Shorei Ku Ken Tamashi - Spirit of Shorei Kan Karate
Dedicated To The Memory of Master Seikichi Toguchi - Founder of Shorei Kan Karate 1917 - 1998
A Tiger dies and leaves its skin
A Man dies and leaves his name
A Teacher dies and teaches death
A Bushi in spirit continues on
Hello, My name is Tony Wilson
I have created this page as a way to show my appreciation and admiration for one of the great Karate Masters of the 20th Century.
Master Toguchi presenting flag to the author at Okinawa Hombu Dojo
Master Toguchi teaching at Okinawa Hombu Dojo.
Master Toguchi and Koyabu Shihan at Canada Hombu Dojo 1983. The author is
testing for Yondan
Koyabu Shihan Toguchi Kaicho and Black Belts at Canada Hombu Dojo 1987.
The author is on the right side of Master Toguchi. The significance of this position is obvious to those who have spent many years studying the Okinawa way of Karate Do.
Master Toguchi was an incredibly supple and flexible individual who practised on a daily basis the exercises that he created called Daruma Taiso.
On many occasions he would sit with us and tell us stories and anecdotes known only to him about Master Chojun Miyagi, his teacher, and many of the other famous Martial Arts masters whom he knew well.
Koyabu Shihan and Toguchi Kaicho at Canada Hombu Dojo
For those of you who do not know, the original story of the "Karate Kid" was based upon the Shorei Kan style which Master Toguchi founded and it is my understanding, from what he has told me, that he advised on the technical aspects of that story.
A person of small stature the young Seikichi Toguchi was started in his Karate training by his father. A close personal friend of the Toguchi family, Chojun Miyagi Sensei recommended that the young Seikichi train at his dojo in Itoman City with his senior student Higa Seiko Sensei.
The young Seikichi soon became a favourite student because of his hard work and dedication to his training and Higa Sensei started to take him on his regular visits to Miyagi Chojun's Dojo. Seikichi then became a well known and respected student of Miyagi Sensei also. This is how Master Toguchi related to me his early beginning in Karate.
During the second world war Seikichi Toguchi served his country as most were expected to do and this curtailed his training for that period.
Afterwards he returned to Okinawa only to find it devastated and the people demoralised. He also discovered that Master Miyagi had become ill with high blood pressure and not able to actively teach as he once had.
Seikichi was determined to do his best to help rebuild his community and to assist Miyagi Sensei so he opened the first post war Dojo on Okinawa and stayed with Miyagi Sensei. During this time and until Miyagi Sensei's death Seikichi Toguchi remained faithful and stalwart in assisting him with the further development and growth of Goju Ryu.
It was during this time that Miyagi Sensei developed Gekisai Di San (3) and discussed a series of kata and bunkai with Seikichi Toguchi that he wanted to create to build on the Gekisai series. These became known as the Gekiha series of katas and were developed by Master Toguchi after Miyagi's death and are exclusive to the Shorei Kan Style of Goju Ryu.
Master Toguchi went further in the development of Goju Ryu Shorei Kan by creating the "dream" kata that Miyagi Sensei had also discussed and which are the Kakuha series of kata and bunkai
Master Seikichi Toguchi opened up the first post war Karate Dojo on Okinawa and was the only student of Master Miyagi to make a lifelong professional career of teaching Karate Do
Let us look at the poem that Master Toguchi wrote after the death of Miyagi Chojun Sensei.
Line 1 - "A Tiger dies and leaves its skin" - Although a living creature, an animal is not conscious of meaning in it's daily striving for sustenance and achieves nothing more than mere propagation of the species. When it dies it has nothing to leave but it's physical body which soon withers away to dust and bone.
Line 2 - "A man dies and leaves his name" - As humans we are intelligent, sentient beings who plan, build and contribute to a civilization. The ordinary person contributes to the growth of a family, passes on traditions and experiences that enhance that growth. When death comes to that person he or she is remembered fondly in memories.
Line 3 - "A teacher dies and teaches death" is indeed a most profound statement. With every move and moment of life a REAL teacher shows an example of how to live correctly and even in dying teaches that life and indeed death is precious.
We should all strive to be such a teacher and by doing so leave more than just a physical body, or a fond memory, but a legacy of striving for perfection within ourselves.
Toguchi Kaicho performs Hakutsuru Kata
Toguchi Hanshi and Haluko Kaicho
T.Wilson 1999 All Rights Reserved
Gambatte Kudasai - Please Practise Hard