rightfist The History of Shukokai Karate leftfist
Master Chojiro TANI (1921-1998)
Founder of Shukokai
Chojiro Tani was born in Kobe Japan in 1921, In 1940 at the age of 19 he enered the Doshisha University and joined the karate club there which had been founded by Miyagi Chojun (The founder of Goju Ryu) . After two years of training under Master Miyagi he returned to Okinawa and another master took over the instruction at the club, his name was Kenwa Mabuni (The founder of Shito Ryu). Both Miyagi Chojun and Kenwa Mabuni had been students of Kanryo Higaonna (A Naha Te Master). Upon graduating from University, Sensei Tani began to learn Shuri Te and Shito Ryu from Sensei Mabuni. War came and Sensei Tani went to fight for his country. After the war while working in a tax office Master Tani started to teach karate in an open air car park in the centre of Kobe. Upon receiving his Menko (Teachers Certificate) from Kenwa Mabuni, Sensei Tani began teaching at his own Dojo. He proudly hung a wood carved sign above the entrance which said Shukokai (Way For All). In 1946 Master Tani was presented with the scroll of succession from Master Mabuni which meant he could start up his own sect "Tani-ha Shito-ryu". Sensei Tani sought to perfect his style by studying the mechanics of the human body, he always stressed the importance of etiquette, discipline and mental control and was at pains to constantly promote the improvement of technique. When Sensei Tani retired as Chief Technical Director he appointed Shigeru Kimura as his successor. Master Tani passed away Sunday 11th January 1998
Master Shigeru Kimura (1941 – 1995)
Shigeru Kimura was born in Kobe Japan on March 2, 1941. After having tried judo and kendo, he began karate at the age of 16 with Sensei Chojiro Tani. He won the World All-Styles Championship in 1962 when only 21 years of age and had twice been the All-Japan champion before retiring from active competition. In spite of his success, Sensei doubted the effectiveness of his karate, so he decided to try full contact fighting with other students. The punches were fast enough but much less effective than he had expected. After teaching in South Africa in 1970 at the age of 29 Kimura Sensei moved to the USA.He developed a new type of karate in which he named Kimura Shukokai. He continued to develop the Tani-Shukokai further, something which constantly challenged, irritated, and frustrated but above all brought his students further. With the 'left gear' he revolutionised his entire Shukokai once again. The manner of practicing Shukokai now differed considerably from the Tani style, which is why the term Kimura's Shukokai is used today. In 1991 Kimura's Shukokai was being practiced world-wide by 20,000 students in 14 countries. Even in his later years, Master Kimura remained innovative and open. Karatekas who were closed to developing further were out of place with him, proof of which were the numerous partings of ways. Sensei Kimura - a man of no compromise; his influence is still present in many large organisations of today, even though working together has ceased. Time and again, Sensei took on private students (Uchi Dachi). The first ones had a very difficult time. However, as the Master developed himself further technically, he also became more approachable and had more understanding for his students' mistakes. In 1987 Master Kimura had already begun contemplating the replacement of his Dojo, which was already too small and somewhat run-down. To everyone's delight, he was able to fulfil the dream of having his own new headquarters, this time in Tenafly, NJ. This Dojo was beautiful and professional, with a kitchen, recreation room, large training room and the option
Masters Tani and Kimura (Pictured Together)
Masters Tani and Kimura
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