Our instructor, Senpai Carlos Vega began training in Kyokushin Karate at the age of 15 under Carlos (Suso) Velez in Puerto Rico until he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in early 1977. Senpai Vega continued his training throughout his early years in the Marine Corps and ultimately was promoted to Shodan (1st dan black belt). He was fortunate that his travels during his over twenty-one years in the Marine Corps gave him the opportunity to train with many Kyokushin practitioners.
The pinnacle of his training came when he was stationed in Hawaii in and met Shihan Bobby Lowe. During his years in Hawaii, Senpai Vega trained under Shihan Bobby Lowe and the Yudanshas of the Hawaii Branch and was an assistant instructor. He was promoted to Nidan (2d dan black belt) in 1988 and was also certified as an international Kyokushin Karate Referee.
Aside from his training and competitive career in Kyokushin, he also competed in professional kickboxing and was a top-rated welterweight fighter in Hawaii. Senpai Vega is proud of his Kyokushin Karate lineage which has served to challenge him not only to learn at a high level, but also to maintain the highest tradition of Kyokushin Karate. Under Shihan Lowe’s training, he was part of the Hawaii team and aside from being an instructor, he participated in many tournaments both in Hawaii and other countries. He was named the most valuable fighter at the first “team tournament” held in Hawaii in 1988, where he was instrumental in securing a first place for the Hawaii Kyokushin Team. He also was a trainer and member of the Hawaii contingency to the 4th Word Open Karate Tournament in Tokyo, Japan in 1987. Over the years Senpai Vega trained with many of Kyokushin’s finest and senior instructors from the United States, Tokyo, Okinawa, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Senpai Vega has taught Kyokushin Karate over the last three decades and looks forward to sharing his knowledge with the new members of the Central Florida Kyokushin Karate.