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"KYUDOKAN" - Training Hall for Learning the "DO" (Way/Path to self-enlightenment) The Okinawan Shorin-Ryu Karate

-Do KYUDOKAN School, now known as the 'Higa Family School of Karate-do', is a traditional school renowned throughout the world because of its history, its accumulated culture and the traditions handed down over the centuries by the fore fathers of Karate in Okinawa. The Kyudokan Karate-do, was founded by Master Yuchoku HIGA, one of the most well known 10th Dan Masters in the world, Known as the 'Strong Fist of Okinawa' (Yuchoku No Teji Kun) . It has roots of the ancient Shorin School, (or Shuri te/The hand of Shuri). This is an evolving school in the sense that, although it is an art handed down from generation to generation, it has advanced its technical contents with regard to the art of movement but without losing the spirit of the original. The element of fundamental difference with the rest of the Shorin systems, is in the work of rotation of hip, of which O'Sensei Yuchoku Higa made a deep study. Currently, Hanshi, Minoru HIGA (10th Dan) one of the most respectable masters in Okinawa, works as the president of Kyudokan. And Hanshi, Oscar MAZATO HIGA (9th Dan), who currently lives in Italy works as the World Technical Director of Kyudokan School. (Please take note that the Washimekai is directly linked and under the technical supervision of Hanshi Oscar Higa) Kyudokan style has established in more than twenty countries around the world including Okinawa (Japan), Italy, Argentina, Ecuador, Germany, USA, Uruguay, Sri Lanka, Czech Republic, Morocco, Chile, Brazil, Paraguay, Philippines, India, Romania, Spain, Poland, Philippines, Canada, Panama, Bahrain, KSA (Jeddah).

The Basic Principles of the Kyudokan School –
>The Myo Mamoru principle, namely the concept of defending and protecting (sheltering) the body; >Development of 'Ki' (internal energy) by means of systematic work of Hara (Tandem) and the principles of Yin and Yang; hard-soft, relaxed-tensed, slow-rapid >The Rule of Kokyu (breathing without lungs); >The Marumi-Muchimi principle, namely circularity of movement and the conclusion of the technique at its maximum level. The Kyudokan School Motto - 'KYUDO MUGEN' (Study-trail is never-ending) symbolizes the spirit of the school, that is - constancy in practice and an endless search for perfection as a way towards growth, as an antithesis to the confining mentality. "...The study-trail is never ending. The Karate pathway is as immensely vast, profound and bondless as the heavens that go on for ever beyond all limits".

KYUDOKAN LINEAGE • Peichin Takahara
Peichin Takahara was an educated person at that time. He is the person who draws the first maps of Okinawa. He comes from a Samurai Family and a superb fighter. He was the teacher of To-De Sakugawa, the father of Karate.

• To-de Sakugawa Kanga (1733-1815): Known as The father of Karate Master Sakugawa was born in 1733 in Shuri, Okinawa. He studied the art of Samurai Sward from Peichin Takahara. At Takahara s death he named Sakugawa as To-De Sakugawa. To-De (Chinese Hand) was the name used for Karate before 1930 s. Sakugawa improved his techniques under Master Kusanku (A Chinese Martial Arts Expert). Sakugawa s main student was Sokon Matsumura, the founder of Shuri-te . He made Kusanku and Sakugawa No Kun (bo) kata.

• Bushi, Sokon Matsumura (1792-1815): The founder of Shuri-te. He studied martial arts under famous Tode Sakugawa. He was the bodyguard to three Ryu Kyu kings. Bushi is the rank which can be translated as warrior. He made few students the famous one was Itosu Anko who was the founder of Shorin system and teacher of many leading Karatekas. Matsumura put the foundation to Shuri System. Nabe Matsumura is the one who learned Matsumura s secret family style of Karate. It was the foundation of Matsumura Seito Shorin Ryu (Houhan Soken) later. His other students were Anko Azato, Chotsu Kuwae, Sanda Chinen, Chochu Itarashiki, Peichin Kinjo, Peichin Sakihara,Chofu Kyan, Chosho Chibana, Peichin Kyuna, Ryosei Kuwae.

• Anko (Iron Horse) Itosu (1827-1906): Master Itosu was the most influential Karate teacher in the later 19th century and the beginning of 20th century. He was the teacher to many leading Karate teachers. He did a great job to the spreading of Karate. He was the person who introduced Karate to the Okinawan school system. He made the five Phinan Katas at the age of 77 for the beginners. He made lot of changes in Katas. He made new versions of Naihanchi, Kushanku, Pasai katas. His students were Choshin Chibana (Kobayashi {Shorin} Ryu), Kentsu Yabu(Shorin Ryu), Chomo Hanashiro(Shorin Ryu), Chotoku Kyan(Shobayashi{Shorin Ryu}), Gichin Funakoshi(Shotokan), Kenyu Kudekan, Choki Motobu(Shorin Ryu), Choren Yamakawa, Mouden Yabiku(Famous Kobudo Master),Anbun Tokuda, Choujyo Oshiro, Kanken Toyama, Kenwa Mabuni(Shito Ryu), Shinpan Gusukuma(Shorin Ryu).

