A Brief History: Master Felix Puga

Master Felix Puga began his career in the martial arts as a boxer at the age of seven, training for several years with a professional trainer in Cuba. At age eleven, Master Puga was introduced to Jiu Jitsu. At thirteen, he began practicing Judo, attaining 3 rd Dan, under trainer, Master Roberto Sanchez (International Judo Champion). Subsequently, Master Puga intensely studied Judo for 10 years. Upon entering college in Cuba to study electrical engineering, he began to train with the Cuban National Judo Team, which was under the guidance of renowned, International Korean Grand Master Han Shan Gee. During this time, Master Puga was awarded top honors during several competitions.

In 1967, while still in college, Mr. Puga began training in Karate. His competitive debut was in 1973, at the first full contact karate team competition, held at the University of Havana, Cuba, during which he was bestowed the title of Team Captain and competitively awarded first place. Between 1973 and 1978, Master Puga was awarded honors and medals at numerous tournaments.

Representing the first Cuban Team ever to compete in karate internationally, Master Puga participated in and won the Shotokan International Competition held in Mexico City, Mexico in 1978; an event which was organized by the famous Grand Master Teriyuke Okazaki. Mr. Puga obtained 1 st Place in Team Kata, Team Kumite, Individual Kata and Individual Kumite at said tournament. Soon after, Master Puga retired from competition and dedicated himself to teaching karate. Many of his students have gone on to become national and international champions, in Cuba and the USA.

Master Puga was forced to flee Cuba due to disagreement with the political system of the country, thus relocating to Panama City, Panama where he founded a Joshinmon karate school. One year later, he moved to Miami, Florida. Upon establishing himself in Miami, Master Puga organized the Joshinmon style of karate in the Miami area and vicinity.

To set an example for his students, after having been retired from competition for 20 years, he competed and won Gold medals in both Kata and Kumite at the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), 1998 Regional and National Championships.

In Miami, Florida in 1995, following both a physically and mentally strenuous demonstration on his karate test, Grand Master Hoshu Ikeda awarded Mr. Puga 5th Dan in karate. During the World Championship held in Tokyo, Japan in 1999 Master Puga was awarded 6 th Dan Ho and in 2002, Master Puga received his 6 th Dan Kyoshi (worldwide there exist only nine individuals at this level of karate proficiency within the Joshinmon Style), during the Jikiden-kai International Seminar held in Okinawa, Japan.

Master Puga’s devotion to karate is evident in his constant and self-funded worldwide travels, during which he participates in international seminars, learning from his teacher Grand Master Hoshu Ikeda, as well as sharing his own personal knowledge with other Joshinmon international members. Traveled countries include Canada, Columbia, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Panama, Nicaragua, Angola (Africa), Spain, Russia, Okinawa and Japan to name just a few.

Master Puga was the first and is currently the only none Japanese graduate in Seitai-do technique ( Tokyo, Japan 2004). Master Puga “Considers himself a perpetual Martial Arts Student.” His philosophy, “If you consider yourself a student, you will never stop the learning process.”

Currently, Kyoshi Felix Puga is President of the All America Karate-Do Joshinmon Shorin Ryu Federation with guidance over multiple dojos ( Martial Arts Center) in the USA. The All America Karate-do Joshinmon Federation is the only organization recognized by Japan representing all the USA territory, having The Hombu Dojo (Head Quarters) where Kyoshi Puga teaches.