About the Author

Matthew Apsokardu

Matthew Apsokardu

Zengu.com Subject Matter Expert

Matt is Karate Depot's resident martial artist and has been studying karate and kobudo for much longer than he's known how to drive.

Matt's core experience comes from Okinawa Kenpo Karate Kobudo of the Nakamura/Odo lineage, his direct instructor being C. Bruce Heilman. Matt has been studying for 14 years and has acquired the rank of 4th Dan, although he doesn't think that makes him tough. No duel challenges necessary.

In addition Matt pursues the study of Japanese Budo by way of Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu swordsmanship. He is also an affiliate member of Bill Hayes's Okinawa Shorin Ryu Karatedo Kenkyu Kai. Matt is both a student and teacher every week at his instructor's dojo.

Instructors and Main Influences

  • C. Bruce Heilman (9th Dan Okinawa Kenpo Karate Kobudo)
  • Ann Marie Heilman (8th Dan Okinawa Kenpo Karate Kobudo)
  • Rick Zondlo (7th Dan Okinawa Kenpo Karate Kobudo, Shodan Kendo, Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu)
  • Bill Hayes (7th Dan Shobayashi Shorin Ryu)

Works and Accomplishments

Matt has combined his love for martial arts with his experience in writing and online brand building to concoct a strange witch's brew of accomplishments:

  • Creator of Ikigai Martial Arts Blog
  • Author of three ebooks, Student's Guide to Surviving a Traditional Dojo, Shigeru Nakamura: Okinawa Kenpo's Founder, and Best of Ikigai
  • Published articles in a variety of formats, including Jissen Martial Arts Magazine, Woven With Words Historical Anthology, and Blur Creative Nonfiction Anthology
  • Appeared in Enter the Dragon as an extra and stuntman. Ohh wait, no. That was Jackie Chan
  • Engaged in tournament activity for awhile and now has his fill of shiny dust collectors
  • Assistant and lead instructor for self defense seminars at multiple locations, including for state park rangers and University programs


If you need to get in contact with Matt, drop an email at matt@karatedepot.com. Understand that hate mail will dishonor him forever and he will have to retreat into the mountains with the Tengu. "Ju" is appreciated in all correspondences.

Matthew Apsokardus Videos & Articles
Karate Uniforms
Taekwondo Uniforms
Judo Gis
Demo Uniforms
Martial Arts Uniforms
Jiu Jitsu Uniforms
Aikido Uniforms
Rank Belts
Mouth Guards
Martial Arts Chest Guard
Hand Protection
Foot Gear
Head Gear
Boxing Headgear
MMA Headgear
Bo Staffs
Tang Soo Do Uniforms
Kung Fu Uniforms
Ninja Uniforms
Tai Chi Uniforms
Hapkido Uniforms
A Kama Grip Tip
Shin Guards
MMA Shin Guards