• Hanshi,Chosin Chibana- 10th Dan(1885-1969): Hanshi, Chosin Chibana was the best student of Itosu. He is called "the father of modern Shorin Ryu". He named his system of Shorin Ryu as Kobayashi Ryu. He is the first 10th dan in Shorin Ryu. He gained many prices and honours to his great work in Karate. He lost many of his good students in the II World War. But before he died he promoted five of his students to 9th Dan. They are Yuchoku Higa(Shorin Ryu Kyudokan), Chozo Nakama, Katsuya Miyahira(Shorin Ryu Shidokan), Shugoro Nakazato(Shorin Ryu Shorinkan) and Kensei Kinjo. The famous Karatekas Ankichi Arakaki(1899-1929), Seitoku Ishikawa and Katsuyuki Shimabukuro were also Chibana's students. • Master, Jinan Shinzato: Direct student of Master Chojun Miyagi the founder of Goju Ryu. A teacher of Hanshi Yuchoku Higa before Chibana. • O' Sensei, Shoshin Nagamine -10th Dan (1907-1998): Master, Nagamine was a student of Chotoku Kyan, Ankichi Arakaki and Choki Motobu and the founder of Matsubayashi (Shorin Ryu). He was famous for his zen philosophy included into the Karate system. Kyoshi, Jintatsu Higa has learned Karate by him. HANSHI, YUCHOKU HIGA (10th Dan) - Founder - Okinawa Shorin Ryu Karate-Do Kyudokan Federation The Strong Fist of Okinawa - Yuchoku No Teji Kun Hanshi, Yuchoku Higa (10th Dan), Founder of Shorin Ryu Kyudokan was born in Naha City, Okinawa in 1910. He was a well known 10th dan in Okinawa and famous as -The Strong fist of Okinawa-, because of the amazing power generated in his punch. He had a strong physique as a warrior because his long time practice in Karate. But when he was a boy, he was skinny and had a weak constitution. Higa’s grandfather was worried about his delicate grandson, so he took his grandson to the home of Master Gichin Funakoshi (Later, Founder of Shotokan Karate), his cousin, and made Higa stay with Funakoshi’s family. The grandfather hoped that Higa learn karate from Master Funakoshi, and at the same time Master Funakoshi helps his

grandson with his studies. At that time Master Funakoshi worked as a teacher at school. Four days later, Higa who was in the fourth grade of elementary school, escaped from Master Funakoshi’s home and went back to his home. He was very afraid and felt lonely when he lived apart from his family. However, the grandfather could not give up his idea, so he tried again when Higa was in the sixth grade of elementary school. This time he took his grandson to the home of Master Chojun Miyagi, the founder of Goju-ryu karate. But again Higa escaped from Master Chojun Miyagi’s home. He said to his grandfather, "Please, please do not force me to learn karate!" Eventually the grandfather gave up and never took him to any karate masters. When Higa was a student of Naha Commercial High School at age 16, he became willing to learn karate. He was physically weak, skinny and pale. He also had a slight stoop. Moreover, he was a bookworm. He liked reading books very much. Higa was an easy target to bully. He was being bullied at school, so he became reluctant to go to school. He felt so depressed that he even thought of trying to kill himself. But he changed his mind. He thought he could die at any time. "I will revenge someday!" said Higa to himself. So he decided and began learning karate. "The motive for learning karate was not pure at all. I was just thinking I would revenge the bullies someday in the future. Ha ha ha!" said Higa with laughing. He first started learning Karate under famous Shuri-te teacher Sensei, Jiro Shiroma. At first, Shiroma rejected this too weak boy. After three rejections, the old teacher accepted him. First, Yuchoku had to clean the Dojo and to wash getta, the Japanese wooden footware. Then, Jiro Shiroma, decided that the boy is ready to receive the instructions of his art. However, the Teacher imposed one condition: Yuchoku would never have to speak in public about Karate and. Of course, the youngster, promised to respect that desire. The training has begun. Karate practiced in Okinawa at that time was very different from today. The courses essentially were constituted by the work of kata. And after Sensei, Shiroma s death in 1933, Sensei, Yuchoku Higa trained alone for one year. Then he became a student of Jinnan Shinzato and Seiei Miyahira. He learned Naha-te from Master Shinzato, who was a main pupil of Master Chojun Miyagi. It brings the kata Seisan in to our system. Master Higa learned punching techniques from Master Seiei Miyahira, who was a specialist in punching techniques. This helped Master Higa to became an expert in punching techniques. In 1941 Master Higa started teaching Karate. In 1941 he became a student of famous Shorin Ryu Master Chosin Chibana, who was the most talented student of Anko Itosu. In a short time Master Higa became the best student of Chibana and he was the first one who received the 9th Dan from Chibana. ( Chibana Sensei awarded 9th Dans for five students before his death). In 1945, with his police-officer qualification, Master Higa worked at Yonabaru police headquarters, being transferred 2 years later to the Naha police headquarters. In the same year (1947) he inaugurated the Kyudokan Karate Dojo and applied himself to perfecting and developing everything that he had learned from his masters, particularly from Choshin Chibana with whom he continued to practice. In 1961 when the first Shorinryu Karate-do Association of Okinawa was formed presided over by Master Chibana, Yuchoku Higa was assigned the role of vice-president. During that period he alternated his political affairs with his role as karate master. As well as having a role in the Okinawa House of Representatives, as either president or member, on eight successive occasions, he was also president of the Okinawa Federation of Karate and Kobudo, chief adviser for the Okinawa Association of Masters of Karate-do etc. Y.Higa also received countless awards, among which there was one for illustrious individuals who were invited to the Royal Palace in Tokyo, by the Emperor

