In 1976 Fujino Sensei initially was interested in the study of Aikido, however, living in Edmonton there were no dojos available at this period of time. Instead, he found Goju Karate, a style which emphasized a combination of hard & soft techniques. Fujino Sensei was one of six students to participate at the first Yamaguchi Goju-Kai Dojo established in Canada. He also participated in the first black belt examination and, along with 3 other senior students where he obtained the rank of Shodan. This represented the first Yamaguchi Goju-Kai black belts to be awarded in Canada and recognized by I.K.G.A. (International Karatedo Gojukai Association) in Japan. Fujino Sensei received his current rank of Godan at an international senior black belt examination during the 2001 World Goju-Kai Championships in Perth, Australia. He was later awarded Shihan – Renshi status at the 2003 I.K.G.A. Canada Annual Training Camp/International Seminar.
Fujino Sensei’s initial instruction came from the Yamashita brothers, who were trained at the I.K.G.A. Hombu Dojo in Tokyo, Japan. The older brother, Yoshi Yamashita Sensei, was fortunate to be a part of the legendary Karate College established by Master Gogen Yamaguchi in Tokyo Japan, where he participated in a 3-year intensive training program that resulted in the awarding of an I.K.G.A. recognized Sensei status of Sandan. Both Yamashita brothers have now retired from Karate but the legacy that they have left with Fujino Sensei and Yamaguchi Goju-Kai in Canada is immeasurable. The contrasting teaching styles of the brothers reflect what the style of Goju-Kai Karate-do represents and Fujino Sensei is fortunate to have been exposed to their knowledge.
Fujino Sensei had travelled many times to Japan to train with Saiko Shihan Goshi Yamaguchi, Head of Gojukai, and a majority of Fujino Sensei’s teachings are based on the lessons learned from the legendary son of Master Gogen Yamaguchi.