Georg Iberl was Born: September 7, 1936, Nurenberg, Germany. He began his martial arts training in 1945 at the age of nine while a member of the Youth Division in WWII Germany. Jujitsu and hand-to-hand combat were part of their daily training. In 1950 Iberl began studying savate kickboxing from a French refugee living in Germany and continued until in 1955 he won the Middleweight Division Championship in Nurenberg, Germany.
In 1958 he decided to move to the United States where his brother lived in Millersburg, Pennsylvania. After a short time, Iberl met Mr. Ralph Lindquist. They immediately found they had a common interest in the martial arts and trained in Lindquist’s back yard. Mr. Lindquist introduced Iberl to Harry G. Smith, who owned a karate school in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania where Lindquist was an assistant instructor.
Iberl received his black belt in 1963. In 1964, Iberl competed at Robert Trias’ World Karate Championship in Chicago. This event gathered many prominent martial arts persons not only from across the United States but from around the world and was the first world karate championship.
In 1964 and 1966, Iberl worked with Soke Tatsuo Shimabuku during his visits to the United States.
In 1964, job responsibilities led Iberl to a move to Washington, DC where he met Rick Niemira. They would open and operate two schools together in Washington, DC and later in Annapolis, Maryland. Secret service, FBI, and Washington, DC police officers were among the students at both schools. In 1967, Iberl and Niemira sponsored their first tournament at the Annapolis National Guard Armory. This event attracted nearly 600 competitors.
Iberl competed extensively throughout the eastern part of the US during the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s but most recently in April 1999.
In 1967 Iberl met Angi Uezu on his first trip to the United States as Master Shimabuku’s representative. Iberl and others made a contract with then Sensei Uezu to teach and travel, visiting Master Shimabuku’s US students. He would stay for a period of one year. This initial meeting would be the beginning of a 40-year friendship between Iberl and now Grand Master Uezu. Iberl has traveled to Okinawa twice to train and visit with Grand Master Uezu, in 1996 and 1998.
In 1969, Iberl moved back to Pennsylvania to York, where he opened a school. During the interim years, he has owned, operated and acted as chief instructor for schools in Gettysburg, Hanover, East Berlin and presently in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania. Some of his current students have trained with him for nearly 40 years.
In 1997 Iberl founded the OIKKA Hall of Fame with the permission and support of Grand Master Angi Uezu. The OIKKA Hall of Fame has members from across the United States and internationally from India, Australia, and Okinawa. Past inductees include Grand Master Angi Uezu, Master Tsuyoshi Uechi, Rick Niemira, Ed McGrath, Don Nagle, Ralph Lindquist, Maurice Msarasa, Willie Adams, Lew Lizotte, Marilyn Fierro, Nick Adler, and Ralph Passero. The 2008 annual events are scheduled for October in Carlilse, Pennsylvania.
In 1999, Iberl received the rank of 9th dan from Grand Master Uezu and the OIKKA. Sensei Iberl continues to teach four days a week in his Dillsburg School. His martial arts career has spanned some 60 years – from a young boy trying to survive war torn Germany to a respected and established teacher. October 2008 will mark 50 years of training in the style Iberl calls "The Cadillac of Karate." Isshinryu has been not only a way, but his life.