literally means; way for all, or those who train
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
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
years later, the Honbu dojo in Japan is lead by
the Shukokai international chief instructor,
Kaicho Kawata Shigemasa
(below), 9th Dan Hanshi.
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.
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
Samurai Queensland Karate
Students and Instructors with Sensei Kaicho
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.
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.
Chief Instructor Samurai Karate NZ