Hirohito. In 1976 he received his Hanshi 10th Dan, the highest rank to which a master can aspire. In 1992, along with other great masters, he took part in one of his last and most memorable exhibitions at the Shuri Castle. The following year, in February, he received the karate-do Merit Prize awarded by the Ryu Kyu press. In 1972, a beautiful building of karate dojo was built for Master Higa by his supporters. However, Master Higa himself thought a dojo is not necessary for practicing karate. He said, "Before the dojo was built, I practiced karate at the yard or garden of my home. There were Gajimaru (a banyan tree) and Sakura (cherry blossoms) in my yard or garden. I loved practicing karate there under the moonlight. I think if we practice karate at the place surrounded by the beauties of nature, melted in nature, we can see a wonderful value of karate and understand karate better." He also criticizes a karate tournament or karate as a sport. Master Higa said, "It is not a karate if you stop your punch before contact. But if you really fight, injury or worse than injury is inevitable. Essentially karate is not fit for a tournament. It is impossible to make karate a tournament sport." In an age when competition didn't exist, Master Higa was the star of numerous Kakidamishi (combat challenges), increasing his physical, mental and spiritual attributes through intensive training sessions. His punch technique was so famous on Okinawa island, where it was known in the local dialect as "Yuchoku no tijikun", (Yuchoku's punch). He dedicated several hours of his practice every day to makiwara exercises, and contrary to what most people might imagine, he wasn't a hard and insensitive character. He was passionate about bonsai trees, and kept numerous examples at the entrance to his dojo; he alternated this pursuit with his keen interest in bird-life. He himself maintained that these hobbies were fundamental for the growth of his spiritual sensitivity. His encouragement of the upkeep of tradition and the cultural heritage of Okinawa can be synthesized in the following sentence: "I would like the essence of Bujutsu Karate not to be lost; it is our sole inheritance from our native land and one which our forefathers left to the world with such pride". Synthesizing his thoughts about karate-do he stated; "up to a certain time I thought being strong was the most important thing. In time I realized that the most important thing is to be ready to give assistance to others. Moreover it is important not to set oneself limits, therefore I now preach “KYUDO MUGEN”( the study-trail is never ending). “The karate pathway is as immensely vast, profound and bondless as the heavens that go on for ever beyond all limits.” Master Yuchoku died on November 6, 1994, in Naha, at the age of 84. KYOSHI, JINTATSU HIGA (10th Dan) - Father of Kyudokan in South America Master Jintatsu Higa was born in the city of Naha (Okinawa), October 10, 1912. He started doing karate at the age of 12 with an uncle of the second grade, the Master Chojun Miyagi, founder of the Goju Ryu school. In 1825 he started practicing Shorin ryu, after meeting Master Giho Maeda and being impressed by the speed and dynamism of his style. The latter introduced him to his master, the sensei Shoshin Nagamine, who from that moment on became Jintatsu's master. It was also Master Ankichi Arakaki (S.Nagamine's master), however, who was to influence young Jintatsu's style and help him in his specialization. According to J.Higa, Master Ankichi Arakaki was one of the best karateka at that time despite his young years; he in fact died at the young age of 28.

