Hanshi (Grand Master) Seikich Iha (1932 - present)
Director of the North American Beikoku Shido-kan Karate-do Association and currently the highest ranking Okinawan master in the United States. He started karate at an early age, became a student under renowned master Shinpan Gusukuma in 1950 and Katsuya Miyahira in 1954, and then moved to the United States in 1967. Sensei Iha is respected worldwide for his tremendous practical knowledge of karate technique as well as for his warm, engaging and expert teaching style. Learn more on IhaDojo.com and Wikipedia.
Hanshi Katsuya Miyahira (1918 - Nov 28, 2010)
Miyahira Sensei began training with Chibana Sensei in 1933 and was promoted to 9-Dan Hanshi in 1967. He also was instructed by Choki Motobu Sensei and Anbun Tokuda Sensei. Upon Chibana Sensei's death, Miyahira Sensei formally received the HANKO (official seals of the organization) and in 1969 was voted president of the Okinawa Shorinryu Karatedo Kyokai.
He has a very long and distinguished history worth reading about..
Chibana Choshin, the originator of shorin-ryu ("the small forest style") began training with Itosu "Ankoh" in 1900 at the age of 15. Both Chibana Sensei and Tokuda Sensei were among the best students of Anko Itosu Sensei, the master of the Shuri style (Shuri-te).
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Ankō Itosu (1831 – 1915)
Ankō Itosu was a foremost disciple of Sokon "Bushi" Matsumura and is considered by many to be the father of modern Karate. While Itosu did not invent karate himself, he modified the kata (forms) he learned from his master, Matsumura, and was instrumental in getting karate introduced into Okinawa's schools for the first time in 1905. Some of his prominent students included Chōshin Chibana (1885–1969), Shinpan Shiroma (Gusukuma) (1890–1954), Choki Motobu (1870–1944), Anbun Tokuda (1886–1945), Gichin Funakoshi (1868–1957) and other masters who would influence karate-do for many years to come. (Ref: Wikipedia)
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Matsumura was given the title "bushi" meaning "warrior" by the Okinawan king in recognition of his abilities and accomplishments in the martial arts. Described by Gichin Funakoshi as a sensei with a terrifying presence, Matsumura was never defeated in a duel, though he fought many. Tall, thin, and possessing a pair of unsettling eyes, Matsumura was described by his student Ankō Itosu as blindingly fast and deceptively strong. His martial arts endeavors have been the progenitor of many contemporary karate styles: Shōrin-ryū, Shotokan, and Shitō-ryū, for example. Ultimately, all modern styles of karate that evolved from the Shuri-te lineage can be traced back to the teachings of Bushi Matsumura. (Ref: Wikipedia)
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