ORIGINS OF SHITO RYU STYLE
The name Shito Ryu is in honour of the Masters who most influenced its founder.
It’s originated by the union of the ideograms “Shi” pronounced ito from ITOSU Yasutsune (1832-1916) and “To” pronounced higa from HIGAONNA Kanryo (1845-1916). It’s founder was master Mabuni Kenwa, who was born 14th of November 1889 in the city of Shuri at the island of Okinawa, located south of Japan, being direct descendent to the famous samurai Onigusuki, at his 17th generation.
Since early age started the practice of tode (Karate Jutsu) doing it firstly with the master of the Shuri region, Itosu, in the year 1903. Later on the son with Master Higaonna, who lived in the region of Naha, in the year of 1908. At the age of 26 both masters granted him the teacher grade. In the year 1922 heads to Kyoto and later on to Osaka (1926) were he fundou the school of half heart (Hanko) name that later they would change to Shito Ryu. In 1934 opens in Osaka his own dojo named Yoshukan.
Master Mabuni Kenwa also studied with other master like: Miyagi Choyun (1988-1953), practice together after the death of master Higaonna. Aragaki Ankichi (1899-1929), besides teaching him bo and nunchaku, taught him the katas “Sochin”, “Unshu” and “Niseichi”. Sakumoto taught him bo-jutsu. Fujita Seiho taught him nin-jutsu. Soeseki taught him kobudo. Tawada taught him sai and bo. Others like Gokenki (Nipaipo) and Ueshiba Morihei, founder of Aikido.
Master Mabuni publicized the books “Seipai No Kenkyu”, “Yoshi-Goshin-Jutsu” and “Kobojuzai-Goshin jutsu Karate kempo” together with numerous articles. He also formalized the katas “Shinsei”, “Myojyo”, “Matsukaze” (wankan) and “Aoyagui” (seiryu).
At his death on the 23rd of May 1952 with the age of 63 years, his son Mabuni Kenei (1918) succeeds him in the directing of the central school of Shito Ryu. The style is a combination of the Shuri-te and Tomari-te techniques, taught to Mabuni Kenwa by masters Itosu, Matsumora, Aragaki, … and of techniques from Naha-te that he learned from master Higaonna and afterwards with master Miyagi, companion and friend.
Among his distinguiched students we can point out:
• Tani Chohiro (Tani Ha Shito Ryu > Sukokai)
• Sakagami Ryusho (Itosukai)
• Kuniba Yukimori (Kuniba Ha > Sei Shin Kai > Shito Ryu Hayashi)
• Iwata Manzo,Shitokai first President of Japan.
• Sakio Ken, current President of Shitokai Japan.
• Tzujikawa Yoshiaki currently Director of Shitokai Japan maximum
• Mabuni Kenei, his son.
•These two last ones were masters SENSEI ISHIMI.
• Mabuni Kenzo, his son.