Master Jintatsu Higa lived and perfected himself in Okinawa, in the golden age of karate, when styles didn't yet exist and Shorin ryu and Shorei ryu were practised with great masters who would personally select their own pupils, and train them physically, mentally and spiritually for real combat (kakidamishi), since sporting competitions and tournaments didn't exist at that time. Jintatsu took part in several kakidamishi over the years, occasionally together with his brother Yuchoku. Apart from his interest in karate J.Higa developed his passion for baseball to such an extent that he became member and captain of the Okinawa team. Whilst at secondary school he obtained his black belt for judo and excelled in track athletics. Jintatsu was also a good swimmer, thanks to his remarkable physique, and also distinguished himself in gymnastics, specializing in the horizontal bar. However, his great passion for karate kept him away from these other activities, which were nevertheless a suitable and efficient auxiliary back-up for his physical preparation. Moreover the practicing of the traditional dances of permitted him to understand more fully the art of karate-do, improving his movement in both exercises and kata. It is widely known that in olden days the experts in Okinawa-te, during the period in which the activity was banned, concealed combat techniques and movements behind the posing and gesturing of traditional dance. Dividing his time between practice and university studies, J.Higa graduated in engineering in 1935. In 1938, on the invitation of his father-in-law, he and his wife moved to Argentina (Buenos Aires) with the idea of staying for a month or two. The onset of the Second World War and the impossibility of returning to his own country changed the course of his life. In 1940 he performed for the first time in public at a cinema in Burzaco, near Buenos Aires and a little at a time he began to teach karate-do to small groups from the Japanese community in Argentina, and to his two sons Oscar and Benito. He was one of the founders of the Sports Committee of the Okinawa Centre in Argentina, and ran it for ten years. He held the positions of president of the Argentine Federation of Okinawa Shorin ryu Karate-do and president of the technical committee until the day he died. Jintatsu Higa was also the representative for the whole of South America of the World Federation of Okinawa Kyudokan karate-do, and director and chief instructor of the Argentine centre of karate-do. He also acted as adviser and chief judge in national and international competitions. During his frequent visits to Okinawa J.Higa kept up a continuous relationship with various well-known masters with whom he had shared both friendship and training-sessions. On 27 September, 1983, J.Higa passed away in Buenos Aires at the age of 70. His principal characteristic was a temperamental equilibrium that emanated confidence; he would often say: "over the years you lose physical strength, but you gain in inner strength; you acquire a mentality that prompts you to strike not with the fist but with the inner strength of the self, with that force that is acquired through the experience of one's years. Practice is a constant habit, and consequently one never stops practicing, one goes on practicing for one's whole life." When he was asked what karate represented for him, he would reply synthetically: "karate is knowing how to renounce life"; his message was: "karate is a discipline where you learn to stand apart from life, from existence; the separation of the self is, therefore, the acceptance of everything, without dissension, and in a calm and natural way."

HANSHI, MINORU HIGA (10th Dan) - President - Okinawa Shorin Ryu Karate-Do Kyudokan Federation Master Minoru Higa, nephew of the great masters Yuchoku and Jintatsu Higa, was born in Naha (Okinawa) om September 18, 1941. His first experience of martial arts (Judo) was at the age of 11, under the guidance of the master Yogen Tamashiro. In 1960 he became the pupil of the Judo-Master Yokomoto Isekichi and began practicing karate with his uncle Yuchoku Higa. The same year he enrolled in the Japan Bodybuilding Center, driven by his passion for weight-training. From 1960 onwards Minoru Higa Sensei attended the famous temple of Judo "Kodokan", attaining the grade of 4th Dan in this discipline. His physique, which he developed through weight-training and intense practice of judo and karate, helped Master Higa to become the University Boxing Champion. In 1964 he graduated in Business and Economics. Following a special invitation, in 1969 Master Minoru Higa put on a display at the Tokyo Budokan, for the Japanese Karate Championships; in 1971 he opened his gymnasium, the Naha Bodybuilding Center (today known as "Naha Gym"), whilst continuing his karate training under the guidance of his uncle Master Yuchoku Higa, at the Kyudokan Hombu Dojo. In 1976 he became a member of the Ryu Kyu Kobudo Ryu Kon Kai, presided over by Master Kotaro Iha. In 1977, together with his master Yuchoku, he was invited to visit Argentina by the Kyudokan Federation (presided over by Master Jintatsu Higa), of that country, for the Argentinian championships of Okinawa Kyudokan karate-do. During this period, some of the displays put on together with Yuchoku, Jintatsu, Oscar and Benito helped spread the name of the Higa family school. As he was Vice-pPresident of the Okinawa Kyudokan karate-do Federation, Minoru Higa Sensei decided to devote himself more fully to the growth of the school, and following the death of Master Yuchoku Higa, he himself became president of the World Okinawan Shorinryu Kyudokan karate-do Federation, an office he holds to this day. As well as being a prominent entrepreneur and world representative of the Kyudokan school, Minoru Higa is a committee-member for the Okinawan Karate-do and Kobudo Federation, vice-president of the Ryu Kyu Kobudo Ryu Kon Kai Association, Chief Committee-member of the Okinawa Bodybuilding Association, a member and referee for the Japanese Bodybuilding Federation, and a member and referee for the Japanese Power-lifting Association. In November 1998 he visited Italy for the first time as a guest of honor, accompanied by other eminent masters, in order to preside over and contribute, with displays and training sessions, to the international competitions of Shorinryu Kyudokan karate-do, hosted in Palermo by the Italian affiliate of the school. Master Minoru's precept for life is as follows; "Chisin chitai" which means, "In life and karate you have to know how to advance and withdraw; in other words you have to know when to take a step forward and when a step back, in order to find the right step to take." HANSHI, OSCAR HIGA (10th Dan) World Technical Director - Okinawa Shorin Ryu Karate-Do Kyudokan Federation Master Oscar Higa, son of Jintatsu Higa, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, March 28, 1945. He is a Japanese Citizen, and at present is living in Palermo, Italy. In Argentina, at that time there were not yet any gymnasiums, and he received private tuition in one of the small groups that his father set up for the Japanese community, and in particular one group where his father trained his godson Tsuneo Nakandakare.

