History of Shukokai Karate
- Written by John Wiseman
- Category: ROOT
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Karate was developed at Shuri the capital of Okinawa mid way between the southern tip of Japan and mainland China. Because of its geographical position Okinawa has had a long history of conflict being ruled at different times by both China and Japan.
Originally the principal "fighting art" was White Crane, a Chinese martial art started by Chi-Niang Fang and developed by the Shaolin monks which spread rapidly through South East Asia.
There are many theories on or about how this spread and developed prior to the mid 19th century however it is around then that "modern" karate was born. Two principal styles of karate developed in Okinawa during this period, Shuri-te or "hard" style karate and Naha-te or "soft" karate.
One of its earliest masters was Yastsune Itosu, amongst his principal students were Gichin Funakoshi who went on to found the Shotokan style and Kenwa Mabuni who founded the Shito-ryu style from which Shukokai is directly descended.
Shukokai came into its own under the direction of Hiroshi Tani and later his student Sensei Kimura who brought the style to the UK in the 1960's. Since then different Shukokai associations have been formed and many have developed their style to be more competition orientated and often put profit making before the free spirit of karate, thus loosing the original Shukokai intentions. The style we practise is to uphold the original and traditional concepts of karate and Shukokai.
The Shukokai style has been developed over the decades by careful study of the body in order to transfer the greatest impact, with the least effort, to the opponent's weakest point. Sensei Tani believed that any attack should be decided with a single technique. "one hit one kill" was his philosophy.
A Sample of what can be expected is shown via Sensei Ashley Harrison 4th Dan on the video link on the home page.