David Akutagawa

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David Akutagawa (1937–2008) was a martial artist active during the late 20th century. He held 8th Dan in Shitō-ryū was 6th dan, shihan, and renshi in Chitō-ryū; his karate history spanned a half-century. Akutagawa first came to Canada after receiving a degree in Economic Science from Kohnan University in Kobe, Japan. His karate background at that time was in Shitō-ryū and Shōtōkan-ryū styles. In 1967, he began teaching karate at the RCMP Self Defense Depot in Penhold, Alberta and at the RCMP Academy in Regina, Saskatchewan. He taught the RCMP Instructors there for over a decade.

In order to further his karate career, Akutagawa traveled to Toronto to meet and train under Masami Tsuruoka, the “Father of Canadian Karate”, as well as the head instructor of Chitō-ryū in Canada. In 1966, Tsuroka introduced Akutagawa to Tsuyoshi Chitose, founder and supreme instructor of Chitō-ryū. Thus began Akutagawa's training in Chitō-ryū, until Chitose's death in July 1984. Akutagawa resigned from the International Chito-kai in December 1996 and founded the Renshikan (連士舘) Karate Association in January 1997. On June 1, 2006, Sōke Kenei Mabuni of Shitō-ryū Karate-dō promoted Akutagawa to 8th Dan and Shihan. Akutagawa also enjoyed studying Okinawan Kobudō, iaidō and jūjutsu with various experts.

On Wednesday, October 8, 2008, Akutagawa suffered a massive heart attack and died at the Vancouver General Hospital.

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