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Sensei Kimura 9th Dan
1941 - 1995

This website is dedicated to the memory of Sensei Kimura, and to the promotion of Kimura Shukokai Karate in the United States of America.

The Meaning of Shukokai

Shukokai is derived from one of the original styles of Karate, Shito Ryu, with roots that date back over three hundred years to Okinawa. Using Shito Ryu as a foundation for his style, Sensei Kimura spent the last forty years of his life developing a technique that was second to none, and he perfected the ability to attack with devastating power and speed. Students of Kimura Shukokai learn how to use the biggest muscles of the body to generate this power and speed, and when the technique is mastered, they will be able to overcome their opponents with what Sensei Kimura referred to as “One hit, one kill.” Along with this tremendous ability comes the responsibility of control: students must practice with control in mind, and safety is paramount in the practice, both in and out of the dojo.

Shukokai, above all, is an education in body mechanics, and students find their ability in other sports improves greatly through this practice. Whether it is golf, soccer, tennis or gymnastics, understanding how to use the entire body to create force is the core of all athletic endeavors, and nowhere is this point more dramatically revealed than when learning the proper technique to throw a punch or kick. Anyone can fight, but fighting efficiently is the groundwork on which Kimura Shukokai is based. As students learn how to use the body with this efficiency and understand the importance of self-control, they have gained invaluable knowledge that can be applied to every aspect of their lives.*

Kimura Shukokai International (KSI)
Sensei Kimura laid the foundation for what was to become Kimura Shukokai International during his lifetime until his death at the age of 54 in 1995. In March of 1996, after his passing , the Chief Instructors of the countries where Sensei Kimura taught (USA, England, South Africa, Finland, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Portugal, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe) banded together to form Kimura Shukokai International (KSI).  They determined that this organization would be led by Kimura Soke’s four most senior students;  Sensei Lionel Marinus and Sensei Chris Thompson of South Africa: Sensei Eddie Daniels of the United Kingdom: and Sensei Bill Bressaw of the United States, all 7th Dans at the time, with approximately 35 years of experience each.

The responsibility of Kimura Shukokai International is the perpetuation of Kimura Shukokai Karate throughout the world. The Chief Instructors of the participating countries meet every year to participate in the World Chief Instructors’ Course, once every two years at the KSI World Championships, and at the European Championships occurring on alternate years, to further strengthen the unity of KSI. Additionally, each country invites one of the 8th Dans to conduct training sessions on advanced technique once a year on a rotating basis. KSI is dedicated to understanding the teachings of Kimura Soke and to continue in the direction he was headed, on a constant quest to attain yet a higher level of speed and strength.  The maintenance of quality, a deep understanding of Bushido and its etiquette, a lifetime of dedication to perfection of his technique, and a commitment to Sensei Kimura's philosophy that it will take seven lifetimes to understand his teachings are the core of KSI’s mission. 

Characteristics of Shukokai Karate
Being a direct descendent of Shito-Ryu, Shukokai inherits the characteristics of both the Naha-te and Shuri-te styles of Okinawan Karate. Kenwa Mabuni merged the techniques and principles of the styles he learned from his teachers Kanryu Higaonna, and Anko Itosu to form his Shito-Ryu style of Karate. As such, Shukokai combines the circular breathing techniques from Naha-te and the quick linear movements of the Shuri-te styles. This is apparent in the katas performed within Shukokai. Katas like Sanchin, Tensho, and Suparunpei are handed down from the Naha-te traditions, while katas like Annanko, Matsukaze, and Bassai-Dai are handed down from the Shuri-te traditions.

Upon close examination, one can see the similarities between Tensho, Sanchin, and Suparunpei, and the similarities between Bassai-Dai, Annanko, and Matsukaze, and what makes the Naha-te katas different from the Shuri-te katas. Also notable is the relatively high number of katas within Shukokai. This is a direct result of Master Mabuni's experience with both the Naha-te and Shuri -te styles, and the reason why he was renowned throughout Japan an Okinawa as the foremost expert on kata.

Another attribute that distinguishes Shukokai Karate from other styles is the execution of techniques. While Shukokai shares many of the same punches, kicks, and blocks found in other popular styles of Karate, it is in how these are executed that sets Shukokai apart. Sensei Tani and Sensei Kimura made their greatest contributions to the style by continually refining each technique to the highest degree, essentially re-defining the basics that had been practiced for centuries. Both made the study of body mechanics their primary focus with the end result being the delivery of the greatest impact with the least amount of effort.

Another defining characteristic of Shukokai is that each technique must be combat effective. Sensei Kimura believed that a technique, no matter how powerful, was useless if it could not be delivered under combat situations. His philosophy was that the outcome of a confrontation should be decided in a single technique: "One Hit, One Kill", as per the way of the Samurais of old. This drove him to continually modify and test his technique throughout the course of his life with the end result being the traditional, yet combat-effective style of Karate we call Kimura Shukokai. Every technique executed within Kimura Shukokai has these defining principles at its very core.


*Description found at: http://www.shukokai.com/WhatIsShukokai.htm