Master Tabata is an 8th degree black belt. He is in direct line from the founder of the Shotokan style, Master Gichin Funakoshi. His teacher, Master Isao Obata, was one of Gichin Funakoshi's first students and the first chairman of the Japan Karate Association (JKA).
Master Tabata is a graduate of Waseda University, where he was captain of its prestigious karate club. In 1967, he was sent from Japan to promote karate in North America. He is the founder and head of the North American Karate-do Federation (NAKF) and the New England Collegiate Karate Conference (NECKC). For two decades, he was captain of the US Karate team, representing the US at many international tournaments. In addition, he was technical advisor to the US National Olympic Committee. He has also published books and released teaching movies on various aspects of Shotokan karate.