Shinan Masayoshi Kori Hisataka

The following description was taken from the official records of the original Shorinjiryu Kenkokan School:

Shinan Masayoshi Kori Hisataka (Seiki Kudaka in Okinawan) was born on April 22, 1907 in Naha City, (Shuri) Okinawa and died on August 13, 1988 in Tokyo, Japan. He was the third generation of Kudaka Masataka, the Lord of Kudaka Island. His ancestor was Toguchi Masaatsu, diamyo of Konkinin castle in Okinawa. It was Toguchi who received Kudaka Island as a gift from the Emperor and subsequently changed his name to Kudaka.

As a youth he began his studies with Ankoh Asato. Shortly thereafter, he studied weaponry with Ufuchiku Kanegushiku (Sanda Kinjo) His main instructor, however, was Chotoku Kyan (Kitake in Japanese), one of the greatest Okinawan fighters whose favorite techniques included a side step or forward in movement followed by an immediate counterattack all executed with great speed and body shifting. This very basic theory of taisabaki is a cornerstone of the Shorinjiryu schools of karate do.

In 1929, Kori Hisataka toured Taiwan for almost a year with Master Kyan where it was reported that he never lost a match.

Shortly, thereafter, he went to Tokyo and studied judo under Master Sampo Toku at the Kodokan. Interestingly, he attained the rank of fourth degree black belt in a single year. During this period of time he also studied Kendo. Wishing to improve his skills, he returned to China where he mastered Shorinjiryu Kempo and delved into Pa Kua Chuan.

During the 1930’s, he traveled throughout Thailand, Korea, Burma, Afghanistan, Russia and Mongolia. While in the armed forces he trained extensively and demonstrated his skills of Karate do at various tournaments and exhibitions. While in Mongolia he met and married his wife and fathered a son there.

With the news that his instructor Master Kyan passed away, Shinan Hisataka had the option of establishing a new school in Fukuoka Prefecture on Kyushu or remain with other dojo mates (he was even asked to become one of Miyagi’s dojo instructors). What he chose to do was to form the Kenkokan School of Shorinjiryu of Karate do-acknowledging and reflecting his two main sources of knowledge Shorinryu and Shorinjiryu Kempo. An interesting bit of information is that Shinan Kori Hisataka was invited to demonstrate his style in Japan in the same manner of Funakoshi. Therefore, on June 10, 1947, he opened the first Shorinjiryu karate school naming it, “Nihon Ikusie Kenkokan Kenjutsu.”

As a result of the knowledge that he gained through years of practice and practical application, Shinan Hisataka realized that individualism must be acknowledged in the Dojo. Stress was placed upon the full follow through of techniques, thereby creating greater torque. The use of the heel and the tate ken or vertical fist for added strength, safety and natural movement was finalized. He placed a great deal of emphasis upon the use of aikido-like techniques and would instruct those to punch, grab and twist. This proves the incredible versatility of Shorinjiryu.