Shukokai literally means; way for all, or those who train together.


Shukokai was founded by Tani Chojiro in 1949 (left). Sensei Tani started his formal karate training  under Miyagi Chojun (founder of Goju ryu karate) whilst a student at Doshisha University, Kyoto.  After some years Miyagi Sensei returned to Okinawa. Sensei Kenwa Mabuni - a friend of Miyagi Sensei and the founder of Shitoryu - took over his teaching. While still receiving instruction from Sensei Mabuni, Sensei Tani was teaching Kaicho Kawata Shigemasa who is now the international chief Instructor of Shukokai.



Originally, Mabuni Sensei only taught the Naha-te system out of respect for his friend but eventually changed and began teaching the Shito system for which he became famous.  On graduation from the university, Sensei Tani followed Mabuni to learn first the Shuri-te system before ultimately learning the developing Shitoryu system. After many years of training under Sensei Mabuni as one of his most senior students, Sensei Tani received the certificate of succession, entitling him to use the name Tani-ha Shitoryu (the Tani sect of Shitoryu).  In 1949 Sensei Tani, whilst still a high school teacher, founded his own style, Shukokai. Outside of Japan, Shokokai was initially taught by three of Sensei Taniís instructors; Kimura, Nanbu and Suzuki.


Below:  Sensei Chojiro Tani


Almost 60 years later, the Honbu dojo in Japan is lead by the Shukokai international chief instructor, Kaicho Kawata Shigemasa (below), 9th Dan Hanshi. As Sensei Tani's most senior student, Sensei Kawata continues to perfect the infallible foundations that have successfully established world wide recognition and respect for Shokokai, and the traditions that it encompasses.



 Sensei Kaicho Kawata Shigemasa; 

"Tani Sensei taught me how karate can allow humans to

develop and improve their lives, to teach them to be good

citizens and lead a positive life."



Samurai Queensland Karate Students and Instructors with  Sensei Kaicho Kawata Shigemasa


Japan 2004 SWKA Groundbreaking - Andrew Kowanjko

On August 27th 2004 an important exchange of friendship in the world of Shukokai karate took place in Japan between Samurai Karate International headed by Shihan Paul Mitchell of Australia and Seikukai lead by Kawata Shigemasa, 9th Dan Kaicho, based in Kobe, Japan.

Shukokai World Karate Association - Japan 2004


After 18 months of planning these two karate organizations from east and west have come together to form a new worldwide karate group with strength and a focused desire to practice and nurture traditional Shukokai.

Shukokai Karate was formed in 1949 by the late Master Chojiro Tani who passed away in 1998. After Tani's death a void was created within the Shukokai world which has taken some time to be addressed.

This has now seen the emergence of the SWKA (Shukokai World Karate Association). The decision to form the SWKA has come from a desire for the mentioned void to be filled by attracting strong Shukokai practitioners to continue the traditions and dreams of Sensei Tani.

When Sensei Tani passed away Kawata Sensei made the decision to retire which left Seikukai's future uncertain. At this time Samurai Karate International had joined with the Shukokai World Union headed by Sensei Yamada, In 2002 Sensei Paul Mitchell asked Kawata Sensei if he would come out of retirement to teach Shukokai Karate 'Do to Samurai Karate International. Sensei Kawata gracefully accepted and so the SWKA was born.

In 2004 this new Shukokai organization has been made official with over 50 instructors and students from Samurai International (Australia, Britain, Germany and New Zealand) visiting Kobe, Japan to train with Kawata Kaicho and attend official ceremonies. It was an event of goodwill with a tournament included between all countries present and most importantly the ground breaking ceremony for the new SWKA Honbu dojo.

On Sunday August 29th 2004 at 10am in Kobe, Japan a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the site of the SWKA's new world Honbu dojo took place. It was attended by over 50 Shukokai practitioners including Kawata Kaicho, Shihan Paul Mitchell and Shihan Katsuhiro Doi and his family. The ceremony was performed in the Shinto tradition, by a local Shinto priest. It was an awesome cultural experience, and conducted with Great Spirit and friendship. It represents a positive and vibrant future for the inception of our new karate organization, the Shukokai World Karate Association. In the following 18 months the new dojo was built on what can only be described as solid ground , I am proud to have been able to witness the birth of a karate organization and its new home and look forward to many training trips to the honbu dojo in future years , especially with fond memories of personally being a part of its very beginning.


A big thank you to Sensei Kawata, Sensei Paul Mitchell, Sensei Doi, Sensei Kohji Doi and all those that help make this visit to Japan so warm and friendly.


(see original article)

Andrew Kowanjko
Chief Instructor Samurai Karate NZ