Chokis older brothers, however (particularly, as mentioned, Choyu Motobu, the eldest) were good karateka and he may have learned something of the art from them.
Choki Motobu trained himself every day, lifting stone weights and hitting the makiwara (striking post). He would strike the makiwara a thousand times a day. Motobu would sometimes sleep outside, (when he slept inside the dojo he would lie on the hard wooden floor, without a mattress), and if he woke up during the night, rather than turning over and going back to sleep he would get up and hit the makiwara. Motobu was also very agile and quick and he got the nickname "Motobu-saru" (Monkey Motobu) not only because of his rough behavior but also because of his remarkable agility in climbing trees and moving from branch to branch as nimbly as a monkey.
Choki Motobu's idea of a good training session was to go down to Naha's entertainment district and pick fights. This area was well known for street fighting and Motobu picked up valuable experience in this way. Being bigger and stronger than the average Okinawan he usually won these fights, but there was one occasion when he tackled a man called Itarashiki and was well beaten. This Itarashiki was a karate expert and the defeat only made Motobu more determined to train hard and learn more about karate.
Choki Motobu was able to get instruction from several leading experts, because of Motobu's upper-class birth, many karate masters found it difficult to refuse him instruction. Motobu originally studied karate with the famous Ankoh Itosu, the leading master of Shuri-te. He later studied with Kosaku Matsumora and with Master Sakuma. However, Motobu's karate always seemed to bear his own instinctive stamp, arising no doubt from his independent nature and his fighting experiences. He always emphasized practicality, and in time many people came to regard him as the best fighter on Okinawa. It was only after he moved to Osaka in 1921 that he became known in Japanese martial art circles. What brought Motobu to the attention of the Japanese was his victory over a Western boxer in a kind of all-comers challenge match. For the record, the story states that Motobu knocked the boxer unconscious. Choki Motobu was over 50 years old when he defeated the Western boxer! In 1932, Choki Motobu tried to go to Hawaii, and he was refused a visa. Speculation has it that it was as a result of his unsavory reputation.
In 1940, Choki Motobu returned to Okinawa and died there in 1944.
James Mitose was born in Hawaii on Dec. 30, 1916. The second child of his father Otokichi Mitose and mother Kiyoka Yoshida, James M. Mitose was sent to Japan as a child to live with his mothers family and was schooled in his familys art, Kosho-ryu Kenpo. Thus James Mitose became the 21st Great Grand Master of Kosho-ryu.
James Mitose returned to Hawaii, in 1937, and formed the Official Self-Defense Club and taught from 1942 to 1946 where he promoted four people to Shodan (Black Belt). They are, in chronological order, Thomas Young, Jiro Nakamura, Arthur Keawe, and Paul Yamaguchi.
Note: William Kwai Sun Chow was promoted to Black Belt by Thomas Young, not by James Mitose.
James Mitose left Hawaii in 1954 for the mainland United States where he would spend the remainder of his life, although he did take frequent trips to Japan. He taught only one student on the mainland, Terry Lee (Nimr Hassan), for a period of one year.
James Masayoshi Mitose died on March 27, 1981.
Note: James Mitose spent time in Okinawa and was friends with many great martial artists, such as Yamaguchi Sensei of Goju-ryu, and many others.
Morihei Ueshiba, founder of Aikido, was also a friend of James Mitose. Ueshiba Sensei specified in his will that James Mitose should be given the title of "Remonstrant" (overseer) for all Aikido in America!
K .S. Chow
It has been said by many that besides his Kenpo training with James Mitose, he also trained in Kung-fu. But no one can seem to verify this. One thing to note, Kung-fu, as many of you may know, derives its self-defense techniques from its forms (kata). William Chow never taught any Kung-fu forms.
William Chow, although promoted to Black Belt by Thomas Young, was one of James Mitoses top students and a close friend. He left James Mitose in 1949, after becoming an instructor, and opened his own Kenpo school. It was William Chow who coined the term "Kenpo Karate" to distinguish his system from James Mitoses Kenpo Jiu-jitsu, although both styles were the same. William Chow then took the title "Professor" and renamed his system Go-Shinjitsu. Some twenty years later, William Chow renamed his system "Chinese Kempo of Kara-Ho Karate."
