Shorei-Kan NYC Shorei-Kan

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Karate was born when peace, the heart of the Okinawan people, was incorporated with the spirit of Zen as embodied in Chinese Shorin Temple boxing. Its aim, therefore is completely different from any other Martial art. Whereas the chief aim of all other martial arts is killing and wounding as many opponents as possible, karate's primary concern is simply self-defense. Of course, defense and offense cannot exist without each other. Consequently, training in superior defensive techniques necessitates training in superior offensive techniques.

Training in the art of Shorei-Kan Karate requires discipline and the control and strengthening of both physical and mental energies toward the goal of a "state of enlightenment" and physical excellence.

At Shorei-Kan of NYC we train, we exercise, we learn self defense, we meditate, we have fun and we learn an amazing martial art. Classes are Tuesday & Thursday nights at our New York City Dojo. We are part of Shorei-Kan USA.

- Sensei Charles Bentz


Master Kanryo Higashionna (1840-1910)

Master Kanryo Higashionna began his studies in the martial arts as a child. As a young man, however, he became a sailor on the Shinko-Sen, a vessel engaged in regular trading and cultural expeditions to China. On one of these expeditions, he bravely rescued a drowning child. When he returned the child to its parents, he discovered that Master Ryu, a renowned Chinese martial artist, was the boy's father. When a grateful Master Ryu offered Master Higashionna a reward, Master Higashionna asked for instruction in the art of Chinese boxing. more

Master Higashionna trained under Master Ryu for thirty years. On his return to Okinawa, he began teaching the art of boxing. He decided, however, that although the boxing he had learned was excellent, it did not suit the needs of his native country. After much study and hard work, he succeeded in creating Naha-te, an improved art which combined the good points of karate with certain elements of Chinese boxing. For example, the form Sanchin, originally done with open hands, was changed to fists closed.

Master Higashionna's vision perceived a movement from technique to art, from individuals to groups. He implemented this improved and more practical art form into his teachings at the police and junior high schools. Thus began the realization of his vision. And, as his teachings spread farther and farther, so did his fame. Master Higashionna became known as a "Fist-Saint"and is recognized as the father of Goju-Ryu. Among his top students were Master Chojun Miyagi and Master Juhatsu Kyoda. less

Master Chojun Miyagi (1888-1953)

Independently wealthy, Chojun Miyagi was able to devote his life to the exclusive study of the martial arts. Unsurpassed as a teacher and developer of the art, he once said, "If I had devoted my time and wealth to some other enterprise, I would have been successful. But I devoted my life to mastering everything from Master Higashionna." And so he did. After his master's death, Master Miyagi journeyed to China twice to study and collect further literature on the martial arts. A pioneer in internationalizing karate, he also traveled to mainland Japan and Hawaii to spread its doctrine. more

In 1933, when Dai Nippon Butoku Kai (the largest martial arts organization recognized by the pre-war Japanese government) was established, Master Miyagi, as the representative of the Okinawan martial artists, presented his article, "An Outline of Karate-do." As a result of his presentation, karate received formal recognition as a Japanese martial art. Master Miyagi himself was awarded the title, Karate-Do Master, the first master in the karate world so designated.

Although Master Miyagi's command of the art was profound, his greatest achievement was the organization of karate teaching methods. He introduced preparation exercises, supplementary exercises, Hookiyu Kata (unified kata), Kihon kata (basic forms) and relaxing exercises, all truly epoch-making developments in karate teaching. In addition, his classes in junior high and police schools helped redefine karate's public image. At that time, public opinion held that karate would make a person poor or fond of quarreling. Master Miyagi's work, however, disproved these myths and presented a more accurate picture of karate as a martial art and physical exercise. less

Master Seko Higa (1889-1966)

Master Seko Higa was born on November 18, 1889 in Naha City, Okinawa. He began training at the age of 14 with Master Kanryo Higashionna in the study of Naha-Te. In 1915 after the death of Master Higashionna, Master Higa continued his study of Naha-Te with Master Chojun Miyagi, the senior student of Master Higashionna. more

At the age of 21, Master Higa began teaching elementary school and later worked with the police. In 1932, he decided to make teaching karate his profession. He taught the police and opened a Dojo in KumoJi (a suburb of Naha). This was one of three Dojos which Master Miyagi authorized to give instruction.

Master Higa spent two years teaching in Saipan (Indonesia) and upon returning to Okinawa he received, from the Butokukai, the rank of Renshi (equivalent to 7th Dan).

After Word War II and the unfortunate death of his wife, he came to live with Seikichi Toguchi and in 1947, with the assistance of Toguchi, opened the Higa Dojo in Itoman. This was the first Dojo opened on Okinawa after the war.

Higa Sensei was considered the best technician of all of Miyagi's students and his favorite kata were Tensho and Kururunfa.

