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Intelligence is multiple and always goes hand in hand with discipline. It is the dedication of study and the applied knowledge demonstration that makes you worthy to share with others.

Ricardo Zapata is a Colombian composer, multi-instrumentalist, music producer and performer of rock, instrumental and world music. Relaxing musical works that inspire atmospheres and dreamy landscapes. Zapata is a singer-songwriter, graphic designer, specialist in educational management, academic with university teaching experience, japanese full license martial arts teacher, interpreter and luthier of Japanese shakuhachi flutes, instrument that features in his musical works. 


Zapata sensei has invested time in his knowledge and studies of careers that make him a versatile expert with many professional competencies in the field of music, design and education that converge and are a fundamental component to apply in his research.

Master Zapata is a pioneer of this instrument in Colombia. scholar researcher, teacher, performer and luthier of Shakuhachi. Creator and founder of the MUMON RYU SUIZEN SHAKUHACHI study method, an effective system to the study of the instrument and the art of blowing meditation. A solid curricular system based on his own experience of how to achieve mastery of this discipline.

Among his research work and contributions as a designer and professional musician to this ancient instrument that change the state of the art of the shakuhachi, the cutting-edge designs of inlaid mouthpieces of high precision references Koumori and Hicho, stand out in the field of lutherie, designs that differ greatly from the historical Japanese schools. These designs allow the interpreter a better and easier blowing and sound experience by having a better command of the tessitura of this aerophone in three complete registers with a very distinguished timbre and tone. (Read more about these designs in this radio interview). 

It also highlights his line of customized flutes that from research as a scholar and designer has offered luthier projects of customized and functional instruments to support students with disabilities caused by spasticity

Zapata sensei is leader of the colombian rock family band "Los Zapata" (recognized within the Top 10 of the best bands of the 2015 XF Factor TV Program). Artist selected by BOmm (Bogota Music Market 2022).

Co-producer and composer of 10 albums and 7 singles (2012-2023). His band and musical work was part of the compilation of artists "Cartagena Alternativa" (2012), a record project supported among others by The Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECI), and in the fifth compilation of Rock music by the Colombo-Chilean platform Sazoot / Rock Axis. Zapata sensei is the Director of the Shinken Dojo martial arts school (Since 1998), where he teaches the arts of Budo (martial arts) and Suizen Shakuhachi (the blowing meditation through the bamboo flute) to his students under their own study method and certificated curriculum.

Master of martial arts titled as Shidoshi, fully licensed master of instruction in the arts of Ninpo Budo Taijutsu from the renowned Japanese Bujinkan organization of Grandmaster Masaaki Hatsumi. Black belt in Karate certified by japanese masters  Soke Kubota Takayuki and Kancho Takemasa Okuyama  from the International Karate Association.

Author of the books The Backbone of Martial Arts (2024),  Blow Your Mind Ride Your Tone, dedicated to the teachings of shakuhachi, The Gateless Gate a contemporary view of the 48 classic Zen koans, Secrets of the Way book of heaven, and Ninja Blade Under Heart published in the United States in two languages in 2008, a publication dedicated to his experience in martial arts, spirituality and his life's philosophy. 

Among other events, master Zapata has performed recitals of Shakuhachi in important national meetings and venues such as the National Museum of Colombia (March 2017 and May 2016, Bogotá DC), Santa Clara Museum (Bogotá, May 2016), Recital for Shakuhachi into the III Latin American Zen Seminar in Bogotá 2016. Led the First Introductory Workshop of Shakuhachi Bogotá 2015, at the Soto Zen Colombia School. Offered a special recital for shakuhachi at the Daishinji Soto Zen Temple, Bogotá 2016, as well as various courses of study in martial arts, meditation and music in Cartagena and nationally through its School The Divine Sword.

In the 90's sensei Zapata shared the stage with renowned international bands and artists such as Mano Negra (Manu Chao, France) and Vilma Palma e Vampiros (Argentina), during concerts on the route of the French show boat Melquiades and in the bullring stage of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia.

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