Bobby Lowe (karateka)

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Bobby Lowe
B. Lowe, 1985
BornAugust 23, 1929
Hawaii, USA
DiedSeptember 14, 2011(2011-09-14) (aged 82)
Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
StyleKyokushin Karate
Teacher(s)Masutatsu Oyama
Rank10th dan karate

Edward 'Bobby' Lowe (August 23, 1929 – September 14, 2011) was a prominent Chinese American master of Kyokushin karate.[1][2][3] He was the first uchi deshi (live-in student) of Masutatsu Oyama, founder of Kyokushin karate, and established the first Kyokushin school outside Japan.[1][2][3][4] Lowe held the title of shihan and was the Senior Instructor and an International Committee Chairman of the International Karate Organization founded by Oyama.[1]

Early life[edit]

Lowe was born on August 23, 1929.[2] His father was a teacher of sil lum pai kung fu, and taught this art to his son. The young Lowe also studied judo and jujutsu under Seishiro Okazaki before studying kempo karate under James Mitose.[2][5] At 23 years of age, he was ranked 4th dan in judo, 2nd dan in Kosho-ryu kempo, and 1st dan in Yoshinkai aikido.[1]

Kyokushin karate[edit]

Lowe first met Oyama at a demonstration the latter gave in 1952 in Hawaii.[4] From late 1952 to early 1954, Lowe trained daily under Oyama.[1] Oyama promoted him to the rank of 1st dan in 1953.[1] In 1957 in Hawaii, Lowe opened the first Kyokushin dojo (training hall) outside Japan.[1][2][3][4][6][7] Oyama promoted him to 4th dan in or before 1957, 5th dan in 1965, 7th dan in December 1976, and 8th dan in October 1984.[1]

Lowe wrote three books on his martial art:[2][8]

  • Mas Oyama's karate as practiced in Japan (1954)
  • The 'Young Lions' of Mas Oyama's Kyokushin karate headquarters (1985)
  • Kyokushin karate: Self-defense techniques (1999)

Later life[edit]

On September 17, 2005, Lowe was recognized for his contributions to karate by the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, at the Celebration of Lifetime Achievement dinner for 2005.[2][9] Lowe was ranked 8th dan,[1][8] and was the International Committee Chairman for North America and the South Pacific in the International Karate Organization led by Shokei Matsui.[10]

On September 14, 2011, Lowe died peacefully in hospital in Honolulu.[11][12] He was survived by his wife, daughter, and son.[13] Lowe was posthumously awarded 10th dan ranking by Matsui on November 6, 2011, during a memorial service at the 10th World Tournament.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Canadian Kyokushinkai-kan Karate Organization: Board of Directors Archived 2010-02-27 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 22 December 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Hawaii Karate Seinenkai salutes Bobby Lowe Retrieved on 22 December 2009.
  3. ^ a b c Calgary Kyokushin Karate: About Kyokushin Karate Archived 2010-08-23 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 1 February 2010.
  4. ^ a b c Sosai Masutatsu Oyama: Sosai's history Archived 2011-07-14 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 22 December 2009.
  5. ^ Tracy, W. (1997/1999): The origin of Kenpo Karate Retrieved on 12 January 2010.
  6. ^ Yussof, S. (2005): Sosai Mas Oyama 1923–1994 Retrieved on 1 February 2010.
  7. ^ du Prée Kyokushin: The history of Kyokushin Archived 2010-04-11 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 1 February 2010.
  8. ^ a b Kyokushin Karate Self-Defense Techniques Retrieved on 22 December 2009.
  9. ^ Lee, V. (2005): A collector offers a public display of his artifacts documenting the martial art's (sic) history in Hawaii before World War II Honolulu Star–Bulletin (June 24, 2005). Retrieved on 23 December 2009.
  10. ^ IKO Kyokushinkaikan: Kancho & Committee Members Retrieved on 21 December 2009.
  11. ^ Goodin, C. S. (2011): Passing of Shihan Bobby Lowe – September 14, 2011 Archived April 2, 2012, at the Wayback Machine (September 15, 2011). Retrieved on September 16, 2011.
  12. ^ Wiklund, R. (2011): R.I.P. Shihan Bobby Lowe[permanent dead link] (September 15, 2011). Retrieved on September 16, 2011.
  13. ^ Australian Kyokushin Karate Association: Events and News (September 14, 2011). Retrieved on November 24, 2011.