Master Higa died on April 16, 1966 at the age of 68 less

Master Seikichi Toguchi (1917-1998)
*Father of Shorei-Kan

May 20, 1917: Born in Hana City, Okinawa, as the third son of Masahide Toguchi

1932: Joined Higa Dojo, the only branch dojo of Goju-Ryu Karate-Do founder Master Chojun Miyagi. Received instructions by both Master Miyagi and Master Seko Higa.

1942: Sent to Palenbang Refinery in southern Sumatra, Indonesia, as a civilian in the military service. Taught Karate to military personnel and Indonesians. more

1946: As World War II ends, returned to Itoman City, Okinawa

October, 1947: With Master Seko Higa as matchmaker, wed Haruko

1948: Appointed as chief instructor of Itoman City Martial Training society Karate Club

1952: Goju-Ryu Advancement Society was formed, with Master Miyagi as Chairman. Toguchi was installed as a permanent member of the Board of Directors.

1953: With the death of Master Miyagi, Goju-Ryu Advancement Society was renamed Karate-Do Goju Association, with Master Meitoku Yagi as Chairman. Toguchi was installed as Vice Chairman. Shorei-Kan Karate-Do Goju Research Institute was founded.

1955: Opened first Shorei-Kan Dojo in Koza City

May, 1956: Okinawan Karate-Do Federation was formed. Toguchi was installed as a member of the Board of Directors.

July, 1958: Demonstrated karate as All-Okinawan Athletic Meet in Okinawa City

October, 1960: Moved to Tokyo, served as chief instructor at Yoyogi Martial Training Society Karate Dojo

1962: Shorei-Kan dojo opened in Meguro Borough, Tokyo

February, 1963: Shorei-Kan dojo (outdoors) opened at Hikawa Shrine (Temple)

May, 1963: Founded Hosei University Goju Association, served as chief instructor.

June, 1963: First Shorei-Kan demonstration was held at Nakano Borough (Tokyo) civic hall.

August, 1965: Shorei-Kan organized the All-Okinawan Karate Championship and Demonstration

April, 1966: Shorei-Kan Tokyo Headquarters was built and opened with the cooperation of Tamano Construction Co. (founded by Shihan Toshio Tamano's father and managed by his brother)

October 10, 1970: Shorei-Kan participated in First World Karate Championship Tournament. Toguchi demonstrated Kata Seipai.

1972: Traveled to U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico for instruction seminars and demonstrations

1974: Traveled to Europe

September, 1982: Visited Canada for 10th Anniversary Demonstration of Canadian Shorei-Kan

1985: Visited United States for instruction seminars and demonstrations.

1998: Passed away: Master Seikichi Toguchi passed away at the age of 81 in Tokyo on August 31, 1998. His accomplishments and credits are too numerous to detail but suffice it to say that he was at the center of Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate world. He was the last living Okinawan master to receive the title of 'Bushi' a title also held by his teacher, Master Chojun Miyagi.

Master Toguchi leaves behind a strong organization which is now headed by his son, Master Seki Toguchi. He is also survived by his wife and grandchildren. His physical presence will be deeply missed but his spirit and inspiration in Budo Karate will always be there. less

Master Saiko Tamano (1942)

Saiko Shihan Tamano was born on September 14, 1942 in Tokyo, Japan. After having studied several martial arts, he joined Shorei-Kan Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate school in 1960 headed by Master Seikichi Toguchi. Upon graduating from a university in Tokyo with an architectural degree, Shihan Tamano decided to devote his life to spread Shorei-Kan Karate to the occidental people and went to the U.S. in 1969. more

After 13 years in New York City, he and his family moved to Milan, Italy in order to teach his are in Europe. At the present moment, they reside in Oleans, France and supervise the organization of Shorei-Kan Europe.

After 13 years in New York City, he and his family moved to Milan, Italy in order to teach his are in Europe. At the present moment, they reside in Oleans, France and supervise the organization of Shorei-Kan Europe.

Along with Karate, Shihan Tamano also studied Okinawan Kobudo with Master Shimpo Matayoshi (the headmaster of Kingairyu style) and in the later years with Master Eisuke Akamine (the headmaster of Taira style). After having taught the art of Kobudo in New York for years, he found that the teaching method of the art, which he learned from his Okinawan masters, was not yet well developed. Consequently, he has created an instructional system and call it "Shorei-Kai" Okinawan Kobudo System." Shihan Tamano teaches the art throughout the world and is the author of several books and articles and videos on Karate and Kobudo.

Master Tamano , successor of the Shorei-Kan system created Shorei-Kan International after the passing of Master Toguchi to unite all of the components of Shorei-kan. They include Shorei-Kan Karate, Shorei-Kai Kobudo, Daruma taiso and most recently Shiai Kumite. less