William Chow died in Honolulu on Sept. 21, 1987.
Note: James Mitose wrote about Go-Shinjitsu (Art of Self-Defense) in his first book "What is Self-Defense? Kenpo Jui-jitsu," published in 1953. This book is now out of print.
Kajukenbo is an eclectic system that was founded by Adriano Emperado.
Siju Adriano Emperado, founder of the Kajukenbo Self-Defense Institute of Hawaii, was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, June 6, 1926. Professor Emperado grew up in the martial arts and was skilled in many different styles, including Escrima, Jujitsu, Karate, Kung Fu, Hawaiian Lua, American Boxing, Wrestling, and Kenpo under William K.S. Chow. Adriano Emperado received his Shodan from Chow and later his instructors diploma from James M. Mitose. Eventually Emperado would receive his 5th degree Black Belt from Chow.
The title of Professor was given to Emperado by Professor Lum and Professor Wong of the Chinese Physical Cultural Society of Hawaii and Master Ho Gau of Hong Kong to represent Choi Li Fat Ga. Professor Emperado was elected to the Black Belt Hall of Fame in 1991 for his accomplishments and contributions to the martial arts community. Presently, the Professor holds the highest title in Kajukenbo, 10th degree.
Kajukenbo was synthesized in the Paloma settlements of Hawaii during the years 1949-1952. Five practitioners of their respective martial arts developed Kajukenbo to complement each others styles to allow effective fighting at all ranges and speeds.
The five original founding members were:
The word Kajukenbo is derived from the letter of the styles that contributed to the creation of the art. Together they make up the Kajukenbo motto: Through this fist art one gains long life and happiness.
KA (long life) - comes from the word Karate. The karate influence was from Tang Soo Do (Korean Karate) brought by P.Y.Y. Choo.
JU (happiness) - comes from Judo and Jujitsu. The judo and jujitsu influence was from Kodenkan Danzan Ryu brought by Joe Holck and Se Keino Ryu brought by Frank Ordonez.
KEN (fist) - comes from Kenpo. The kenpo influence was from Kosho-ryu Kenpo brought by Adriano Emperado.
BO (style) - comes from Chinese and American boxing. The Chinese boxing influence was from Northern and Southern styles brought by Clarence Chang.
Emperado and the four other martial arts masters began working on the amalgamation of their knowledge to form "Kajukenbo". Each of the five men spent the next couple of years working on their techniques in such a way as to complement each others styles to allow effective fighting at all ranges and speeds.
To test the effectiveness of their original techniques the five founders would get into fights around the Palamas settlements. If the technique succeeded consistently in a real street fight, it was kept as part of the system. From these field test came Kajukenbo's Quins (known as the Palomas sets (forms or kata), Natural laws (self-defense), Tricks (close-quarters fighting), and grab arts (escapes). Through the trial and error testing of each of their techniques out on the streets, they devised one of the most effective systems of martial arts to date.
The first Kajukenbo school was opened in the Palm Settlement, and operated by Adriano Emperado, and his brother Joe. The brutal training that took place there is legendary. Broken bones were an everyday occurrence. In time the number of students in the school soon dwindled to a dedicated few. Those who remained developed into tough martial artist. Emperado's school turned out several future instructors who would themselves leave a mark on the international martial arts community, including Al Dacascos, and many others.
Professor Emperado is credited with saying "Practice was not over until their was blood on the ground."
The system has grown such that there are currently hundreds of Kajukenbo schools and it is taught in countries throughout the world.
Parker opened his first school in Provo in 1954. Parker moved to Pasadena, California, in 1956. He remained in Pasadena, teaching the "Original" Kenpo he had learned from Chow, until 1960.
