Shito-Ryu Factions


After master Mabuni died in 1952, "Shito-Ryu" was still alive among his students, but in five different organizations or associations: Shito-kai, Seishin-kai, Itosu-kai, Kempo-kai and Shuko-kai.


Kenei Mabuni , eldest son of Kenwa Mabuni with master Nakayama, JKA head, (Shotokan).  Kenei Mabuni, the eldest son of Kenwa Mabuni, along with his younger brother Kenzo Mabuni, formed Karate-do Shito-kai in Japan. This organization seems to be the largest Shito-ryu organization spreading mainly in Asian countries with International Headquarters in Malaysia under sensei Naser Anwar and in Singapore under sensei Wong, forming the Asian Shito-Ryu Karate Federation (ASKF). Later Kenzo Mabuni formed his own organization "Nihon Karate-do Kai Seito Shito-Ryu" teaching "original Shito-Ryu" from his father's 1929 syllabus. In USA, Shihan Rudy Crosswell, a former student of the Seishinkai organization, formed the International Shito-Ryu Karate-do federation in collaboration with Kenzo Mabuni. Another student of Kenwa Mabuni, Manzo Iwata also established an organization called "Shito-kai".


Master Teruo Hayashi, head of Hayashi-ha Shito-Ryu.   The Motobu-ha Seishinkai organization was formed by master Kuniba (father) teaching Motobu-ha Shito-Ryu and after his death, Shyogo Kuniba (son, also known as Kokuba), and Teruo Hayashi co-led the organization. Later Master Hayashi established his own organization "Hayashi-ha Shito-Ryu Kai" teaching Hayashi-ha Shito-Ryu spreading mainly in the US. Master Hayashi is now the Chairman of the technical committee of the World Karate Federation (WKF). One of his students, Dr. Jullius Thiry is the president of the USA-National Karate Federation. Master Kuniba became the head of Seishinkai teaching Motobu-ha Shito-Ryu, in which he later changed the katas and formulated a new style of martial arts which he called "Goshin budo" and later "Goshindo". One of his senior students, Richard Baillergeon, formed the National Karate Jujutsu Union in the US. Chuzo Kotaka, a Motobu-ha member established Kotaka-ha Shito-Ryu in Hawaii.


Master Ryusho Sakagami, established Shito-Ryu Itosu-Kai

One of the early disciples of Kenwa Mabuni was Ryusho Sakagami who established the Shito-Ryu Itosu-Kai organization. His son, Sadaaki Sakagami now oversees the Itosu-Kai organization from Yokohama, Japan. One of his senior students, Kei Tsumura, established the Shito-Ryu Itosu-Kai Canada hombu in Toronto, from where he propagates this style across Canada and parts of Argentina and Chile. Fumio Demura, a disciple of Ryusho Sakagami is running the Shito-Ryu Itosu-Kai in the US under the Japan Karate Federation of America, which was established, with Dan Ivan of Shotokan. One of Sakagami's students, Suzuki sensei isolated and established Seiko-Kai after Sakagami's death.


One of Mabuni's earliest students, Kanei Uechi (not Kambun Uechi's son of Uechi-Ryu) returned to Okinawa in the 1950's and established Shito-Ryu Kempo Karate-do Kai. Not much is heart about this organization outside Japan.  Chojiro Tani, another student of Mabuni, established the Shuko-Kai organization which teaches Tani-ha Shito-Ryu which spreads in Europe. Shigeru Kimura, one of the students of Chojiro Tani, is running the Shuko-Kai in the US. And in Europe Yoshinao Nambu, a Tani-ha Shito-Ryu member, broke off on his own to form a style he calls “Nambudo”.