Toshishiro Obata is the founder of Shinkendo. He is well known in Japan as a tameshigiri champion for several years in a row and is an authorized shitoka. He studied aikido under Gozo Shioda in the Yoshinkan Honbu Dojo, and studied the sword arts of Nakamura-ryu, Ioriken Battojutsu, Toyama-ryu, Yagyu Shinkage-ryu, Kashima Shin-ryu, Ryukyu Kobudo, and others. He moved to America in 1980 to start teaching and to develop his own sword art, based on his extensive experience. In 1990, the International Shinkendo Federation was officially established. The federation has grown to 80 branches internationally, and continues to expand. Obata, as the founder of the school, is referred to as Obata Kaiso by his students, and continues to travel across the globe to hold seminars for his students around the world.
Since 1986, Obata has appeared in several Hollywood films.