Legend has it that an Indian Monk named Bodidharma, Daruma in Japan, migrated to China sometime in the 5th Century BC. There at the Shaolin temple in Heinan province, he established a following for his teachings of Bhudism. Seeing the physical state of the monks at the temple, Daruma also began to teach the monks self defense based techniques based on various animal movements, and other practical movements based on physics. These techniques later became known as Kung-Fu, and in modern times is called Wushu.
Karate-Do is a Martial Art developed in Okinawa, and later Japan, and eventually the entire World.
There are many legends on its exact origins, one being the Okinawan Chi style, eventually blended with Chinese Kung Fu.
The first public demonstration of karate in Japan was in 1917 by Gichin Funakoshi, at the Butoku-den in Kyoto. This, and other demonstrations, greatly influenced many Japanese. In 1922, Dr. Jigoro Kano, founder of the Japanese art of Judo, invited Funakoshi to demonstrate at the famous Kodokan Dojo and to remain in Japan to teach karate.
Today there are four main styles of Karate-do: Shito-ryu, Goju-ryu, Wado-ryu, Shotokan, Shotokan being the most popular and widely recognized.
Was founded by Kenwa Mabuni (1889-1952) was influenced by both of Mabuni's great Masters Itosu, and Higaonna. Shito-ryu schools use a large number of kata, and is characterized by circular blocking, and movement, with an explosive power and speed in the execution of techniques.
Was founded by Chojun Miyagi (1888-1952) was influenced by both of Miyagi's great Master Higaonna, Higaonna opened a dojo in Naha using eight forms brought from China. In Goju-ryu much emphasis is placed on combining soft circular blocking techniques with quick strong counter attacks delivered in rapid succession.
Is a system of karate developed from karate and jujitsu by Hienori Otsuka (1892–1982). Otsuka was a student of Gichin Funakoshi. This style of karate combines basic movements of jujitsu with techniques of evasion.
Was founded by Gichin Funakoshi (1868-1957). Funakoshi is considered to be the father of modern karate. Born in Okinawa, Funakoshi's primary master was Itosu, and even though he was older than Kenwa Mabuni, Mabuni was his Sempai (peer). Shotokan Karate is characterized by powerful linear techniques and deep strong stances.
History of Shito-Ryu
Shito-ryu is a form of Karate-Do that is based on the teachings of two of the greatest Okinawan Karate Masters of all time.
Anko Itosu 1813–1915) and Kanryo Higaonna 1853 - 1916), and their student Kenwa Mabuni (1889–1952).
While there are other Masters that studied with both Itosu and Higaonna, this site is dedicated to the teachings of Kenwa Mabuni.
Kenwa Mabuni was born in Shuri, a district of Naha, Okinawa in 1889. Due to an unhealthy nature, and weak constitution, he began his instruction in Karate-Do at the age of 13 with Master Itosu. Due to Master Itosu's age, 71 at the time, Mabuni was eventually introduced to Master Higaonna by his close friend Chojun Miyagi (1888 - 1953).
Later in life Mabuni trained with other great masters such as Seisho Arakaki (1840 – 1918), and Wu Xianhui (a Chinese tea merchant known as Go-Kenki)(1886 - 1940).
In 1915, Mabuni moved to Osaka, Japan and started to teach in his house. He taught at police stations and universities to spread Karate in Japan. In 1924 he established Okinawa Karate Kenkyu Kai. He opened a Dojo in the Nishinari ward in Osaka in 1935, and he named his style Shito-Ryu.
He took the first character of each of his teacher's names. The first character representing Itosu's name is pronounced "Shi", and the first character representing Higaonna's name is pronounced "To". Ryu means style.
He later named his organization as the Dai Nippon Karate-Do Kai, Shito-Ryu. Mabuni established credibility by receiving the first Renshugo for a Karate Master from the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai (The most authoritative of all martial societies in Japan at the time). After World War II, he renamed his organization to Nippon Karate-Do Kai, Shito-Ryu.
Kenwa Mabuni died in 1952. His sons, Kenei Mabuni and Kenzo Mabuni, inherited the Shito-Ryu tradition and continued to teach. In addition to his sons, many of Kenwa Mabuni's Shihan, opened their own schools.