Friday, January 12, 2007

Clearing the Air: The Truth About Chibana Sensei's Succession

Many people make many claims about who exactly is Chibana Sensei's chosen successor in Shorin Ryu karate. What follows are the words of my instructor, Pat Nakata, a direct student of Chibana Sensei:

In 1965 when I spoke with Chibana Sensei about the future of his organization, he stated that his grandson, Akira Nakazato (not related to Shugoro Nakazato) would succeed him as the head of Okinawa Shorin-ryu Karate-Do Kyokai. The 4 senior instructors, Chozo Nakama, Yuchoku Higa, Katsuya Miyahira, and Shugoro Nakazato would be part of an executive advisory board to help guide Akira in his administration of the organization. Akira would then adopt the Chibana name and become Akira Chibana. For some reason Chibana Sensei's wishes were never carried out.

Instead, a meeting of Chibana Sensei's senior students was held. At this meeting Katsuya Miyahira was elected the President and head of the Okinawa Shorin-ryu Karate-Do Kyokai.

It is my sincere hope that over time, the truth of the matter will be well-known. Chibana Sensei did not appoint anyone other than his grandson to be his direct successor.

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