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Our History

Shukokai’s Japanese roots centred on the universities of Osaka and Kyoto and their students established the school as a fast and powerful style. It is one of the most dynamic and successful Karate schools. Shukokai was started by Sensei Tani Chojiro. Sensei Tani studied Goju-Ryu for a decade until meeting sensei Mabuni Kenwa, the famous Shito-Ryu Master. Sensei Tani became a keep disciple of this fast and fluid style and he was finally allowed to open his own school in 1948.


Sensei Tani was fascinated with the science of body mechanics and movement, and after much experimenting and comprehensive study he re-designed the Shito-Ryu’s kicking and punching methods to maximise and benefit from plyometric contraction of the muscles. The hip movement was emphasised and Shukokai’s famous double hip movement for executing strikes developed, giving the style it’s explosive power.

Kenwa Mabuni

Impact pads were introduced to help the Shukokai stylists enhance their power. Sensei Tani successfully fused the dynamics and speed of Shito-Ryu with the power and strength of Goju-Ryu so none of the qualities or strengths of either style were lost.

After the death of Sensei Tani in 1998, Sensei Yamada Haruyoshi  was elected to lead the organisation of Shukokai. He was born in 1938 in Akita prefecture. He began his martial arts study in Judo before becoming involved in Karate. In 1956 he became a disciple of Sensei Tani and was one of his top ranking pupils. He was one of the highest representatives of Japan Karate Federation and was also engaged in the Japanese Olympic Committee. Sensei Yamada passed away in 2018. 

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