History of Yoshukai Karate

Japanese Karate, as we know it today, has roots that trace back as far as 1,000 years. Starting in India it moved to China, then to Okinawa, and finally from Okinawa to Japan in the early 1900s.

Among many of the early and better-known karate masters that emerged from Japan was Dr.Tsuyoshi Chitose of Okinawa. Dr. Chitose’s teachers were the great Okinawan karate masters Aragoki-Ou, Kanryu Higanno, and Chotoku Kyan. After moving from Okinawa to Japan in 1922, he began teaching and modifying his teachers’ karate, until in 1952 Dr. Chitose named his style of karate Chito-Ryu, meaning 1,000 year old style. Chito-Ryu has since become one of Japan’s most highly respected karate systems.

Dr. Chitose’s top ranking student and protegé was Mamoru Yamamoto. Leaving Dr. Chitose in 1963, Mamoru Yamamoto interjected new techniques and traditional weapons from Okinawa into Chito-Ryu and founded the style of karate known as Yoshukai, meaning training hall of continuing improvement and development. Yoshukai has become another highly respected karate system in Japan.

Sensei Yamamoto’s early accomplishments

Yamamoto Sensei
  • All-Japan Karate Open Tournament Champion 1958-1960
  • Represented Japanese Karate at Canadian Int. Exposition - 1967
  • Demonstrated Yoshukai Karate at World's Fair in Japan - 1970

In 1957 an American serviceman named Mike Foster was stationed in Japan with the U.S. Air Force. Mr. Foster started training with Mamoru Yamamoto while Mr. Yamamoto was still with Chito-Ryu Karate. Eventually leaving Japan in 1966, Mr. Foster returned to America to establish and spread the art of Yoshukai Karate. Mr. Foster was named the Director of the U.S.A Yoshukai Karate Association and held this position until 1980 when he left Mamoru Yamamoto and founded the Yoshukai International Karate Association.

Sensei Foster's early accomplishments

Foster Sensei
  • All-Service Karate Champion (Japan)
  • Southern All-Japan Champion
  • USKA Grand National Champion 1966-1968
  • Florida Karate State Champion 1967-1975
  • Sponsored by West German Government to teach karate in West Germany
  • Euro-Cup European Karate Champion
  • Founding member of Canadian National Karate Association
  • Considered premiere karate official in America
  • Commissioner of the southeast Professional Karate Commission
  • Member of the Official Certification Committee of the AAU
  • Coach of the Amateur U.S. Team for World Championships in Europe and again in Long Beach, CA.
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