Robert Bowles is an American Karate teacher and the founder of the International Shuri-Ryu Association. Bowles is a member of the United States Karate Alliance Hall Of Fame. Hanshi Robert Bowles, has studied martial arts for over 35 years. He holds a 10th Degree black belt in Shuri-ryū karate, and is one of the late Robert Trias' eight Chief instructors of the Shuri-ryū system. He is the founder and director of the International Shuri-ryū Association. He began his karate training in Phoenix, Arizona under Grand Master Robert Trias. Karate began as a hobby which ultimately changed the direction of his life. During the 1960s he trained in the honbu dojo which became his primary focus. Local tournaments lead to national competitions and soon Bowles had established himself as one of the top competitors in the country. Grand Master Trias personally awarded him the Trias International Award, which is given to the most spirited competitors in the world. However, karate was still relatively new in most parts of the country. In light of the fact that Grand Master Trias opened the first karate school in the United States (1946) and was a recognized authority in the field of martial arts, a steady stream of requests for information flowed into the honbu dojo. Bowles was sent by Grand Master Trias as an ambassador of Shuri-ryū to teach and promote Shuri-ryū across the country. He was personally appointed by Grand Master Trias as Chief Instructor of the Shuri-ryū system and given the lifelong commission to uphold the standards of the Shuri-ryū karate-do.
In 1972, Bowles was a member of the first United States National Karate Association team to tour Europe. Since then he has represented the United States on seven different world tours visiting the following countries: Okinawa, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Taiwan, England, Germany, Scotland, France, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Italy, Panama, and Venezuela. Bowles was the first person in the history of the United States Karate Alliance (USKA) Grand Nationals to win the Triple Crown: 1st place in Kata, Kumite and Weapons in 1973. With tournament championships spanning over 25 years, he has won the title of USKA World Champion six times.