In a family atmosphere where karate was the chief topic of conversation, at a time when few knew much about it, young Oscar grew up alternating his karate practice with his engineering studies and his other great passion, painting, which was of great help in developing further his spiritual sensitivity. He would often say: "The art of painting and the art of karate-do have the same Zen principle; in karate one says: I do not make a fist, I am the fist. In painting one might say: I do not paint, I am the painting, I become the paintbrush, I transform myself into what I am doing. When all is said and done both arts have in common the elimination of the "self" and the breaking of dualist concepts." At the beginning of 1967 he made the acquaintance of Master Michihisa Itaya, the representative in Argentina of the Shotokan school, whose principal aim was to develop karate as a sport in that country. Master Itaya often visited the Higa family and learnt about the features of the ancient art of traditional Okinawa karate through the teaching of Jintatsu Higa. As this was for him a completely novel experience, Oscar urged his father to ask Master Itaya if he could take part in karate contests, in both kata and kumite. Master Itaya accepted the proposal on the condition that Oscar learnt the Shotokan kata, which was a prerequisite at that time, for being able to take part in the karate competitions. So Oscar began competing and achieved countless successes in competition, becoming the first Argentinian karate champion, and being placed first in many important events, such as; Inter-regional Competition, Argentinian Championship, Rio Plata Championship, South American Championship, both in kata and kumite. He was also the first person in Argentina to obtain the Shotokan black belt. When he had finished with competitive karate he continued by dedicating himself exclusively to training with his father, and to spreading the name of Okinawan karate. One day in 1969 his father addressed him as follows: "If you run after a rabbit, you can catch it; however, it isn't easy. If you run after two rabbits at the same time you certainly won't catch either of them." Oscar grasped his father's message and consequently decided to give up all other activities and to devote himself entirely to practice, with intensive training sessions of 6 or 7 hours a day, researching and seeking to spread the word about karate, and managing to introduce the school into several regions of Argentina and South America. While he was in Argentina he carried out several roles: secretary of the Argentinian Association of Okinawa Shorinryu karate-do, member of the technical committee, technical adviser of the regional affiliates, official referee in national and international competition, and director and chief instructor of the "Higa School" institute; additionally, he was the first permanent teacher of karate in the School of Sports Journalism of the Circle of Argentinian Sports Journal ists, the most prestigious national institution in this sector. In 1976, in Okinawa, he was awarded his 5th Dan, as recognized by the Okinawa Karate-do Federation, at the same time gaining the highest score ever recorded in the history of the school in the course of an examination for promotion to a higher grade. The same year he made the acquaintance of the master of kobudo Eisuke Akamine, head of the Hozon Shinkokai School of Okinawa, eventually becoming its representative in Argentina. On the death of his father Jintatsu Higa, in 1983, he became head of the Kyudokan School in Argentina; in 1985 he attained the Dan Renshi 6th grade and, in Okinawa, received the title of representative of the Kyudokan School for the whole of South America. The same year, he was received in the Presidential Palace in Ecuador, by the Vice-president of the Republic Doctor Blasco Penaherrera. On this occasion Master Higa bestowed "honoris causa" the award of the Okinawa Kyudokan School 10th Dan grade on the President of the Republic in office at that time, Leon Febres Cordero (who was away on state business), and on the vice-president. In March 1988 during one of his frequent trips to Okinawa, he obtained the Dan Kyoshi 7th Dan, and he was awarded the title of representative for the whole of the American continent and the title of the school's world technical director.

