History of our Karate Family 

  
 Chatan Yara - (1668 - Unknown) Master of Okinawan Weapons, studied in China at age 12 and was considered one of the famous Masters of the early 1700's.

Takahara Pechin -(Unknown - 1762) Responsible for the early training of Karate Sakugawa, studied in China and under Master Chatan Yara.


Karate Sakugawa - (1733-1815) Developed the Kata Ku Shan Ku, studied under both Takahara Pechin and the Chinese Master Ku Shan Ku.


Sokon Matsumura - (1796 - 1893) Credited with creating the Kata Shinto and Seisan. Studied in China and under Karate Sakugawa for ten years.
 
Ankoh Itosu - (1830 - 1915) Itosu created the Pinan series of kata and introduced Karate to public in 1903.
 
Kenwa Mabuni-(1887-1952) Founded Shito-Ryu style of Karate.  Mabuni began his training under Ankoh Itosu when he was 13.  After Itosu’s death, Mabuni also trained with Kanryo Higashionna in the Naha-te style (forerunner to Goju-Ryu).  Eventually, he became acknowledged as the greatest expert of his day on kata.  In 1929, he permanently moved to Osaka, Japan, and Shito-Ryu became one of the four most popular styles taught in Japan

Choki Motobu - (1871 - 1944) Founded the Motobu-Ha Shito-Ryu Karate Do. Went to Japan in 1923 to teach karate.
 
Kosei Kuniba - (1900 -1959) Assumed the leadership of the Motobu-Ha Shito-ryu upon Master Motobu's death. Founded Seishin Kai Dojo. 
 
Shogo Kuniba - (1935 - 1992) Worldwide head of the Motobu-Ha Shito-Ryu, the leadership of which he passed onto his son Kozo Kuniba, and the Soke of the Kuniba ha Shito-Ryu to Shihan Bill Price in 1992 before his death on 14 July 1992.
 
Soke Richard Baillargeon -(1924 -1989) Founder of National Karate and Jujutsu Union (NKJU).
 
Soke Joseph Ruiz - (1943 - ) Retired Assistant Director for NKJU. Founder of the International Karate and Kobudo Union (IKKU). Zen Shoto Kai Karate Do Federation Soke. Founder of Kotosu ha Shito-ryuand Soke of that organization.
 
Hanshi Tola Lewis – Succeeded Soke Baillargeon as the Director of the NKJU.  He continued in that capacity until retiring from the Directorship in March, 2016.
 
Shihan Kevin Gurganus – Direct student of Hanshi Tola Lewis, and Sensei Irvine’s first Sensei.   Shihan Gurganus still teaches in Durham, NC at the Carolina Martial Arts Center.
  
Drawing of Sokon Matsumural
Drawing of Sokon Matsumura
Ankoh Itosu, "Father of modern Karate"
Ankoh Itosu
Kenwa Mabuni, founder of Shito-Ryu Karate
Choki Motobu, Founder of Motobu-Ha Shito-Ryu
Choki Motobu
Kenwa Mabuni
Shogo Kuniba, who was the first to teach Motobu Ha to Americans
Sensei Irvine with Sensei Gurganus at our Karate class in Gainesville, GA
Shogo Kuniba
Shihan Gurganus and Sensei Irvine 
visiting our Karate class in Gainesville, July, 2016.
Many More names could be added to this list, both from Japan and the United States.  Many of the people on this list have touched the lives of many people not listed here.  Most trained with more than on Karate master during their lives, and there are simply too many to list here. 
Handbook Contents
Continue to History of Karate
WL - WebLinks Directory Martial Arts Near Me