Hanshi Masayuki Kukan Hisataka

Hanshi Masayuki Kukan Hisataka (1940-Present) is the hereditary head of Shorinjiryu Kenkokan Karatedo, the style of karatedo founded by his father, Shinan Masayoshi Kori Hisataka (10th Dan Karate, 4th Dan Judo). Hanshi Hisataka is also the founder and Chairman of the World Koshiki Karatedo Federation, and inventor of the “Supersafe” Anzen Bogu protective equipment.

Born on 18 November, 1940, Hanshi Hisataka commenced his training in karate and judo at the age of three. He received his black belt rankings on both arts by the time he was in high school. He graduated from Nihon University with a degree in Economics, and holding a 6th Dan in Karatedo and a 4th Dan in Judo.

Hanshi Hisataka was the All Japan Shorinjiryu Kenkokan Karatedo Champion for 5 years (1958-1962), as well as All Japan Open Styles Karate Champion in 1961 and 1962. He was also an outstanding Judo player, and held various titles in Japan. He had also been nominated as a potential Olympic representative for Japan, but chose instead to focus his energies on the development of Shorinjiryu Kenkokan Karatedo.

In 1963, Hanshi Hisataka moved to New York City, where he was amongst the first to introduce karatedo to the US, and indeed the western world. He initially established a dojo at the School of Scientific Judo and Karate in Brooklyn.

In 1964, Hanshi Hisataka, Shihan Hisanobu Yamazaki and Shihan Naoyuki Okabe demonstrated karatedo at New York’s World Fair.

In 1967, he moved to Montreal in Canada, where he again demonstrated at the World Expo, this time with Kaicho Shunji Watanabe. He stayed in Montreal until the mid-1970’s, teaching karate at a variety of locations.

In around 1974, Hanshi Hisataka was recalled to Japan by his father, Shinan Kori Hisataka, as Shinan Hisataka was retiring as Head Instructor, and from day-to-day teaching responsibilities. At that time, Hanshi Hisataka undertook this role. Unfortunately at this time, many of the senior instructors of Shorinjiryu Kenkokan Karate left the organisation, and formed their own organisations. These included Hanshi Shunji Watanabe and Shihan Minoru Morita, who together formed Shorinjiryu Kenyukai Karate, and Shihan Tamon Kashimoto, who formed Nanzenkai Karate. At that time, Hanshi Hisataka appointed Shihan Wayne Donivan to head Shorinjiryu Kenkokan in North America.

The 70’s were a busy time for Hanshi Hisataka. In 1976, his first book, Scientific Karatedo was published. In 1977, he corresponded with Shihan Laurie Vanniekerk, a senior Shitoryu instructor from Australia, which lead to the inauguration of Australian Shorinjiryu Karatedo in 1978.

Also in the late 70’s, Hanshi Hisataka lead a study commission by the World Union of Karatedo Organisations (WUKO) to investigate the development of protective equipment for competition. Although never implemented by WUKO, this study gave rise to the development of “Supersafe” Anzen Bogu. This Supersafe equipment was later adopted for competition in what ultimately became the Koshiki Karate competition system – a system founded by Hanshi Hisataka.

Since that time, Hanshi Hisataka has been pioneering Koshiki Karatedo as a multistyle competition system. Many karate instructors and practitioners from many styles have joined the Koshiki movement, but due to a number of personality issues, this system is fragmented among a large number of organisations promoting Koshiki-style bogu kumite.

Hanshi Hisataka has continued to drive development of Shorinjiryu, by refining existing and introducing new kata and kumite. This is in an effort to make Shorinjiryu more mainstream, and also to develop training methods for Koshiki.

In 1994, Essential Shorinjiryu Karatedo was published, Hanshi Hisataka’s second book in English. Co-authored by Renshi Des Paroz, this book is a rich source of information on history, technique and methods of Shorinjiryu Karatedo.

Aside from the development of the Super Safe Anzen Bogu and the creation of the the Koshiki competition system, Hanshi Hisataka has also made a number of contributions to the development of karatedo. Among his other contributions and achievements are

  • Development of the kata Happiken and Sankakutobi
  • Introduction of karate to Russia
  • Development of training kumites, including Gokyo no Kumite, Ten-Chi-Jin Kumite and others
  • Organising more than 12 World Koshiki Karate Championships
  • Development of the bo kata Gorin no Bo.
Australian Shorinjiryu Karatedo was a part of Hanshi Hisataka's Shorinjiryu Kenkokan Karatedo and the World Koshiki Karatedo Federation until 2004. Although we are organisationally separate, we hold great respect for Hanshi Hisataka's many contributions and his technical excellence, and much of what we teach is based on his teachings.