Shūkōkai (修交会 shūkōkai) is a group of closely related styles of Karate, based on Tani-ha Shitō-ryū, a branch of Shitō-ryū developed by Chōjirō Tani in the late 1940s, and refined by his student Shigeru Kimura.
Chōjirō Tani (谷 長治郎 Tani Chōjirō) was born in 1921, and started his formal karate training under Miyagi Chōjun, who founded the Gojū-ryū style, while a student at the Doshisha University in Kyoto. After a few years, Miyagi Chōjun returned to Okinawa and the founder of Shitō-ryū, Kenwa Mabuni took over the teaching. Upon graduating from university, Tani began learning Shuri-te and then Shitō-ryū from Mabuni as well. After many years of training under Mabuni and becoming one of his most senior students, Tani received the certificate of succession from him and became the head of Shitō-ryū, enabling him to use the name Tani-ha Shitoryu.
Chōjirō Tani began teaching the Karate style Shūkōkai (meaning the way for all) at a dojo in Kobe, Japan in 1946. Shūkōkai was designed around the study of body mechanics, is very fast due to its relatively high stance aiding mobility, and is known for the double hip twist, which maximises the force of its strikes; making it one of the most hard-hitting Karate styles.
Tani's most senior student, Sensei Shigeru Kimura, left Japan in 1965 to teach Shūkōkai in Africa. He developed Shukokai even further, emphasizing its power and strength; and was regarded as an expert on the style. He continued to teach after travelling to Europe, before settling in the United States in 1970 at the age of 29, where he taught at Yonezuka's Cranford dojo for two years; creating the first Shukokai World Tournament in 1981. Sensei Kimura died of a heart attack at the age of 54. Tani died on 11 January 1998.
The white belt (10th Kyu) is assigned to beginning students, who then progress to brown belt (1st Kyu), before reaching black belt (Dan). Certain Shukokai Karate associations do not have a red belt grade, making the white belt a ninth Kyu. In addition, certain associations also require a probationary black belt grade (Shodan-Ho) before progressing to fully fledged dan grading.
|Shūkōkai Karate Belt Order
|Brown (3rd, 2nd and 1st Kyu)
|Purple (4th Kyu)
|Blue (5th Kyu)
|Green (6th Kyu)
|Orange (7th Kyu)
|Yellow (8th Kyu)
|Red (9th Kyu)
|White (10th Kyu)
Shūkōkai has further split into several independent style branches throughout the world over the past few decades:
- Kimura Shukokai International grew out of the Shūkōkai school taught since 1978 in Hackensack, New Jersey, USA and later in Tenafly, New Jersey by Shigeru Kimura, a long time student of Tani. After Kimura's death in 1995, this international organization was formed to promote his style, co-led by his four senior students: Eddie Daniels, head of Shukokai Karate Federation, Bill Bressaw, head of American Shukokai Karate Union, Chris Thomson and Lionel Marinus of South Africa. This branch has also been brought to the forefront by Gavin Armstrong who still maintains a dojo in Tenafly, New Jersey, and Ken Domney who maintains a dojo in Ridgewood, New Jersey.
- Kobe Osaka International, founded in 1967 in Glasgow, Scotland (as Kobe-Osaka Club) by Tommy Morris, a student of Yoshinao Nanbu and Chōjirō Tani.
- Sanshin-kan (糸東流三身館空手道), taught since 1965 in Stockholm, Sweden, by Tamas Weber, a student of Tani, and others like Hayashi, Kuniba. The term "San" (three in Japanese) stands for tradition, spirit and justice. Tamas Weber has established the style based on Tani-ha Shitō-ryū, tracking his knowledge and experience of close combat fighting, acquired as a commander in the French Foreign Legion. He is recognized as one of the Europe's premier close combat experts and he has trained Police and Armed Forces in close combat in USA, Canada, France, Turkey, India and Israel. Sanshin-kan as organization was established in 1969.
- Sankukai, founded in 1971 in Paris, France by Yoshinao Nanbu, a student of Chōjirō Tani. Yoshinao Nanbu abandoned the style to create Nanbudō in 1978, and Sankukai is currently taught by several national organizations throughout the world.
- Kofukan International founded in Brussels, Belgium in 1974 as Shūkōkai World Karate Union Europe but renamed in the early 1980s to distinguish itself from the numerous Shūkōkai organizations. Kofukan was founded by Yasuhiro Suzuki, a student of Tani, and is currently managed by Keiji Tomiyama and Naoki Omi.
- KenYu-Kai Karate founded in 1980 by Terry Pottage in Lancashire and Greater Manchester, England.
- Samurai Karate International founded in 1980 by Paul Mitchell in Australia, who is a student of Masutatsu Ōyama of Kyokushin, Chōjirō Tani and Kimura of Shuko-kai
- Miyake Shuko-Kai International founded by Kunio Miyake, a student of Chōjirō Tani, in 1985 in Westminster, California, currently headquartered in McAllen, Texas.
- Kawata-ha Seikukai Karate founded in Kawanishi, Hyōgo, Japan after the passing of Chōjirō Tani in 1998 by Kawata Shigemasa, his most senior student
- Shito-ryu Shukokai Karate Union founded in 1998 by Haruyoshi Yamada, 9th dan, a student of Chōjirō Tani, in Amagasaki, Hyōgo, Japan, with branches in 13 countries.
- Shūkōkai World Karate Association, a union of Seikukai and Samurai Karate International with headquarters in Kobe, Japan, founded in 2004
- ^ a b "CHOJIRO TANI - TANI-HA SHITO-RYU (SHUKOKAI)". Shuriway. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
- ^ What is Shukokai on www.Shūkōkai.com
- ^ "SHUKOKAI-RYU KARATE-DO ASSOCIATION". Retrieved 10 May 2010.
- ^ "The History of K.S.K.A". KOBUSHI SHUKOKAI KARATE ASSOCIATION. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
- ^ "Master Kimura 10th Dan". Retrieved 10 May 2010.
- ^ Kimura Shukokai International
- ^ Shigeru Kimura on shuriway.co.uk
- ^ About Shigeru Kimura on Shūkōkai.com
- ^ http://www.shukokai.com/SGA.html
- ^ Grandmaster Tamas Weber at Sanshin Kan International Karate website
- ^ History of Kofukan at kofukan.org.uk
- ^ Q&A with Shihan Paul Mitchell, extracts from Impact Magazine (Issues 31 & 33, 1995) and Blitz Magazine (Vol 10 no. 12 & Vol 11 No. 1, 1996).
- ^ Kunio Miyake on miyake-Shūkōkai.com
- ^ Kaicho Kawata Shigemasa, an interview by Brett Sampson and Kohji Doi
- ^ Still Samurai, notes on Sensei Kaicho Kawata Shigemasa, 2004
- ^ Japan 2004 SWKA Groundbreaking