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        chito-ryu style



   Ware ware Karate-do o shugyo surumonowa,
        Tsuneni bushido seishin o wasurezu,
                 Wa to nin o motte nashi,
        Soshite tsutomereba kanarazu tasu.

                   We who study Karate-Do
Should never forget the spirit of the warrior's way,
    Through Peace, Perseverance and Hard Work,
            We will not fail to reach our goal.

Koshin-ha Chito-kai


 definitions of the Koshin-ha Chito-kai Patch.


The center circle represents the sun the most powerful force in our universe


The straight lines extending left and right of the center circle represent the straight and narrow path required of all karate students in order to reach their maximum potential in Chito-ryu. These also represent equal and opposite sides or the yin/yang principles of Chito-ryu.


The straight lines connecting to and becoming part of the center circle demonstrate that the straight and narrow path must remain continuous. In order to grasp the true essence of Karate-do, training is for a life time.


The outer circle represents all that exist, the universe itself


The five lines extending from the outside to the center, left and right are the fingers of the hands. With the fingers or open hand one has control of all movements as opposed to the fist which only allows us to strike.


The white color represents purity of mind, body and soul. 


The red color represents one of the most important principles in Chito-ryu, fire (speed) one of the five elements.


The Kanji on the right of the patch states: Koshin ha.


The Kanji in the center of the patch states: Chito-ryu


The Kanji on the lower left of the patch states: Karate-do


Koshin-ha Chito-ryu Karate-do means: A group who study the old methods/ principles of Dr. Chitose's teachings in order to better understand the new.


The center of the outside circle represents that the greatest skill is found through internal development. One cannot be taught, they can only be shown, we teach ourselves through continuous training and introspection.


The Meaning of Chito-ryu

Aragaki Tsuji Penchin Seisho (1840-1920), O Sensei's first karate teacher told him that the system on which his teaching were based originated approximately one thousand years ago in China.  Based on this information, Dr. Chitose named the style of karate he would later develop 'Chito-Ryu Karate-do'.


CHI Means 'one thousand'.
TO Refers to China’s Tang dynasty (618-907), which is from where To-de (later became known as Karate-do) is commonly thought to have sprung.
RYU Style
KARA Empty
TE Hand
DO Way or Method

The Meaning of Koshin-ha:

The word Koshin-ha can be defined in many way depending on how it is interpreted or the context in which it is used. Since it is a Japanese word, it is composed of ideas. These ideas are represented by 3 ideograms Ko-Shin-ha:

Ko: as used in Koshin-ha references the term old.                                        Shin: as used in Koshin-ha references the term new.                              ha: as used in Koshin-ha references a family or group. 

Therefore Koshin-ha translates as a group who studies the old ways or methods in order to better understand the new. 

The Meaning of Yoseikan

The word Yoseikan can be defined in many way depending on how it is interpreted or the context in which it is used. Since it is a Japanese word, it is composed of ideas. These ideas are represented by 3 ideograms YO-SEI-KAN:

Yo: defines the concept of learning, training and growing in prosperity or to rise above.  Sei: defines the concept of truth, good, right, correct or positive attitude.                   Kan: defines the concept of a place, building or a house of serious learning.

Therefore Yoseikan means a location of serious and correct study where one learns, grows and develops a positive attitude to rise above adversity.


A Short History of Chito-ryu

Doctor Tsuyoshi Chitose & William J. Dometrich 1967


Chito-ryu karate is one of the most unique styles of karate in existence today. The style was developed by Dr. Tsuyoshi Chitose a retired gynecologist and obstetrician . Chitose was born in Naha, Okinawa on October 18, 1898. He began his formal karate training under the famous Okinawan karate master Arigaki Seisho in 1905 at the early age of seven years old. Over the next 40 years the young Chitose would continue his martial arts training in Shorei-ryu, Shorin-ryu as well as kobudo under some of the most famous karate and kobudo men in Okinawan martial arts history.

In 1922, the young Chitose would move to Japan where he would attend medical school at the prestigious Tokyo University. Now armed with the advanced knowledge of anatomy and physiology he would continue to forge his martial skill under the guidance of such men as; Choyu Motobu, Choki Motobu, Hanashiro Chomo, Kanryu Higashionna, Chotoku Kyan, , Moden Yabiku, Sanda Chinen, Anko Itosu, {The exact dates that Chitose trained under each of the men listed above is not known. It is believed that he most likely trained under several of them prior to his moving to Japan. We also believe that Chitose would have continued his training under these Okinawans since he made numerous trips between Japan and Okinawa while in medical school and for many year thereafter.} During Chitose's studies he would also train beside many other martial artist who, like Chitose himself, would eventually become legends in the karate world. These men would include; Gichin Funakoshi (Shotokan-ryu), Kenwa Mabuni (Shito-ryu),  Kanken Toyama (Shudo-kan), Yasuhiro Konishi (Ryobu-kai), Chojun Miyagi (Goju-ryu, Gogen Yamaguchi (Goju-kai),