In 1961, with help from Kung-fu master James (Jimmy) Wing Woo, Parker developed "Traditional Chinese" Kenpo. Woo would develop most of the forms and sets which we now perform, with help from Parkers first black belt James Ibrao and Parker himself. Parker also removed most of the Jiu-jitsu techniques including the falls and rolls. Parker then removed most of the self-defense techniques, from 600 for Godan or fifth-degree black belt (over 400 were required for Shodan or first degree black belt), down to 178 techniques in total for the entire new system, which is now referred to as "Ed Parkers American Kenpo Karate." Ed Parker was an incredible martial artist and innovator, and was a definite pioneer of martial arts in North America.
Edmund K. Parker died in Honolulu, Dec.15, 1990. The "Magician of Motion" will always be remembered and missed.
James Ibrao moved to the mainland and eventually made his way to California in 1956. He was introduced to Ed Parker and was so impressed with the power, quickness, and innovated moves of Ed Parker that he began taking lessons the next day with him and his four other students. James Ibrao excelled; he lived, ate, and slept Kenpo. In only nine months, he became Ed Parkers first Black Belt (Shodan).
In 1960, Ed Parker and James Ibrao went to San Francisco to visit Chinese Martial Arts schools. It was there that they found Grand Master James (Jimmy) Wing Woo and invited him to Los Angeles to document his knowledge in books and to incorporate the characteristics of Kung-fu into Kenpo. James Woo would develop, with the help of Ed Parker and James Ibrao, most of the Kata (forms) and sets, which we still perform today. Many techniques and the high kicks, double kicks, etc., were developed by James Ibrao.
It was also around this time that James Ibrao was asked to try out for the Harlem Globetrotters. He made the team and toured with them for two years, until 1964. When Ibrao returned to Los Angeles, he didnt return to his studies with Ed Parker, he instead chose to study with James Woo and unlock the mysteries of the Chinese Martial Arts. But James Ibrao never left his Kenpo roots.
James Ibrao is still teaching today. He has developed his own system, Jun Bao Wu Shu Kung- Fu. It is a hybrid of Kenpo, Kung-fu, Wu Shu, and the practical application of the arts for defense, competition, and for life.
James Ibrao is a great man and martial artist, who is always willing to share his great knowledge. Sifu Ibrao is available for seminars and camps, you can contact him at the above URL or e-mail him at email@example.com
There has been question as to whether or not Al and Jim Tracy received their Black Belts (Shodan) from Ed Parker. In the Family Tree listed in the original "Infinite Insights", by Ed Parker, you can see that Al and Jim Tracy are listed as Black belts under Ed Parker, first generation. They also have the largest number of Black Belts listed under their tree!
Al Tracy was the fifth person promoted to Black Belt (Shodan) January 2,1962. Certificate dated January 7, 1962.
Jim Tracy was the sixth person promoted to Black Belt (Shodan) January 2,1962. Certificate dated January 7, 1962.
Will Tracy received his Black Belt (Shodan) in 1961, under both William K.S. Chow and Great Grand Master Fusae Oshita (James Mitoses sister).
In the spring of 1962, the Tracy brothers opened their first studio in San Francisco, which was named Kenpo Karate Studio and was the northern branch of Ed Parkers organization. It was there that the Tracy brothers created the three new Kyu ranks and the "colored belt system". Ed Parker adopted the new 8-kyu system, but rejected the colored belts until finally converting to the Tracy color belt system in 1966. The Tracy brothers also created belt manuals (which contained 40 techniques per belt at that time) and gave the techniques names, like Attacking Circle, Raising the Staff, etc.
The Tracy brothers opened a second school, in Sacramento, in 1962, and a third, in San Jose, in 1963, and later changed the name of the schools to Tracys Kenpo Karate.
In 1964, the Tracy Brothers were promoted to 3rd Degree Back Belt (Sandan). Ed Parker turned the Kenpo Karate Association of America (KKAA) over to the Tracy brothers and then formed the International Kenpo Karate Association (IKKA). The Tracy brothers agreed to join the IKKA on the condition that they could keep the standards of teaching of the KKAA for their students.
