Silicon Valley














Branch Master Katsuya Hirayama

Seihanshi 7th Dan

Birthdate: March 21, 1956
Birthplace: Tsushima, Japan

Hirayama Sensei's passion for Shorinji Kempo began when he started practicing in high school. In hopes of sharing that passion with others, he moved to the United States in 1984 where he founded the Golden Gate Branch. Upon settling in San Jose, the capitol of Silicon Valley, the branch was appropriately renamed "Silicon Valley Branch." In 1992, the children's class was established and continues to thrive to this day.

The Silicon Valley Branch hosted the first North American Shorinji Kempo Taikai in 2008, where Hirayama Sensei served as the Taikai chair. Kenshi came from all USA, Canada, Korea and Japan to participate. One of his students, Yamagishi-san, was also, the first to open a Shorinji Kempo branch in Korea.

Hirayama Sensei proudly serves as an officer of the World Shorinji Kempo Organization. From April 2011, Hirayama Sensei was appointed the President of the newly formed United States Shorinji Kempo Federation.


Ryuta Saka

Seikenshi 4th Dan

Birthdate: October 11, 1983
Birthplace: Chino in Nagano, Japan

Ryuta immigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1993 with his family from Japan due to the transfer of his father's job. Upon attending the University of California Santa Cruz, he has contributed to a tremendous amount of recruitment of kenshis who regularly attend practice at both the UC campus and the Nichiren Buddhist Temple with the rest of the Silicon Valley Branch members.

He and his brother Yuki Saka who represented the U.S. for their level at the 2001 Shorinji Kempo World Tournament in Paris, became the first "international" pair ever to win first place in the men’s division. As an assistant instructor, Ryuta constantly challenges fellow kenshi to do difficult exercises when in charge of leading warm-up exercises.