 O-Sensei and Gogen Yamaguchi 1954

Possibly having trained with Gichin Funakoshi while still on Okinawa, the young and talented Chitose would be ask to assist this Okinawan karate man by teaching in Funakoshi Sensei's first karate school (Yotsuya dojo). Funakoshi would later be considered the "Father of Modern Day Karate" and credited with formally introduced karate into Japan in 1922. {Funakoshi had already demonstrated karate in Japan as early as 1917 or 1918.} While Chitose was teaching at Funakoshi's first dojo he would give instruction to another man who would eventually become famous in the karate world. This man was Masatoshi Nakayama, later to become the Chief Instructor of the Japan Karate Association (JKA).

It was only fitting that Dr. Chitose would eventually (1944) make his home in the city of Kumamoto on the island of Kyushu, the southern most island of Japan since many famous martial artist have resided on the island of Kyushu. During this same year Chitose would become the Kyushu director for the All Japan Kenpo Karate-do Fukyu-kai. In 1952 Dr. Chitose would rename is karate group the All Japan Chito-kai and would call his style Chito-ryu karate-do. In the late 1950's, 1960's and 1970's Chito-ryu would eventually spread world wide. Chito-ryu's largest following (outside of Japan) would be largely due to the efforts of two men. The style would be introduced into the United States in 1955 by William Dometrich who had studied under Dr. Chitose from 1952 thru 1954 while serving in the US Army. The style would be introduced into Canada in 1957 by Masami Tsuruoka. Tsuruoka, an early student of Dr. Chitose had received his Sho-dan from Dr. Chitose in 1949 and had moved to Canada in 1956 as a Ni-dan. 

On June 6, 1984 Dr. Tsyuoshi Chitose died. He would leave his organization in the hands of his youngest son Yasuhira Chitose (Waka Sensei.) As with most karate organizations upon the death of it's founder and in most cases the founder's son becoming the Soke, the style of Chito-ryu has seen many splits.  It has been said that in the mid 1970's the style of Chito-ryu boosted a world wide membership of 40,000 students and instructors.

Today the members of the Koshin-ha Chito-ryu Karate Organization have chosen to follow the teaching of the Founder of Chito-ryu, Dr. Chitose. With the many sport oriented changes in Chito-ryu within the last few years, the Koshin-ha Chito-kai is certainly only one of a few Chito-ryu organizations still interested in following the old style teachings of Dr. Chitose, the founder of this unique system of karate.  Many changes have been made, in the context of modernization and not all have been good.  This reminds me of a statement I heard from Sensei Shoshin Nagimine 10th Dan and founder of Matusbayshi-ryu Karate-do. While attending a dinner in his honor in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1976, Nagimine Sensei was very upset due to the changes he had seen made in the kata since the kata had left Okinawa and come to the US. With this in mind, he made the following statement: "Do not change the kata simply because you do not have the skill or lack the knowledge to understand it. Instead of changing the movements of the old kata passed down to us over many generations by the old masters, develop your own kata, do not destroy someone else's hard work and unique understanding."

NOTE:     There has been much debate as to the exact date that Chitose would formally term his unique system of karate Chito-ryu. Some say he named the style in 1948, some will say 1952 and some will say that it was later than 1952. We may never know the exact date, but we do know that when Dometrich Sensei was in Japan and began his training under Dr. Chitose in 1952, the name Kempo Karate was (at least at times) used to describe what Chitose taught. We also have documented proof that Chitose may still have been referring to his method as Kempo Karate-do as late as 1957. This information is due to a book that was written by Dr. Chitose and appeared in 1957. This book has recently been translated into English largely in part to Mr. Michael Collings and Mr. Christopher Johnson, both of Canada. The front cover of the book bears the emblem of a flexed arm with a fist and Kempo Karate-do as the title of the book. I have also seen a lapel pin that was given to Dometrich by Dr. Chitose somewhere between 1952 and 1954 when Dometrich left Japan. This lapel pen bears the same emblem that is printed on the cover of the book. It is possible that Chitose wrote the book years earlier and it was not published until 1957. There is one comment in his book on page 22, which states that the author himself combined the karate of Shuri and Naha and created a single style, Chito-ryu. Chito-ryu is seldom used throughout the rest of the book to describe the karate of Chitose.

Motivational Poem

Incredible techniques of the Southern Seas, this Karate!
How regrettable that their true transmission fell into decline.
Who will take up the incredible challenge to restore Karate's former glory?
With a pure heart, I vow to the heavens to do all that I can!

All must realize that Karate is the impregnable fortress
With which we defend ourselves without weapons.  

Chitose, Tsuyoshi, Kempo Karate-do

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