In August 1988 he left Argentina and settled in Los Angeles, USA, introducing the North Americans to the Kyudokan school for the first time. In 1989 he joined the Kobudo Ryu Kyu Kobudo Ryu Kon Kai school, run by Master Kotaro Iha. Since 1990 Master Higa has been spreading the word about Kyudokan karate throughout Italy. He moved to Milan, where his pupil, Antonio Policrisi, lived, a Renshi 6th Dan, and one of the best pupils of Master Higa. From Milan he moved to Padoa (Veneto) and then on to Rieti (Lazio), before ending up finally in Sicily. After spending some time in Partinico (Palermo) he settled in Palermo where he has been living since 1995. In 1992 during a training visit to his uncle Yuchoku, he was nominated Kyudokan School Representative for the whole of Europe. In September 1994 he obtained his Kyoshi Dan 8th grade, which he still possesses. In 1997, in Okinawa, his post as the school's World Technical Director was ratified and he was nominated Representative for the whole of Europe for the Kobudo Ryu Kyu Kobudo Ryu Kon Kai Federation. His activity in Italy and in the world over the last few years has been most prolific; he has been a member of the traditional karate technical committee and chief referee of the World Karate Organization; he is president and technical director of OIKKO, the Italian Okinawan Kyudokan Karate-do Organization; he is vice-president of the World Okinawan Shorinryu Kyudokan karate-do Federation; he has refereed in various national and international competitions, three of which were at a world level, two South American and two European. In Palermo he is the Technical Director and Chief instructor of the Okinawan Sport and Culture Association. He is constantly travelling to various countries around the world to hold training sessions, to referee, to stage exhibition bouts and to run courses, both in karate and kobudo. In 1992 along with his pupil Fabian Perez, he took part in the famous "Budo Easter" organized by Sport Promotion, the president of which is Master Giacomo Spartaco Bartoletti. This is considered one of the most prestigious Martial Arts exhibitions in the world and it subsequently travelled around Italy, stopping off in 12 different cities. In January 1999, the magazine Samurai, the most important Martial Arts magazine in Italy and one of the most important in the world, honoured Master Higa as one of the great personalities in the sphere of martial arts. In 2003 Oscar Higa Sensei was awareded his 9th Dan Hanshi Title. Master Higa likes to say: "Harmony is the symbol of karate: how can I be in harmony with others if I am not in harmony with myself? Karate is the path towards harmony". Whilst alluding to the relativity of everything he likes to repeat his motto: "In the beginning everything is important. At the end nothing is important", in other words one has to know how to give the correct importance to everything, but at the very least, to know how to separate oneself from everything. He is also often heard to say: "In karate, just as in life, although it is important to set off and arrive, it is the path to be run which is of principal importance." In other words one must live every step, every instant, one must live the moment. When he is asked why he practises karate, he will say; "I wouldn't say I practise because I'm looking for a philosophy, a mystical experience, or because I want to be stronger. I practise only because I like it, it does me good, it makes me happy; karate is part of my life without looking for any intentionality in this, without anybody or anything obliging me to do it. As an indirect consequence of my practice I reach all the other objectives".

