This karate school was founded by TANI Chojiro Sensei, born on January 25, 1921 in Kobe, Japan. His teachers were MIYAGI Chojun Sensei – founder of Goju-Ryu Karatedo and Mabuni Kenwa Sensei – founder of Shito-Ryu Karatedo.
Tani Sensei studied at the Doshisha University in Kyoto, from where he also graduated. In 1948 he opened his school “Research Institute for Tani Karatedo” and named it SHUKOKAI and TANI-HA SHITO-RYU KARATEDO respectively. Shukokai means “association for common practice”, a name that was chosen for political reasons.
At that time, after the defeat in World War II, the practice of martial arts was forbidden in Japan. Under this name, however, one could train undisturbed.
Shukokai literally means “to practice together in an amicable way”. This philosophy is fundamental to our Association and forms the underlying basis for the Shitoryu Shukokai Karate World Union (SSWU): to practice together, to develop our Karate together – without politics. Shukokai thus has two meanings to us: on one hand it is the idea and philosophy behind our Karate practice, on the other hand Shukokai is a group within the Shito-style, with some technical particularities.
Shitoryu Shukokai Karatedo World Union is a democratic non-profit organisation. As a legal entity, the Association has its legal, organisational and administrative base in Austria (Europe) and is governed by Austrian law. The aim of our association is to practice and develop Shitoryu Shukokai Karatedo throughout the world. The karate base of our organisation is in Japan and we are a member of Kenseikan Shitoryu Karatedo Japan (see below).
Only a few rules are required to run this organisation.
Responsibilities within the Directory Committee (DC):
We accept members and groups from all countries.
Applying the principles of Shukokai, it will be possible to have more than one member from any country. Groups that are financially and organisationally independent from one another may each have separate full membership.
We are not actively searching for members but when we are contacted by interested groups our Directory Committee will consider their application for membership and, if they are found to embrace our understanding of the spirit of Shukokai, we will accept them. If somebody is interested in joining the SSWU please send a simple email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Where the SSWU has more than one member for a particular country then the DC will appoint a National Co-ordinator for that country.
The role of the National Co-ordinator will be to provide communication between the DC and other SSWU members in their country, to provide assistance and support to new members from their country and to assist the DC in the implementation of the spirit and aims of Shukokai in their country.
The National Co-ordinator will not be or be regarded as the ‘chief instructor’ of their country. They will have no specific authority or seniority over other members from their country. The National Co-ordinator need not be the most senior grade within the country they represent.
The Association wishes to establish and maintain long-lasting relationships with its members. Membership to the SSWU shall be taken as an honour and a privilege and, of course, it has to be beneficial to all. However full and associate membership is not a permanent membership. Such membership is granted for a period of one year (and for new members for the remainder of the calendar year) and is renewable annually at the discretion of the Directory Committee. All full and associate memberships will expire at midnight on 31st December each year. Membership will automatically renew without further application or formality unless a decision has been taken by the Directory Committee not to renew membership. If the Directory Committee decide not to renew membership, the relevant member will be notified in writing. The Directory Committee is not obliged to cite grounds for not granting a renewal. Shitoryu Shukokai Karatedo World Union Member of Kenseikan Shitoryu Karatedo Japan
Clubs and organisations who become members of our Association may continue to hold dan gradings for their students in accordance with their own national and organisational rules up to the rank of 3rd dan. Therefore up to 3rd dan it will not be compulsory for students to be examined by the SSWU Dan Grading Panel.
However, the SSWU offers the opportunity for dan gradings from 1st dan and above. Therefore, up to 3rd dan, members will have the choice whether to grade their own students or submit students for grading by the SSWU Dan Grading Panel.
Examinations for senior grades of 4th dan and above will be examined by the SSWU Dan Grading Panel.
The detailed grading syllabus and rules concerning the composition of the SSWU Dan Grading Panel are found in a separate document that can be supplied upon request.
Members will be able to invite senior instructors from the SSWU to lead a seminar/course in their country. Members are invited to attend an annual seminar in central Europe. Possible contents are: traditional and modern sports karate (kata and kumite), teaching Karate to children, complimentary practice to Karate. At least every two years seminars will be organised in Japan. For a period of about ten days seminars, gradings and competition in Karate, visits and eventual participation in different Budo (Iaido, Kyudo, Judo, Kendo) or other Japanese cultures (Ikebana, …) shall be organised. Also possible two days stay in a Japanese Zen monastery. Sightseeing proposal of course included in programme.
Bi-annual in Japan starting 2018; Other competitions upon request e.g. integrated in a prolonged week-end with seminar and competition, to be organised by hosting country/organisation; organisational support given by SSWU. Rules for competition: World Karate Federation rules
Effective January 2018 a 250 EUR membership fee will be due.
The SSWU will be further financed by fees and income generated through seminars, gradings and merchandising. If, for example, you take a grading, the fee will be divided/apportioned as follows: 1/3 to the SSWU, 1/3 will be applied to pay the expenses of the members of the grading panel, 1/3 will be received by the national organisation of which the candidate is a member.
Seminar fees for international seminars led by an SSWU expert will be used to pay the necessary travel and accommodation costs of the expert (but not their spouse or other relatives or assistants) and also the teaching fee (which will be negotiated and agreed by the DC in each case).
Our base in Japan is the KENSEIKAN (Kenseikan Shitoryu Karatedo) group, which is small but of very fine quality and standard.
Ken means “fist”, sei means “be born” or “alive”, kan means “house” (term frequently used for organisations, to be found as well for example in Shotokan).
Kenseikan is led by MIMOTO Teruo Hanshi, (8th Dan Japan Karatedo Federation and 10th Dan Kenseikan Shitoryu Karatedo). We have enjoyed close ties and collaborated with Mimoto sensei for over twenty years,. Until only a few years ago he was the third-highest ranking member of a different Shitoryu Shukokai organisation and held this position for more than thirty years. Kenseikan offers seminars, practice and the possibility for dan-gradings (to be organised by SSWU). We also collaborate with the SEISHINKAN group. Seishinkan is led by YOSEDA Masao, Shihan, (8th Dan All Japan University Karatedo Federation, 6th Dan Japan Karatedo Federation and 10th Dan Kenseikan Shitoryu Karatedo). Yoseda sensei was also an important member in the same Shitoryu Shukokai organisation as Mimoto sensei until a few years ago. Yoseda sensei is also responsible for the Karate Club of Osaka University. Seishinkan is a huge group and its annual competition attracts between 1.000 and 1.500 competitors. Seishinkan offers seminars and will provide the SSWU with access to exceptional competitions. Mimoto sensei and Yoseda sensei have a very good and strong personal relationship based on shared positive values and for this reason we have chosen to ally our Association with them
The SSWU logo can be found on the top of every page of this document. Clubs and organisations who become members of the SSWU may retain and use their own logos and will not be required to adopt the SSWU logo. To Shitoryu Shukokai Karatedo World Union Member of Kenseikan Shitoryu Karatedo Japan demonstrate unity members are requested, where possible, to display the SSWU logo, for example on official papers etc.