Sensei Leonardo Gil Beroes
I started practicing Karate around 1967 in the city of Maracay, Venezuela. At that time, there was only one school of Shitoryu style under Sensei Isiyama Kuriyama. After many years, I moved to Europe to study French at Bordeaux University. After a while, I then moved to the UK to study interior design at the Art School of London. I also went to Birmingham University to study Chemistry ending in Nantwich Food Technology, to get more involved in organic Chemistry. All these events happened from 1970 until 1979, when I decided to go back to my country. During those 9 or 10 years, I was very involved in football and some sports other than Karate.
I joined The Shorin Ryu Karate Family in 1980, by invitation from my younger brother. At that time, Sensei Glenn Bechtold was in charge, and Sensei Freddy Torres was his Sampai. In 1982 I received my Brown Belt, and by 1985 I attained the degree of Black Belt (Shodan level) or first dan out of five (we only have 5 dans.) At that time, I was totally convinced that Shorin Ryu Karate was my life and my path. I went back to Europe in 1995 (Amsterdam-Holland) to open a Shorin Ryu Karate Dojo.
Back then, there was nobody teaching our style. Since it was kind of boring to practice by myself on my private-home Dojo, I decided to open my Dojo to the public at the Pijp Sport Centrum, it was 2009. Then, I got in touch with Sensei Freddy Torres (now Fifth Degree Red Belt).
He lived in Italy, so I decided to go visit him every year in April. My plan was to train with him and learn more about advanced katas. In 2013 I received my Second Degree Black Belt (Nidan) in Comiso, Italy, where Sensei Freddy Torres resides. Soon after, by 2014, in my Amsterdam Dojo, I attained with great honor my Third Dan (Sandan) on our first international event as Federation OSRKF, of which I am one of the founders). Then in October of 2020, I received my Fourth Degree Black-Belt.
I presently have the privilege of owning the biggest Dojo in all Occidental Shorin Ryu Federation with more than 87 students and growing.
Nowadays, the Shorin Ryu Karate Amsterdam Dojo possesses a very strong and solid base. I hope we will continue growing and passing the legacy of Masters: Haruka Nakama, Godan Richard Nilsson, Sensei Glenn Bechtold, and Godan Freddy Torres.