Don Bohan was born in NYC, Greenwich Village, on May 23, 1936. He enlisted in the US Marine Corps in 1953, and spent 21 years in the service of his country. He saw action in Korea and Viet Nam.
He began Isshin-Ryu training in 1958 with Sensei Don Nagle at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina while both were stationed with the United States Marine Corps. In 1959 Sensei Bohan was sent to Okinawa where he began training in Isshin-Ryu under Master Tatsuo Shimabuku. Sensei Bohan visited Master Shimabuku's dojo as often as possible while in the Far East with the Marines until Master Shimabuku's death in 1975. He opened dojos across the country, including North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, and Florida.
Some of his accomplishments as a competitor were as follows: Winner All Marine Grand Championships two years consecutively for Black Belt kumite. Winner All Service Championships. Winner North Carolina Grand Championships for kata, weapons, and kumite.Sensei Bohan was recognized for his lifetime of dedication to the Martial Arts by the following Organizations: Awarded the Official Karate "Karate-Ka of the Month". Awarded the "AOKA Spirit of Isshin-Ryu" award. Elected an honorary member of the Isshin-Ryu Brotherhood (IB). He was also featured five times in "Official Karate" magazine, and wrote several articles for that publication.
Sensei Bohan was promoted through the rank of 7th Dan by Master Tatsuo Shimabuku. He was awarded his 8th and 9th Dan by the American-Okinawan Karate Association (AOKA), which he has been a member of since 1970. He was also a member of the United Isshin-Ryu Karate Association (UIKA) and the United States Karate Association (USKA). He held black belts in Isshin-Ryu and Bando, and trained with world renowned martial arts masters including Eizo Shimabukuro and Dr. Maung Gyi.
Sensei Bohan passed away on February 9, 1998 after a losing his battle with cancer.