KYOSHI, BENITO HIGA (9th Dan) - Representative for whole South America Okinawa Shorin Ryu Karate-Do Kyudokan Federation Master Benito Higa was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, August 2, 1940, the son of Master Jintatsu Higa, with whom he began practising karate-do. Alongside his university studies at the Faculty of Engineering, he devoted himself to baseball, a passion handed down to him by his father. In this sport, he was an Argentinian national first division champion as a player with the Seibu club. In the seventies he dedicated himself to practice and teaching karate-do, working together with his father and brother Oscar with the aim of promoting the discipline more widely throughout Argentina; he helped actively as an athlete having been Argentinian champion of kata. As an ardent devotee of Kobudo, a complementary activity to karate training, Benito Higa travelled to Okinawa several times, not only to perfect the art of karate in the Naha Hombu Dojo, where he trained with his uncle Master Yuchoku Higa and other eminent masters, but also in order to attend the dojo of the Master of Kobudo, Sensei Kotaro Iha, President of the Ryu Kyu Kobudo Ryu Kon Kai, of whom he was a disciple. At present Master B.Higa is a Kyoshi 8th Dan; he is Vice-President of the World Okinawan Shorinryu Kyudokan karate-do Federation, director and chief instructor of the Argentinian Karate-do Center, responsible, along with his brother Oscar, for the Kyudokan School in Argentina and South America, as well as being a member of the technical committee. He is the president and technical director of the Argentinian Kobudo Association and Ryu Kyu Kobudo Ryu Kon Kai representative for the whole of South America. He is a member of the organizing committee for the diffusion of karate-do, of the Okinawan Center of Argentina, as well as chief referee in national and international competitions. He has taken part in various national and international events, as both referee and technical adviser; among these there were two world championships in Venice, Italy, 1992 and Buenos Aires, Argentina,1994, organized by the World Karate-do Organization. In November1998 he was present as a guest at the international Kyudokan event in Palermo, Italy. Master Benito Higa sees karate from a universal perspective; his thoughts can be summed up as follows: "...humanity is made up of different races, habits and customs, but when all is said and done, we must all converge towards a single common goal, based on unity and friendship, and also through the precepts of the "Do"; that is to say, the discovery, whist proceeding along "the path towards life", of the real aim of our existence". SENSEI, DIEGO HIGA (4th Dan) Diego Higa, son of Master Oscar Higa, the last of a long line of karateka, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, March 25, 1974. In 1981, during his second year of elementary school, he started practicing karate with Master Antonio Policrisi, pupil of Master Oscar Higa, attending the children's sessions at his father's gymnasium in Buenos Aires. He spent a great part of his childhood alternating between school and karate, chess and soccer. In 1984 he moved to the city of Mar del Plata, where his father visited him at least twice a month in order to train him in the arts of kihon and kata. After two years his father started to train him in yakusoku kumite, i.e. pre-arranged kumite. In the meantime Diego was continuing to dedicate himself to chess and his other great passion, football, where he became a member of the Club Huracan team, in the Mar del Plata Football League. After obtaining his school-leaving certificate, he returned to Buenos Aires where he devoted himself exclusively to karate practice in his father's gymnasium, with some of his father's best pupils as instructors.

In 1993 he was placed first in the kyu category in the national kata championships. In January 1995 he travelled to Italy, and stayed there a year, in order to train with his father and to help promote the school, working as instructor in several gymnasiums in Palermo and Partinico and taking part in various exhibitions. The same year he took part in a regional competition in Partinico obtaining first place in a kata competition (Dan category). Since 1996, he has continued to work as an instructor in Buenos Aires, taking part in various national and international competitions and achieving a fair amount of success, both in kata and kumite. Among these successes we might note: - in 1996 2nd place in the Argentinian kata championships (Dan category); - in 1997 kumite team champion in the international competition "Yuchoku Higa Cup" - in 1998 Argentinian kata champion (Dan category). In January 1998, he returned to Italy to train with his father and stayed for 3 months. In November of the same year he again returned to Italy to take part in the prestigious international competition in Palermo, "International Shorinryu Kyudokan Karate-do Tournament", being crowned champion in the kata specialty. In December 1999, at the last Argentinian Kyudokan Karate-do championships of the millennium, held in San Luis, Argentina, he finished 3rd in the Kumite Dan-category and champion in the Kata Dan-category. At present he switches between training and teaching karate and his university studies. Moreover he has also held the office of vice-president of FEDAKKO, the Argentinian Kyudokan Federation, eventually becoming its present treasurer, and is the natural successor of the Kyudokan school.

KYUDOKAN KATA - Rhythm of a Living Legend FUKYUGATA Ichi – (#1) Created by Grand Master Shoshin Nagamine (Founder of Matsubayashi Ryu) in 1940's. FUKYUGATA Ni – (#2) Created by Meitoku Yagi (Goju Ryu) with the influence of Gekisai Kata of Goju Ryu. ***PINAN Shodan /Nidan/Sandan/Yondan/Godan – (#s 1-5) Created by Great Master Anko Itosu. He created this Kata Series at the age of 77, for the purpose of introducing Karate to Okinawa High Schools. It is believed that these five Kata were created with the influence of an ancient lost Kata called 'Channen' And it can be seen that the Kusanku Kata also influenced these Katas. Some people believe these five Kata shows the each of five wheels or the basic elements that is in Miyamoto Musashi's book -Go Rin Sho-. (Earth, Water, Fire, Air & Space) In Japan these katas are called as Heian. ***NAIHANCHI Shodan /Nidan/Sandan – (#s 1-3) This is one of the core Katas in Shuri Te and the Tanren katas. The creator of these Katas is unknown. But it is believed Bushi, Sokon Matsumura learnt these Katas from the Chinese sailor named Ason. Some people say these three katas were one long Kata, and it was broken in to three by Master Choki Motobu or by Master Anko Itosu. But some believe the second and third Katas were created by Motobu or by Itosu. This Kata is practiced in Naihanchi Dachi in Kyudokan. This has side movements with applications for short distance fighting. Naihanchi Katas are famous for developing power and generating power inside to outside. Master Motobu is very much influenced in this Katas. Japanese name for these Kata is Tekki. In Okinawa it is said -Shorin Ryu starts and ends with Naihanchi-(Naihanchi wa hajimaru.Naihanchi wa owaru. And it is believed one must practice this kata for over ten thousand times to understand the kata and it will develop an enormous power.

