About Shorinjiryu Kenyukai Karatedo

Shorinjiryu Karate Do is one of the most modern, comprehensive and practical styles taught today. Its origins are in 18th Century Okinawa, located on the Ryuku Island chain, South-East of mainland China.

One particular school of Shorinjiryu Karate Do, known as the Kenkokan School, was founded by Shinan (Founder) Masayoshi Kori Hisataka (Seiki Kudaka in the Okinawan dialect) in 1946 on the Japanese island of Kyushu; after his lifelong study of Okinawan Karate and other martial arts in Japan and China. He formalized the Kenkokan School soon after World War II, in an attempt to rebuild the pride and spirit of the Japanese people after that monumental conflict. Eventually he moved his dojo to Tokyo, Japan where he ultimately systematized Shorinjiryu Kenkokan Karate Do.

Dr. Kori Hisataka

Shinan Hisataka was born Seiki Kudaka (Masayoshi Hisataka in the Japanese dialect) on or around April 22, 1907, in Naha City, Shuri, Okinawa. He was born a noble, a scion of a collateral branch of Okinawan royalty, and a direct descendant of Seiwa, the 56th Emperor of Japan. His family name, Kudaka, refers to the legendary "island of the gods" in Ryukyuan mythology and culture, which was located off of the South-East coast of Okinawa. Kudaka island was given to his great grandfather, Seison Toguchi, a notable 18th Century government official who served the Okinawan royal court. Toguchi changed his family name to Kudaka, reflecting his new land title, which was common practice among Okinawan nobility at that time. His family has been known by that name ever since.

The Kenkokan School of Shorinjiryu Karate Do reflected Kori Hisataka's studies of Okinawan Karate under some of the most noted Grandmasters in Okinawa such as Ankoh Asato, Chotoku Kyan, and weapons under Sanda Kanagusuku. He was trained in the Kudaka family traditional martial arts, and in Judo at the Kodokan in Tokyo, Japan. In addition, before and during World War II, he traveled to China and Manchuria where he immersed himself in the boxing and weapons arts. His studies of Shaolin Chuan-fa (Shorinji Kempo) had a major influence on the development of his own style of Karate Do.

The three great sources of inspiration for the founding of Shorinjiryu Kenkokan Karate Do were Okinawan Shorinjiryu Karate, Shorinji Kempo of China, and Kudaka Family traditional martial arts. Shinan Hisataka modified basic punching and kicking techniques to achieve maximum power, creating a style which strives for ippon, one strike effective enough to end a confrontation. As a result, Shorinjiryu Kenkokan Karate Do teaches one to escape from attacks, as opposed to blocking an attack with force against force. Blocks are secondary to body movement, tai sabaki, which is the primary defensive ideal. The form of Shorinjiryu Karate-Do practiced in the United States was given the name Shorinjiryu Kenyukai Karate-Do to distinguish it from the Hombu Dojo in Japan; and to connote the spirit of friendly cooperation that was being fostered as the style was brought to North America. The word Kenyukai can be loosely translated to 'Fist of Friendship Association'.