The Tracy brothers later opened schools throughout California and other states and formed the Tracys International Studios of Self-Defense.
By 1982, Ed Parker had changed what he called American Kenpo, so much so as to make it in Parkers own words, "no more than 10% Kenpo." It was around this time that the Tracys completely broke from Ed Parker.
Tracys Kenpo Karate remains to this day teaching "Original/Traditional" Kenpo, one of the most effective systems of self-defense available.
Ralph Castro moved to the Mainland (San Francisco), and began teaching Kenpo in 1958. He later founded the International Shaolin Kenpo Association.
Through his years of teaching, Ralph Castro has taught all the Original Kenpo techniques, applications, and philosophy taught to him by William Chow. Ralph Castro also developed numerous "key dances" and sets to enhance Kenpo.
Great Grand Master Ralph Castro promoted his son, Professor R. Robert "Rob" Castro, to 10th Dan and conveyed the title "Grand Master", at the Annual Promotion & Awards Ceremony, on December 12, 1998. Grand Master Rob Castro was also designated to be the next in line to continue the legacy and leadership of Shaolin Kenpo from his father.
Great Grand Master Ralph Castro now devotes more time to the business of seminars and world travel as well as work on his biographical book.
Cerio began his martial arts studying Jiu-jitsu, Boxing,
Around that time he sought out Professor William K.S. Chow. Before Cerio could study with Chow, he was instructed to study with one of Chow's top students, William Chun.
This was traditionally done as a test of patience, honor, and skill.
After training with William Chun, he was given permission to train under Professor Chow. On August 15, 1967, Cerio was awarded his Shodan (Black Belt) in Kenpo by Chow and in December 1971, Cerio was awarded his Godan (5th Degree Black Belt) in Kenpo by Chow.
In 1973, Master Gan Fong Chin awarded Cerio an 8th Dan in Karate and title of Sifu in Kung Fu, the first of only three to receive such certification from Chin.
In 1974 Nick Cerio's Kenpo was founded. Prior to that his school was called Cerio's Academy of Martial Arts. At William Chow's request Cerio's system was renamed Nick Cerio's Kenpo Karate.
Cerio's Kenpo system consists of Shotokan kata, Jiu-Jitsu/Judo, Korean kicking, Western Boxing and most importantly the Kenpo he had been taught by William Chun and William Chow.
In 1983 Ed Parker awarded him his 9th Dan in Kenpo.
In 1989, he was awarded his Professorship by Soke Thomas H. Burdine and in 1989 he was presented with Above Ranking Status by the World Council of Sokes.
Nick Cerio passed away October 7th, 1998. Cerio was an innovator and he left an incredible legacy in the martial arts.
Original Kenpo Today
Since the passing of Ed Parker, many followers of his system have gone on and created their own organizations and modified his system somewhat.
There are many who remained loyal to Ed Parker's teachings and stuck to the prescribed guidelines and formats of requirements for each belt level he outlined in his "Infinite Insights Into Kenpo."
I'm sure there are others that I have missed.
Larry Tatum began his Kenpo studies directly under Ed Parker in 1966. He was there and helped Ed Parker develop "American Kenpo." Ed Parker worked with and taught Larry Tatum the new material exactly as he wanted it taught. Larry Tatum also did most of the training of the other top students including Jeff Speakman. Tatum would travel with Ed Parker around the world and United States giving seminars. In addition to this Larry Tatum ran Ed Parker's main studio in Santa Monica for years.
Recognized for his captivating seminars and articulate explanations of his art, Tatum enjoys a reputation as a gifted instructor and "teacher of the black belts." His many students include celebrities and their offspring. He has personally worked with Sidney and Joanna Poitier, Gary Collins, Julie Haggarty, writer Joe Hyams, and Nancy Cartwright. He has trained the children and grandchildren of such notables as Ed Byrnes, George Peppard, Ann Archer, Tommy Smothers, Patty Duke, Austin Grier, and composer Henry Mancini.
