Shukokai Karate is derived from the style Shito-Ryu and means “way for all” or “union of those who train together”.
Shukokai was founded in 1949 by Chojiro Tani. Tani began his karate training under Chojun Miyagi, the founder of Goju-Ryu, while studying at Doshisha University in Kyoto. After a few years, Miyagi returned to Okinawa and Kenwa Mabuni, founder of Shito-Ryu, took over the teaching. Out of consideration for his friend, whom he supported on his arrival in Japan, Mabuni taught only Naha-Te at the university karate school. After graduating from the university, Tani followed Mabuni and learned first the Shuri-Te system and then eventually the Shito-Ryu system, which was under development.
After many years of training under Mabuni, Tani received the certificate of succession as one of his most advanced students, entitling him to use the name Tani-ha Shito-Ryu (Tani School of Shito-Ryu). In 1949, while still working as a high school teacher, Tani founded his own karate school, which he called Shukokai. After the death of Kenwa Mabuni in 1952, many of the older students went their own way. At this time, Tani adopted the name that Mabuni had given him, Tani-ha Shito-Ryu. With two other advanced students, Fujiwara and Fujitani, he began to build the worldwide system for which he is so respected today. Fujiwara died a few years ago and Fujitani now heads his own organisation called Myobukai. Shukokai enjoys a worldwide recognition and respect outside Japan mainly because of the three high-ranking instructors Kimura, Nanbu and Suzuki and their work.
Chojiro Tani passed away on 11 January 1998, leaving his system in the hands of Shigemasa Kawata 9th Dan Kaicho, the founder of Seikukai and highest-ranking disciple of the late Grandmaster.