***JION The creator is unknown. But it was believed this has come from a Buddhist temple called Jion ji in China. And we can see very much similarities between Jion, Jiin and Jitte. Therefore, some think these three were broken form the same Kata. Kyudokan version of Jion is different from the Jion we see in Shotokan and many Japanese styles. It is said Mtsumura brought this kata. ***JITTE Creator is unknown. The meaning of Jitte is Ten Hands. This Kata has its applications (Bunkai), against the staff (Bo). Some believe this is a Kata that was practiced with a staff, against the weapon called jitte (Sai like weapon). Another belief on this Kata is, this was originated in Shaolin Temple in Honan, China.(We must know that Master Chatan Yara lived in Shaolin Temple in Honan for about 20 years). This Kata was introduced to Shorin Ryu by Master Shinpan Gusukuma (Shiroma). ***PASSAI (Sho and Dai) The meaning of this is -Escape from the Fortress-. It's believed that this comes from Tomari Style. There are many versions like Passai Sho, Passai Dai, Matsumura Passai, Oyadomati Passai. Matsumura, Itosu and Oyadomari made an influence in these Katas. Passai Kata may be descended from exercise routines in China known as Ba Ji Ch'uan. There are supposedly two forms: Ba Ji Xiao and Ba Ji Da. Passai katas were also called as Patsai or Bassai. ***UNSU This can be translated as -Cloud Hands-. The kata is said to be like the lightning or thunderstorm This is a very beautiful Kata in Shorin Ryu.Kyudokan practice a special traditional version of Unsu differ to Shotokan Unsu. ***KUSHANKU (Sho and Dai) The Kata has originally come from Master Sakugawa -Father of Karate-. But many masters changed this Kata on their experience and choice.The Chinese sailor and martial art expert Kusanku (Kung Syang Chung, Ko Sokun) taught this Kata to the Great Master Sakugawa. This kata is a very advanced kata in Shorin system. Master Nagamine said it has taken more than 10 years of continuous training of this kata to gain expertise in this kata. There are many versions of Kusanku Kata created by Itosu Anko, Chatan Yara and many other masters. (Kushanku Sho, Kushanku Dai, Higa no Kushanku, Chibana Kushanku, Shiho Kushanku, Kuniyoshi Kushanku, Yara no Kushanku) We practice Kushanku Sho, Kushanku Dai and Higa No Kushanku -a Kata created by Hanshi Oscar Higa in honor of Master Yuchoku Higa and Yintatsu Higa-. Kushanku is called as Kosokun and Kanku also. ***CHINTI Small Kata. This can be translated as -Amazing or mysterious hands-.Actually this Kata has mysterious, hidden, secret, deadly hand techniques. This is a Kata popular among female Karatekas more than male Karatekas. This is said to be developed by an Okinawa folk dance. ***SEISAN This kata has Chinese influence. Seisan literally means "13".The meaning of 13 is not clear. May be 13 attacks and blocks, 13 kinds of power, against 13 opponents, defenses for 13 kinds of attacks, 13 ways of developing internal Energy . Japanese name for Seisan is -Hangetsu- (Half Moon). Yuchoku Higa Sensei learned this kata from Jinan Shinzato Sensei of Goju Ryu and added to Kyudokan syllabus. ***CHINTO It s believed Sokon Matsumura has learnt this Kata by Chinese pirate called Chinto. This kata has lot of Crane Stance (Tsuru Ashi Dachi). And the meaning of this can be explained as -Sinking the head-. Some say it comes from a Chinese Temple. ***SOCHIN A beautiful Kata in Shorin Ryu. It probably should be interpreted as something more like "Energetic Calm." The creator is unknown. But some believe it was influenced by Master Houhan Soken. We practice a version of Sochin called Aracanochiwa in Kyudokan. The combination of slow movements and in a moment it turns to a quick movement is special in this kata.

***GOJUSHIHO Literally means 54 steps. It's believed that this kata was originated in Shaolin Temples.They called this kata as 'Ueseishi' or 'Hotaku'- in Japanese Mainland. This has the techniques similar to a woodpecker. A long kata in Shorin Systems.