Today 10th Dan Larry Tatum is considered one of the foremost authorities on American Kenpo Karate. His teaching has spanned 30 years. Being one of the most sought after teachers, his time is spent giving seminars and demonstrations throughout the world as well as teaching at his Head Quarter School located in Pasadena, California. Moreover, he has a American Kenpo Karate Association with over 1,000 members worldwide.
Master Tatum's achievements are many.
In 1980, Master Tatum was the first Martial Arts instructor to convince the California courts to allow Martial Arts to be recognized as a means for effective therapy for those who have been victimized by violence. In 1983, Master Tatum wrote the first Kenpo book for children, Confidence - A Child's First Weapon. In 1984, Master Tatum was named "Instructor of the Year" by Inside Kung Fu magazine. In 1996, Master Tatum was on the ground floor in helping to create "Martial Arts Day" in California. He received a State Resolution for his work. In 1996, Master Tatum was awarded a State Resolution for his "Kids at Risk" program that has helped provide a safer and caring environment for many kids, enabling them to stay off the streets. Master Tatum has been featured on the cover of Black Belt Magazine five times with over 20 of his articles published in the magazine. Master Tatum is the official spokesman for the "Kids and Cops" program with the Pasadena Police Department.
For over 12 years, Master Tatum has been head of one of the largest American Kenpo Associations in the world - The Larry Tatum's Kenpo Karate Association (L.T.K.K.A.). Master Tatum's teachings have spanned the world through demonstrations and seminars encompassing South America, Europe, and Canada. Most recently, Master Tatum has provided a national infomercial to promote a self-defense video series, "America's Self-Defense," which will enable non-martial artists to learn basic self-defense at home.
As further endorsement, the greatest recognition comes from your seniors. Larry Tatum, at the "Gathering of Eagles", was seated at the head table where he took his place with the other "Senior Masters of the Yudanshakai." There were a total of 16 Senior Masters sitting at the table of honor.
As Master Al Tracy said, "Larry Tatum was the obvious choice to be the first to represent American kenpo!"
Since the Passing of James Masayoshi Mitose there have been many people claiming to be the inheritor of Kosho-ryu:
Thomas B. Mitose was born in 1940, Honolulu, Hawaii. He was James M. Mitoses first, child. Thomas Mitose was separated from his father as a child because of hardship and was adopted by the Barro family through arrangement and it was not until Thomas Mitose was six years old that he would see his father.
When he got older Thomas Mitose would move to San Francisco, where he would began studying Kajukenbo under Joe Halbuna, whom he would receive his Shodan (Black Belt) from.
In his early twentys Thomas was reunited with his father and
began his training in Kosho-ryu under his father, the 21st Great Grand Master
of Kosho Ryu Kenpo.
Thomas Mitose never received any certificate or rank from his father because as his father said, "you do not need any certificate because you have my blood in you, being my son", "unless one comes from the blood line of a Grand Master they will never have full knowledge of that art."
During conversations and letters with his father, James Mitose would urge his son to reclaim his family name. Thomas legally regained his family name, keeping the Barro in honor of his adopted parents memory of raising and giving him the chances in life to grow and prosper.
Many people since the passing of James M. Mitose, have claimed to be the successor of Kosho-ryu but most believe that once James Mitose the 21st Great Grand Master had passed away his son Thomas B. Mitose became the 22nd Great Grand Master of Kosho Ryu, following the bloodline of the family.
Robert Trias, Director of the United States Karate Association and close friend of James Mitose, recognized Thomas B. Mitose as the head of the Kosho Shorei style of Kenpo.
Adriano Emperado, founder of Kajukenbo, recognized Thomas B. Mitose as the rightful heir, true keeper and Grandmaster of Kosho-ryu.
In 1987,Grandmaster Thomas Mitose reorganized and reinforced the philosophies and aspects of Kosho Ryu Kenpo as handed down from generation to generation. The result in the reestablishment of the supporting members and the belief that Kosho Ryu Kenpo is a complete martial art system of ethical self-defense that teaches humility respect for the rights and beliefs of others. With the coordination and the development of the mind, body, and the spirit, knowledgeable in the physical art of Kenpo, and to know that one only uses the techniques only if necessary when threatened with bodily harm.
