Kyoshi Jesus “Tito” Cendan
Kyoshi Jesus Cendan began his Martial Arts training in 1976 under the teachings of Sensei Claudio Gonzalez in Union City, New Jersey; at the time he was 13 years old. Sensei Claudio Gonzalez was teaching Goju Ryu Karate-Do. Once there, Kyoshi Cendan (who prefers to be called Sensei) remained in the school until he was tested and awarded his green belt. Sensei Cendan’s family had to move away to initiate a new job related venture and he was forced to pause his Karate training for a short while. Some eighteen (18) months later Sensei Cendan met a young man who was taking some Karate lessons with an instructor by the name of Kevin Norlander. Sensei Cendan asked the young man if he could take classes with his instructor, to which his new acquaintance replied that he would have to check “because his instructor did not teach everyone” and “any new student would have to be brought by a black belt to join in the classes”. “Lucky for me” Sensei Cendan said, “the young man was one of that Sensei’s black belts”. Sensei Cendan was later told that he was allowed to join this karate group.
According to Sensei Cendan’s own words: “I was also happy to know that this Sensei was also a Goju Ryu style practitioner, I could not believe how lucky I was”. Short after beginning training in Goju Ryu Karate-Do, Sensei Cendan discovered that Sensei Norlander was a direct student of Hanshi Peter Urban the founder of USAGA, and considered by many as the father of American Goju, a student and friend of Hanshi Gogen “The Cat” Yamaguchi, who was in turn a student and friend of Goju Ryu Karate-Do Founder O’Sensei Chojun Miyagi. At the time Sensei Norlander was living with Grand Master Urban. Upon interview with Sensei Jesus Cendan he referred to those days: “What a great time this was! Being able to spend time with such great Martial Artists, like Hanshi Peter Urban, and my Sensei Kevin Norlander”.
Although Sensei Cendan was a student of Sensei Norlander he had extensive opportunity to train under the direct supervision of Hanshi Peter Urban. According to Sensei Cendan the best thing about training with his Sensei was that he did not charge any money to teach him, but according to Sensei Cendan’s words: “Wow, I thought this was great but oh boy! you had to do lots of things for the Sensei, start with all his chores around his home, that meant doing everything, cleaning the house, going shopping, washing his car, cleaning his clothing and any job he had at home, you had to do it!” “At times I thought to myself, it would have been easier to pay money than to do all these chores”, “As years passed I learned the true meanings and intentions that Sensei had for me…” “I did this for many years and through it my Sensei and I developed the best teacher/student relationship that you can possibly imagine, he became my best friend and was always there when I needed him...”
In 1984 Sensei Cendan moved to Miami, by that time Sensei Cendan had already achieved the rank of Sandan (3rd Degree Black Belt) from his Sensei, friend and mentor, Kevin Norlander. Upon leaving to Miami, Sensei Norlander advised Sensei Cendan to find his old Dojo brother Hanshi Manuel “Manny” Savedra. Sensei Cendan had met Hanshi Manuel Saavedra many years earlier, and he was taking into Hanshi’s organization like one of the family. Under the tutelage and guidance of Hanshi Manuel Saavedra, Sensei Jesus Cendan obtained the rank of Shihan (6th degree black belt), it was during this time that Sensei Cendan met Hanshi Carlos H. Montalvo at the famous “Calle Ocho Dojo” (Miami’s 8th street Training Hall). Sensei Jesus Cendan remained under the tutelage of his teacher and friend Hanshi Manuel Saavedra’s until Hanshi's departure to New York in 1999.
After Hanshi Saavedra’s departure, Sensei Cendan remained by Hanshi Carlos H. Montalvo’s side assisting him in the organization of the institution created by Hanshi Saavedra. After a series of events, Hanshi Carlos Montalvo decided to start a Goju Ryu based system that would re-discover the ancient values secreted in the ancient tradition that embodies Goju. This new system was based on the concept of rescuing the old tradition of training and incorporating the close quarter combat techniques encompassed in Goju combining Hanshi Montalvo’s real street survival experience as a Federal Agent, and his World Class competitor skills, to form a style that is strong in combat, with real applications for Self-defense and graceful and effective for competition. All this was possible in part with the direct support and great ideas, provided by the sea of knowledge and courage of Sensei Jesus Cendan. Between Hanshi Carlos H. Montalvo, Sensei Jesus Cendan and with the wisdom, support and guidance of Renshi Joseph E. Benitez, the three Goju practitioners and friends gave birth in the year of the Dragon (2000) to the concept that later came to be known as Rônin Goju Ryu Kai World Karate Organization and the Rônin Brotherhood, LLC.
On 2008, Sensei Cendan was promoted to the 7th Dan (Nanadan) by Hanshi Montalvo.
Sensei Cendan, currently works in the security industry in South Florida, where he continues his search for Martial Arts knowledge, and lives without a doubt as a true Ronin warrior...