the British Solomon Islands, where he spent most of his service time on the island of Tulagi from Oct. 19, 1944 to Sept. 2, 1945. During his non-duty time, he enjoyed training in western boxing, earning the title of boxing 'champion' in contests that were held in the AdvNavBase. Upon returning to the States after an 'honorable discharge' in late 1945 he joined the civil service, where he served as an active trooper with Arizona Highway Patrol.
MASTER TRIAS WITH MASTERS YASUHIRO KONISHI AND MAKOTA GIMA
FIRST TRIAS DOJO
A YOUNG NAVAL ENLISTEE, ROBERT TRIAS, PHOTO TAKEN ON TULAGI, BRITISH SOLOMON ISLANDS.
MASTER TRIAS AT USKA HEADQUARTERS
ROBERT TRIAS ON DUTY WITH ARIZONA HP
TRIAS DOJO, EARLY 60'S PHOENIX, AZ
Grandmaster Robert A. Trias