Born in 1927 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Masaru Shintani went on to develop one of the largest karate organizations in North America, spreading his positive teachings for more than five decades to literally thousands of students.
Master Shintani was first exposed to martial arts during World War II, when his family was sent to an internment camp in New Denver, BC. While there, he learned judo, aikido and kendo under his first teacher Akira Kitagawa. He remained devoted to Sensei Kitagawa until his death in 1956. At that time, Master Shintani had attained the level of Rokudan (sixth) in Shorin Ryu Karate.
In 1947, the Shintani family moved to Beamsville, Ontario, to work for a local farmer. In just a few years, he began teaching judo and karate from a shed on the farm. Master Shintani opened his first formal karate club at the Hamilton YMCA. During the mid-1950s, he travelled to Tokyo to compete in, and eventually win, a large All-Japan Karate Federation tournament. It was during that trip that he met Sensei Hironori Otsuka, a teacher who would hugely impact Shintani's life.
Over the following years, he trained in Sensei Otsuka's style: Wado-Ryu. In 1970, Sensei Otsuka asked Shintani to represent the art in Canada. This was an honour that Master Shintani accepted, becoming head of all Wado Karate-do in North America and receiving the title of Supreme Instructor. By 1979, Otsuka awarded Shintani an 8th-degree Black Belt, along with a 9th-degree Black Belt Certificate for the future.
Following a dream, Master Shintani developed Shindo: "the straight or pure way". This fighting system used a three-foot long stick as an extension of the hands. It applies all the principles of Wado Karate, blending the ancient weapon with modern techniques.
Throughout his later life, Master Shintani taught the Shintani Wado Kai Karate system and built up a circuit of Ontario schools, in addition to teaching seminars across the country. He also served as a member of the IKKF Executive Board and was one of the Founding Members of the World Union of Martial Arts Federations. Master Shintani passed on May 7, 2000 in Kapuskasing, Ontario (Hospital).