In this karate world it is not very often you get a chance to celebrate 75 years of history ,so it was with great pride and delight that I set myself to Tokyo to do just that. Itosu-kai were holding their 75th anniversary at the Palace Hotel in Tachikawa Japan on 22nd Auguat 2015( really any excuse to go and train in Japan ).
To celebrate 75 years it gives you time to reflect all that has been achieved in the past and to plan and look forward to the future.
Sitting at a prominent place at the reception in my kilt ( of course )representing Scotland and listening to all the speeches hearing their passed achievements filled me with great pride and respect for Iosu=kai.
From Anko Itosu (1835-1915) and then Kenwa Mabuni (1889-1952) then Ryushi Sakagami who became the 3rd Soke in January 1952.
In 1940 Ryusho Sakagami established a Shito-ryu karate club in Hyogo and in 1952 succeeded the position of 3rd Itosu-ha Soke
In keeping with progressing the association forward in 1955 the name was changed to Japan Karatedo Itosu-kai and a Honbo was set up in Tsurumi Yokohama . In 1957 Itosu-kai entered into the Japan Karatedo Rengokai upon its establishment in June that year.As Itosu-kai grew in Japan a Eastern and Western head office was set up that year.
The first National Championships were held in 1964 commemorating the 25th anniversary of Itosu-kai (Karate had just about found its way to Scotland at about this time).
In keeping with the progressive nature of Itosu-kai Ryusho Sakagami started to published books and in 1968, 1971,1974 with a series of books on Nunchaku, Sai,and Tonfa , he also had the series of books on Nunchaku and Sai translated to be published in English knowing the keen interest from English speaking countries in karate and kobudo
His book on Karate published in 1978 Karate Kata Taikan is a dictionary on Itosu-kai katas and for many other associations as a reference library on katas. By 1990 Itosu-kai being well established in Japan and celebrating its 50th anniversary now ,countries outside Japan were starting to train in Itosu-kai style of karate .
It was with great sadness that Ryusho Sakagami passed away in December 1993, Sadaaki Sakagami succeeded his father to become the 4th Soke in 1994. Driving Itosu-kai forward both in Japan and abroad in 2002 Sadaaki Sakagami set up the International Karate Itosu-kai Federation commonly known as the I,K,I,F.with now about 16 countries training in Itosu-kai.
in keeping with his fathers forward thinking Sadaaki Sakagami took Itosu-kai and his fathers Ryukyu Kobudo Kongo-ryu forward by publishing very detailed and explicit D,V,Ds on both karate and kobudo in 2007,2008,2009 and 2016 and with now over 20 countries training in Itosu-kai and getting to double figures in countries learning and training in Ryukyu Kobudo Kongo=ryu a bright future is assured on both fronts .
Being brought back to present with a nudge from Sadaaki Sakagami suddenly I am persuaded ( dragged ) up to give a speech , this was not expected and having to gather thoughts started to talk ( having to speak slowly Scottish accent not the best to understand ).It must have been alright got a lovely applause or was it because I had actually finished can never tell. Its amazing wear a kilt and every body wants a picture , what smile ( I dont do smile ), The written speech from the vice president was given to me as a momentum ( pity its in Japanese ) but a nice thought .