At this time the Kosho Ryu Kenpo system is growing throughout the world, teaching its philosophies as handed down through the Mitose family.
Thomas B. Mitose teaches and passes on his familys art of Kosho-ryu at his dojo, "Mitose's Kosho-Ryu Karate Kenpo Academy", in Antioch, CA.
Bruce Juchnik studied with James Mitose from 1977 to 1981. His studies only consisted of verbal instruction because of James Mitose's incarceration at the time. Bruce Juchnik had been introduced to James Mitose by Juchnik's student George Santana in 1977. Before Mitoses death, he awarded Bruce Juchnik a full mastery certification (Menkyo Kaiden and Inka Shomei) and gave him the "power to do whatever (Juchnik Hanshi) thinks is good and right for God, for (Mitose), and for Kosho Shorei, true self-defense, true and pure Karate and Kempo" from that day forward.
Bruce Juchnik founded the Sei Kosho Shorei Kai International (S.K.S.K.I.). The Kai was developed to carry on and preserve the teachings of James Masayoshi Mitose.
Bruce Juchnik worked with Mitoses first Black Belt, Professor Thomas S.H. Young from 1982 until the death of Professor Young in 1995 in order to better connect James Mitoses early teachings from Hawaii in the 1940s with the new teachings transmitted to Bruce Juchnik in the 1970s and 1980s. Thomas Young was an active participating member in Juchnik Hanshi's organization, the Sei Kosho Shorei Kai International (S.K.S.K.I) , until Professor Youngs death.
In the early 1970s, Great Grand Master James M. Mitose came out of retirement and accepted one student for training and instruction in his family's system. Nimr Hassan was selected over other candidates to become the "ichi deschi" (disciple/only student) of the Great Grand Master. In this position, Nimr Hassan was instructed in the ancient and traditional manner by receiving the secrets from mouth to ear. Day after day, Hassan would journey to Mitose's home, where they would go into the backyard and train for hours. He is the only non-family member who has been taught the family's Temple Dance/Escaping Art Pattern systems. This includes the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of the Koga Ha Kosho Shorei-ryu Kempo system.
In 1974, Nimr Hassan received from James M. Mitose the master instructor's license and the family crest, which meant he was allowed to teach the art of Kosho-ryu Kempo. Since that time, Nimr Hassan has maintained the complete art taught to him by Mitose and teaches it under the full title of Koga Ha Kosho Shorei-ryu Kempo, reflecting all three arts designated on the family crest received from his instructor.
That same year, Menkyo Hanshi Hassan opened a Dojo under the guidance of the Great Grand Master and was given the Charter and permission to promote, display, and use the Kosho Shorei-ryu Coat of Arms. Menkyo Hanshi Hassan is presently the only surviving student in the continental United States to be taught by Great Grand Master James M. Mitose. He is the only Menkyo Hanshi who teaches the ancient and traditional Koga Ha Kosho Shorei-ryu Temple Dance/Escaping Art systems.
Since 1974, Nimr Hassan has received many honors and awards from organizations, institutions, and fraternal orders. Over the years, he has received promotions from other Masters and schools. In 1993, Nimr Hassan was recognized by Dr. William Durbin, Soke-Kiyojute Ryu Kempo Bugei and Ann Nooner, Hanshi-Kiyojute-ryu Kempo Bugei as the Menkyo Hanshi. In 1986, Nimr Hassan received the honorary rank of Shichi Dan (7th Degree Black Belt) from Great Grand Master William K.S. Chow, head of the Kara Ho and United Kenpo Jujitsu Association. This award was given to Nimr Hassan for his continuous efforts to preserve the ancient and traditional teachings of the Mitose family system.
Nimr Hassan continues to teach at his dojo in Philadelphia, The Koga Ha Kosho Shorei Ryu Kempo Association of Philadelphia.