Master Thorner began his Martial Arts training when he was six years old, training in Judo with his younger brother and father at the Naha Judo Dojo in Okinawa, Japan. Then at the Naha Airbase Gym. His study of Karate began at the age of 11, under the direction of 10th Dan Grand Master Shuguro Nakazato in Makiminato, Okinawa. Before leaving Okinawa, Shodai Thorner earned the ranks of Sho Dan (1st Degree Black Belt) in both Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobujutsu (weaponry) under Shuguro Nakazato Sensei; and Sho Dan rankings in both Judo and Aikido from Sgt. Jesus Varella.
Shodai Thorner came to America in 1967, and in 1969, began training under Soke Glenn R. Premru (Head of the Okinawan Karate Federation and successor to Hohan Soken Sensei, the Grand Master of Matsumura Seito Shorin-Ryu), earning the rank of Ku Dan (9th Degree Black Belt) from Soke Premru. Also during this time, Shodai Thorner began training in Pai-Lum Kung-Fu under the direction of Grand Master Daniel K. Pai, and was accepted as one of Lung Pai’s original ten disciples. He is known as Cow Po Pai. Master Thorner is also an original member of the Master’s World of Karate & Kung-Fu World Tour, which was produced by Soke Premru & featured Master Pai and Master Ted Vollrath.
In addition to his Gyaku-Nami-Do and Shorin-Ryu Karate ranks, Shodai Thorner currently holds the ranks of 6th Dan Black Belt in Judo, 6th Duan Instructor in Pai-Lum Kung-Fu, 6th Duan Instructor in Southern Chinese Kempo, 4th Dan Black Belt in Okinawan Kobudo, 2nd Dan Black Belt in Goshin Jujutsu and 2nd Dan Black Belt in Aikido.
Master Thorner has authored and illustrated a book, The Basic Principles of Judo & Karate… He was featured in the documentary film, Let Me Live in Your World with Master Ted Vollrath, and appeared again, opposite Master Vollrath in the motion picture Mr. No Legs (aka, Killers Die Hard ). Master Thorner has been responsible for providing security for many high-profile celebrities and touring bands, such as Van Halen, The Rolling Stones, and Rod Stewart…
Now living in Lakeland, Florida, Shodai Thorner is the Grand
Master of Gyaku-Nami-Do Karate, six-time W.Va. AAU Judo State Champion,
Tri-state Judo Champion (Ohio, Pa and WV), a two-time National Judo Champion
and is the Chairman of the Board for the Association of the Schools of the
Martial Arts (ASMA). Shodai Thorner also help create KICK/usa, an organization devoted to Youth in Martial
Arts competition, and has always served as the Head Arbitrator for the KICK
Nationals, held every year for over 10 years at Disney’s Wild World of Sports. He is no longer active with that orgainization.
He is no longer active with that orgainization.
Shodai loves the Arts but does not make a living from it. He is a College Graduate with a Computer Science Degree. He is and now working as a Senior Computer Analyst/ Programmer. He is re-married to a beautiful lady, Jan and she working on her Black belt in Karate. He has three Children. The two daughters, Cherish and Shana have both achieved their Black Belt in Karate. And his son, TK achieved his 2nd Dan in Judo and 6th Dan in Karate.