Keinosuke Enoeda - The Shotokan Tiger

History 越 義珍 Funakoshi Gichin
Tony_gankakuNovember 10, 1868 – April 26, 1957) was one of the Okinawan karate masters who introduced karate to the Japanese mainland in 1921. He founded the Shōtōkan-ryū style of karate.He was born in Shuri, Okinawa and original had the family name Tominakoshi[1]. Funakoshi had trained in both of the popular styles of Okinawan karate of the time: Shōrei-ryū and Shōrin-ryū. His own style was influenced by kendo distancing and timing. Shotokan is named after Funakoshi’s pen name, Shoto, which means “pine waves” or “wind in the pines”. Shōtōkan means “Shoto’s house” or “Shoto’s school”. In 1936, Funakoshi built the first Shōtōkan dojo in Tokyo. He changed the name of karate to mean “empty hand” instead of “China hand” (as referred to in Okinawa); the two names sound the same in Japanese, but are written differently. Doing this upset some of his countrymen, and afterwards, Funakoshi never returned to Okinawa. This eventually led to the creation of the Japan Karate Association (JKA) in 1955 with Funakoshi as the chief instructor. Funakoshi was not supportive of all of the changes that the organization eventually made to his karate style. He remained in Tokyo until his death in 1957. After World War II, Funakoshi’s surviving students formalized his teachings.
Memorial of Gichin Funakoshi in Kamakura
A memorial to Gichin Funakoshi was erected by the Shotokai at Engaku-ji, a temple in Kamakura, on December 1, 1968. Designed by Kenji Ogata the monument features calligraphy by Funakoshi and Sōgen Asahina (1891-1979), chief priest of the temple which reads Karate ni sente nashi (There is no first attack in karate), the second of Funakoshi’s Twenty Precepts. To the right of Funakoshi’s precept is a copy of the poem he wrote on his way to Japan in 1922. A second stone features an inscription by Nobuhide Ohama and reads:[6]Funakoshi Gichin Sensei, of karate-do, was born on June 10th, 1870, in Shuri Okinawa. From about eleven years old he began to study to-te jutsu under Azato Anko and Itosu Anko. He practiced diligently and in 1912 became the president of the Okinawan Shobukai. In May of 1922, he relocated to Tokyo and became a professional teacher of karate-do. He devoted his entire life to the development of karate-do. He lived out his eighty-eight years of life and left this world on April 26, 1957. Reinterpreting to-te jutsu, the Sensei promulgated karate-do while not losing its original philosophy. Like bugei (classical martial arts), so too is the pinnacle of karate “mu” (enlightenment): to purify and make one empty through the transformation from “jutsu” to “do”. Through his famous words “Karate ni sente nashi” (There is no first attack in Karate) and “Karate wa kunshi no bugei” (Karate is the martial art of intelligent people), Sensei helped us to better understand the term “jutsu.” In an effort to commemorate his virtue and great contributions to modern karate-do as a pioneer, we, his loyal students, organised the Shotokai and erected this monument at the Enkakuji. “Kenzen ichi” (“The fist and Zen are one”)

