Shigeru Kimura of Shukokai Karate

kimura and tani sensei of Shukokai
Karate Sensei Shigeru Kimura was born in Kobe on March 2, 1941. Hi earlier training included judo and kendo and he began karate at the age of 16 with Sensei Chojiro Tani (1921 - January, 1998) the man responsible for Tani-ha Shito-Ryu (see lineage chart). A key attribute of this style was a key emphasis on biomechanics with the  aim to hit hard and solid a forward momentum line. Kimura was Tani sensei's most senior student.

Photo: Kimura and Tani sensei of Shukokai

Kimura sensei left Japan in 1965 for Africa to spread shito-ryu and at that time had no knowledge of English. While there he taught in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa. It was in South Africa where he was to stay longer and have a profound influence on karate there. During this period a second Tani Shito-ryu instructor Katsumi Iba also joined he for a few years (Iba sensei is now head (Kancho) of the style Renbukan.

His karate teachings then led him to Europe, where he then settled in England. Ultimately, his journey ended in the USA where, thanks to Sensei Kidachi - a renowned Judoka, he settled and opened his first Dojo. This soon became too small and Sensei Kidachi was again at hand as they set about looking for a larger Dojo. Hackensack, NJ then became the location for the Shukokai Headquarters in the USA and would remain so for 18 years. Sensei Kimura was then 37 years old and one of the youngest ever to have held the 7th Dan with a mainstream Japanese accredited style.

Video: Kimiura sensei of Shukokai in an interview and technique demomstrations in class.

1981 Sensei kimura organised the first Shukokai World Tournament in the USA - an event that established itself and has since then taken place every two years. Shukokai Karatekas from all over the world were now visiting his dojo regularly. Even Karatekas of other styles often sought advice from the Grand Master as well. Master Kimura regularly nurtured the seedlings of karate he had planted over the entire world and was to discover with pride that many of them had grown into sturdy trees.

In his time he continued to develop the Tani-Shukokai as art, something which constantly challenged and ultimately his version of practising Shukokai differed considerably (hence it is now called Kimura Shukokai). In 1991 Kimura's Shukokai was being practiced world-wide by 20,000 students in 14 countries (

His last Gasshuku in May of 1995. Sensei Kimura died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 54.

Kimura karate tani sensei scientific punch shukokai
The collage shows Kimura sensei involved in some of the first scientific studies on punch & power (performed at a Japanese university). This technical analysis of technique was inspired by his instructor Tani sensei whose karate lead to shukokai.

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