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The name of our club is Chakin Shibori, literally 'wringing the tea cloth' a concept that derives on the one hand from the Japanese tea ceremony, but on the other from kenjitsu (Japanese sword fighting) where with each blow the sword (katana) is lightly squeezed with both hands in a wringing motion. Our club has a direct link with the founders of modern karate.

Matsumura Sokon (1809-1899), one of the teachers of Anko Itosu.

The origins of karate lie in Okinawa, the main island of the Ryukyu Islands, once an independent kingdom between China and Japan. The prohibition of arms by the Okinawan king Sho Shin in 1477 AD contributed to the development of unarmed combat techniques that were taught and refined in secrecy. The predecessor of karate, Okinawan te, was also influenced by Chinese styles, especially White Crane Kung Fu. Early karate styles are Shuri-te, Naha-te and Tomari-te, each named after the Okinawan cities where they originated.

Itosu Anko (1831-1915), one of the teachers of Funakoshi Gichin and responsible for the introduction of karate in the curriculum of Okinawan schools.

Beginning of the 20th century the foundations of modern karate were laid by the Okinawan-born master Gichin Funakoshi, who paved the way for the dissemination of karate in Japan, while his pupils spread it after World War II over the whole world. The name of Funakoshi sensei’s dojo was ‘Shotokan’ and this became the name of one of the most important karate styles.

One of the earliest students of Gichin Funakoshi was Hironori Ohtsuka (1892-1982). Ohtsuka had already become a master in jujitsu and combined his knowledge of jujitsu with shotokan karate. He also trained with karate masters Choki Motobu (1870-1944, known for his mastery of the Naihanchi kata’s) and Kenwa Mabuni (1880-1952, founder of Shito-ryu karate). In the early 1930's Ohtsuka sensei opened his own dojo, to teach his karate style, which he called Wado-ryu. Muramatsu sensei was a student of Ohtsuka sensei. The teachers of Chakin Shibori both trained in the dojo of Muramatsu sensei.

Funakoshi Gichi (1868-1957), founder of the Shotokan karate style and one of the teachers of Hironori Ohtsuka.

Karate masters in Tokyo (1930s); from left to right: Toyama KankenŌtsuka Hironori, Shimoda Takeshi, Gichin Funakoshi, Motobu Chōki, Mabuni Kenwa, Nakasone Genwa en Taira Shinken.

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