The Karate world recently lost a very senior and accomplished leader in “Tora” Keinosuke Enoeda Sensei of the Japan Karate Association and the Karate Union of Great Britain. Sensei passed away on 29th March 2003. He was Chief Instructor to the KUGB for over 35 years in which time he produced generations of Karateka and built an organisation of international repute. His annual live-in seasonal seminars at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre in South-east London were world renowned for bringing together Karateka from all over the United Kingdom and abroad to share training time and friendships. Enoeda Sensei lived a life completely dedicated to Budo Karate. His presence commanded the attention of anyone near him and his vitality and positivity were contagious. His contribution to the development of Karate inside and outside of Japan and to the lives of thousands will be his legacy. JKA Victoria extends its sympathy and condolences to his family, students and colleagues and its hope that his passing will inspire only positive things in the Karate world. The following piece was written about Enoeda Sensei some years ago by his student, Sensei Terry O’Neill of the Karate Union of Great Britain.
Tora is the Japanese name for is also the nickname by which Keinosuke Enoeda of the Japan Karate Association was known during his fighting days in Japan. The J.K.A. is the organisation that represents the Shotokan style of Karate, the most widely practiced style in Japan and throughout Europe, which has produced a great many famous instructors. Of this elite group, one man stands out for his tremendous fighting spirit - Enoeda `Tora' is renowned all over the world for his indomitable spirit and truly dynamic teaching style. A descendant of two famous samurai lines that date back to the Meiji period, Enoeda carries on the warrior tradition admirably. He was born in Fukuoka on the island of Kyushu in southern Japan on July 4th 1935 and practiced martial arts from an early age. Whilst his brother and sister played games, he, at the age of seven, began Judo. Continuing his training through his high-school days he regularly entered Judo competitions and was once runner-up in the All Japan High School Championships. At the age of 17, shortly after he gained his second degree black belt, he watched a demonstration given by two members of the Takushoku University Karate Club in Tokyo. He was won over and the sport of Judo lost a good up and coming player. Aside from any academic merits, Takushoku University was well known for its strong martial arts, particularly its tough Karate section and this was Enoeda's main reason for enrolling at the university. After two years training he passed his first degree black belt examination, and then two years later, aged 21, he was made captain of the Karate club. It was during his university training that he received instruction from the great master, Funakoshi Gichin - the Okinawan who first introduced Karate to Japan.After graduating in 1957 with a degree in commerce, Enoeda was invited to take the special instructors course at the J.K.A. headquarters. He accepted and for the next three years studied long and hard on a daily basis under Masatoshi Nakayama, the chief instructor of the J.K.A. and Hidetaka Nishiyama, a leading senior. Always a keen competitor, Enoeda regularly entered the various tournaments and achieved several victories, including the East University Karate Championships. Then in 1961 he won third place in the kumite division of the J.K.A. All-Japan Championships and also finished high in the kata event. The following year he repeated his kata placing and moved another step up in the kumite by finishing second - losing to Hiroshi Shirai, a fellow J.K.A. instructor. Then in 1963, after another year's hard preparation, Enoeda turned the tables on Shirai in the kumite final and became the All-Japan Champion, again being placed as a kata Finalist. In those days many credited Enoeda with possessing the strongest punch in all Japan, as a result of his tremendously powerful hip action and constant practise on the makiwara or striking board. Up until his 1963 triumph, he had only taught locally at the Tokyo Art College and a military university but this was soon to change. Among the spectators at that year's championships was President Sukarno of Indonesia and so impressed was he with the strength and fighting prowess of the winner, that he made negotiations for Enoeda's services. Together with Master Nakayama, he spent four months in Indonesia teaching the President's personal bodyguards and at the Police and military establishments. Following the J.K.A.'s expansionist policy of sending its best instructors out from Japan to spread Shotokan Karate, Master Enoeda began his worldwide travels that were to culminate in his settling in Great Britain as the Shotokan Chief Instructor. He has also spent considerable time in South Africa and the U.S.A. and regularly travels throughout Europe spreading the Karate gospel. By developing a countless number of fine Karateka and many leading champions in the art, Master Enoeda has been instrumental in making Great Britain one of the strongest Karate nations in the world. He has also found time, over the years, to coach many celebrities for their ‘fighting scenes' in films - Lee Marvin, Michael Caine, Sean Connery and Edward Fox - have all defeated their ‘enemies' with his help, and leading actress, Ingrid Pitt has continued to train with him for many years now. Of all the top Karate Sensei I have seen and trained under, Master Enoeda stands out. Of course he is one of the fittest, most powerful Karate technicians but he has another, less definable quality. His energy and charisma - almost an aura - are something special. He has that ability to bring out the best in a student. He forces you to perform better Karate - to kick and punch with more accuracy and power, to leap into the attack with gusto, to push yourself past previous self-imposed limits. Standing before him in the class, his presence alone demands your very best, you just have to put more of your ‘inner-self' into the various movements - nothing less will suffice. I have trained under this great teacher for more than seventeen years now and he impresses and inspires me as much today as he did the first time I saw him. When I see his Karate, I think "Yes, that's how it should be done! I want that, I want to be able to move like that - to have that spirit". I and thousands of others continue to emulate his dynamic approach to the art of Karate. I know he is only flesh and blood and therefore his level must be attainable, then again there are many species of cat but only one Tiger!


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