The Shito Ryu school of karate was founded by Mabuni Sensei. Mabuni Sensei had trained under two of the greatest masters of Okinawan karate: Ankoh ITOSU (Shuri Te) and Kanryo HIGAONNA (Naha Te).
Out of respect for both his senseis, Mabuni Sensei took characters from their names to form the name for his unique school of karate, Shito Ryu.
In developing Shito Ryu, Mabuni Sensei incorporated both the Naha Te and the Shuri Te systems together with katas from the Chinese White Crane system (known as Wu Xianhui) that he had learnt from the legendary Go Ken KI, a Chinese tea merchant who lived in Okinawa at the time.
In 1929 Mabuni Sensei left Okinawa for mainland Japan and settled in Osaka.
Founder of Shukokai (1921 – 1998)
The Shukokaischool of karate was founded by Tani Sensei. He began his study of karate at junior high school practicing Goju Ryu and continued his training at the Doshisha University in Kyoto where he studied under Chojun MIYAGI, the great karate Master (who was the founder of Goju Ryu and who had trained under Higaonna Sensei). Later when Sensei Miyagi returned to Okinawa, Tani Sensei trained under Kenwa Mabuni.
After the Second World War Tani Sensei started to teach Karate in an open air car park in the centre of Kobe. His group (Shukokai) soon grew and one year later he built his own Dojo attached to his house.
In 1946 Tani Sensei was presented with the scroll of succession from Mabuni Sensei and was given permission to start up his own school, Tani-Ha Shito-Ryu.
Master Tani passed away on Sunday 11th January 1998.
President Shito-Ryu Shukokai Union (10th Dan)
Born 1938 in Akita prefecture, Master Yamada began his martial arts study in Judo before becoming involved in Karate. In 1956 he became a disciple of Master Tani and was one of Master Tani‘s top ranking pupils.
Master Yamada inherited the Presidency upon the passing away of Master Tani, and is also the Chief Executive of Gishinkan, a Shukokai drill hall based in Amagasaki City, with approximately 10.000 followers nation-wide; mainly in the Kyoto/Kobe/Osaka districts. Master Yamada used to run a renowned bone settling clinic. Master Yamada regrettably passed away on Sunday, 7th of January 2018, in the age of 79. He has left a great legacy behind and will always be remembered for his kindness, his great character and teachings.
Further activities: 8th Dan Hanshi Japan Karate-Do Federation Supreme Judge Japan Karate-Do Federation President All Japan Workers Karate-Do Federation Game Director, Japan Society for Physical Culture Japanese Olympic Committee representative for Inagawa
Vice President (9th Dan)
Born 1950 in Saga prefecture, Kamohara sensei began training in Karate in his early days at Osaka University of Economics. In his fourth year at the college he was made Osaka University Shukokai Kumite Team Captain. The team comprised some very famous Shukokai stylists including Yoshinao Nanbu and Ryozo Tsukada. Team leader was Tani Chojiro sensei and team coach was Kusano Kenji sensei.
In the early 1970s, Kamohara sensei travelled to England as a member of the Japanese team for Karate competition against Sweden (Shukokai team) England (National team of all styles) and France (Shukokai team). Shortly afterwards Kamohara sensei returned to Europe, and was based at the European Shukokai Headquarters in Brussels. He later moved to France further promoting Shukokai and was based in Chartres.
In 2017, after 44 years in France, and after the passing of Yamada sensei, Kamohara sensei moved back to Japan. At the same time, our union’s headquarters moved to Nagasaki city, where Kamohara sensei currently resides.