Sanshinkai Karate was developed by Jan Wellendorf, a martial arts instructor, author, business manager, tournament competitor and 10th Degree Black Belt. He began his martial arts study in 1963. He studied Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Okinawan Karate. He is the retired president of the Karate International organization.
Out of his training grew Sanshinkai Karate. Sanshinkai means the "three power society," the three powers of mind, body and spirit. Sanshinkai is an art that teaches a student balance of self. One should strive to develop the body so that it can do the bidding of the mind. One should develop the mind to see what is correct and needed. One should develop the spirit so that it may move the other two forces into action.
The heart of Sanshinkai is the belief that all great techniques contain a balance of mental, physical, and spiritual forces. Each of these forces has three parts, which progress the technique to higher levels of speed, power and timing.
The Sanshinkai student is also introduced to abstract training methods rarely found outside the Orient. These have been carefully Westernized to aid the student in understanding and balancing the three powers for the perfection of his or her technique and for the elevation of his or her own potential.
Mr. Letourneau has continued his teacher's work by using his teachings to build Karate International of Cary. Since the opening of Karate International of Cary in 1998, Mr. Letourneau has worked to bring the teachings of Sanshinkai Karate to the Cary area. He continued Mr. Wellendorf's and Mr. Olevsky's philosophy of "keeping the best" and to "diversify a students martial arts knowledge". These teachings helped Mr. Letourneau to develop his own training by earning Black Belts in Karate, and Jujitsu. This way of training has also led him to pursue training in Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu-Iaijutsu (MJER), Tuite & Kyuoshu Jitsu, and Judo. Many of the Black Belt students at Karate International of Cary, follow this example and cross- train in more than one martial art.