COMPILED BY AL REINGOLD, 1987
REVISED AND UPDATED BY JASON SIELSKI, 2006
1683 Wang Ji — A Chinese envoy who taught Kempo in Tomari, Okinawa. The Wanshu
kata is still practiced in Tomari-te.
1756 Kusanku — A Chinese who taught Kempo in Shuri, Okinawa. He was originally
from the Fukien province.
Peichin Takahara (1683-1760)– Taught Kempo in Akata, Okinawa (near Shuri).
1762 “Karate” or “To-Te” or “Todei” Shungo Sakugawa (1733-1815) — Completed
training in Akata. He also studied for years in China, and later established the
1816 “Bushi” Sokon Matsumura (1792-1893) — Completed training in Shuri. He was
the first to systemize Karate, and to name his style (Shuri-te) after something other
than his own name. He is also accredited as having formulated Basai Dai.
“Tonochi” Yasutsune Azato (1828-1906)– Trained in shuri with Itosu.
1846 “Ankoh” Yasutsune Itosu (1830-1915) — Trained in Shuri. Completed training
between 1890-1900, and in 1901 he opened the first school of Karate to the public,
in the Okinwawa Middle School. He was close friends with Azato. (Ankoh=Iron
Arakaki Sokon Matsumura
Gichin Funakoshi (1868-1957) — Trained in Shuri, introduced Shotokan (lit.
“House of little Tiger”) to Japan in 1922. Father of Japanese Karate.
1910 “Saru” Choki Motobu (1871-1944)– Received shodan in Shuri. Accredited as being the first to systemize kata. (Saru=Monkey)
Woo Lu Chin — China
Kanryo Higashionna (1845-1915) — Studied in China for 5-18 years. Close friend
of Itosu Sensei.
Chojun Miyagi (1888-1953) — Founded and taught (with Gogen Yamaguchi)
Gojuryu, after learning Chinese Shorei from 1902-1915.
Gogen “The Cat” Yamaguchi (1909-1989) — Taught Gojuryu with Miyagi.
Sonei Chu — Japan
Masutatsu Oyama (1923-1994) — Teacher of Shotokan and author of several books,
including “What is Karate” and “This is Karate.” He is also the founder of
1930 Tung Gee Hsiang — Received shodan in Canton, China. Possible nephew of
1942 Robert A. Trias (1922-1989) — Received shodan in Tulagi. Known as the father of
American Karate, as he introduced the art to the U.S. in 1946. He subsequently
formed the USKA.
Dr. James Mitose (1916-1981) — Studied from 1921-36 in Kyushu, Japan. He
studied Kempo in Bodhidharma’s Shaolin Kung Fu.
William K. S. Chow (1914-1987) — One of the first to teach Kempo in 1944, in
Honolulu. He was one of only five of Mitose’s students ever to reach shodan.
Adriano Emperado (1926- ) — Originally learned Kempo, and received
shodan sometime after 1949. He also founded, with four others (Walter
Choo-Karate; Joseph Holke-Judo; Frank Ordonez-Jujitsu; Clarence Chang-Chinese
Boxing) Kajukenbo, in 1947.
Chao Hsu Lai
Kentsu Yabu (1866-1937) — A student of Itosu’s, and the only known master ever to defeat Motobu in a shiai. He aided Itosu to open Karate to the public.
Ankichi Arakiki (1899-1927) — Born in Shuri. Around 1921, he trained with
Chotoku Kyan, and later taught Soshin Nagamine, who was predominant in
Richard Kim (1917-2001) — Aside from Karate, Kim studied T’ai ChiCh’uan in China,
along with Pa-kua. He is known as the foremost historian of the martial arts in the
U.S., and has written many books, including “The Weaponless Warriors.”
1960 Phillip Koeppel (1938- ) — Received shodan from Master Trias in Peoria (through
the mail). There, he taught with Master William Foster. He began his training with
Kim and Yahito Kauaguchi in 1956 in the Japanese Islands, where he was fighting
in the U.S. Navy. He then continued with Emperado in Hawaii. He was one of the
co-promoters of the first World Karate Tournament, held in Chicago, in 1963.
Lo Wei Doun — Shanghai, 1930’s
1963 Reverend William H. Foster (1913-1994) — Received shodan from Master Koeppel.
He began studying the martial arts with Lo Wei Doun in 1937, after boxing for
several years. Later, in 1960, he met Master Koeppel in Peoria, where they
opened a school. He subsequently founded the Yin Yang Do Karate Association,
and taught in Kenosha, Wisconsin.