Mabuni Kenei

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Mabuni Kenei
Born (1918-02-13) February 13, 1918 (age 97)
Shuri, Okinawa
Residence Osaka, Japan
Style Shitō-ryū
Teacher(s) Mabuni Kenwa, Konishi Yasuhiro
Rank 2nd Sōke, Official head of Shitō-ryū

Mabuni Kenei (摩文仁 賢榮 Kenei Mabuni?, February 13, 1918) is a Japanese martial arts expert, holder of the 10th Dan.

Personal history[edit]

Kenei Mabuni was born in Shuri, Okinawa. As the son of Kenwa Mabuni, the founder of the Shitō-ryū and one of the most important karate experts in the history of the martial arts, he was in touch with karate and some of its greatest masters such as Miyagi Chojun, Funakoshi Gichin, or Motobu Chōki from childhood. Besides his karate practice he also studied several other martial arts such as aikidō, kendō, Okinawan kobudō, jujutsu, jûdô, and ninjutsu. At the age of 34 he became the head of Shitō-ryū.[1] Even today, in his old age, Kenei holds seminars in different parts of the world where he teaches authentic traditional karatedô.[2]

In particular Mabuni Kenei emphasizes the importance of the spiritual contents and values of karatedō. Without generally refusing sport-oriented karate he supports a clear distinction between traditional karatedō and sport karate.

Among his achievements is the completion of the kata Shimpā that his father had created but not completed. This kata was inspired by the Uechi-ryū. He is the author of several books about the Shitō-ryū techniques and of one book about the historical roots and the spiritual basics of karate as budō art.


  • Mabuni, Kenei (2009). Empty Hand: The Essence of Budō Karate. Edited by Carlos Molina. Chemnitz: Palisander Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938305-13-3. 
  • Mabuni, Kenei (1997). Shito-Ryu Karate-Do: The Essence of Budō Karate. Assisted by Con Kassis. Victoria, Australia: Dominie Press. 


  • Gabrielle & Roland Habersetzer, Encyclopédie des arts martiaux de l'Extrême-Orient, Ed. Amphora, Paris, 2004.


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