US First Lady Nancy Regan shaking hands with Grand Master Kenzo Uchiage, Apr 10, 1986
Master Chojun Miyagi (1888 - 1953)
Chojun Miyagi began his training in karate in Shuri. At the age of 14 he was introduced to Higashionna Kanryo and started practicing with him in Naha. The classes were very strict and hard. But with his passion and natural ability Chojun Miyagi soon surpassed his fellow students. He even became "Uchi Deshi" (a student who lives in the dojo). He practiced for 14 years with Higashionna Kanryo until his master's death in 1915. Chojun Miyagi forced himself to do the impossible to exceed the virtuosity of his master. In 1915 he left for Fukien, China. He went to visit the city where his master had studied the Martial Arts to perfect his own knowledge. This was the first of three trips to China he would undertake. When he returned to Okinawa Chojun Miyagi began to accept students. He further developed the style of his late master, Higashionna Kanryo and combined it with elements he had learned during his stays in the southern part of China. Chojun Miyagi also taught at the police-academy of Okinawa, at the educational-college for teachers, at the physical and cultural centre and at different universities in Kyoto and Osaka. Likewise he undertook several trips to Hawai and Shangai to promote karate. He was the first to name his style of karate, all in all being it a coincidence that happened during a demonstration at the Butokuden in Kyoto (1927). The name was "Goju", after a line from a poem in the "Bubishi"
Hanshi Kenzo Uchiage (1920 - 2003)
· J.K.F. (Japan Karate-Do Federation) 9th Dan (highest Dan)
· Goju-Ryu Karate-Do 9th Dan
· One of two people who received 5th Dan from Master Chojun Miyagi, which was the highest Dan given by Miyagi Sensei in Japan including Okinawa.
For over 400 years, Kenzo Uchiage's ancestors, the "Imata" family ruled five separate villages of the Kawachi district of Osaka province, Kenzo's father, Naojiro Imata was born as the oldest son and heir to the Imata family but when he was a young boy, both of his parents died and he was adopted by the Uchiage family and became Naojiro Uchiage.
Naojiro's oldest child, Kenzo Uchiage was born in 1920. He was a very strong young boy with an aptitude for sports. His interest in Martial Arts began with Judo and Sumo. While in high school(Imamiya high school), he got 3rd Dan Judo, and he achieved 2nd place in the All Japan High School Sumo Championships and was asked to pursue a career as a professional Sumo wrestler by Grand Yokozuna Champion "Tamanishiki" Instead in 1937 he decided to go to Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto to study law.
Kenzo joined a Karate club at the university coached by Goju-Ryu founder, Master Chojun Miyagi. He quickly became one of Master Miyagi's best students.
He studied Karate for four years under Master Miyagi's instruction and in his fourth year he was chosen to be the Ritsumeikan University team captain. (Mr. Shozo Ujita, former J.K.F. Vice-President and President of the J.K.F. Goju-Kai was captain of the Ritsumeikan team one year ahead of Mr. K. Uchiage)
Mr. Kenzo Uchiage served in the Japanese Imperial Army from 1941 to 1945 where he was an officer in charge of an airforce ground crew. After his discharge he returned to Ritsumeikan University to finish his Law studies and to once again become active in the Karate club. He coached at the University for two years then built his own dojo next his house on his estate in Osaka.
In the 1950's and 1960's there were three very strong Goju-Ryu instructors: Mr. S. Ujita, Mr. K. Uchiage, and Mr.T.Kizaki, They choose Mr.G. Yamaguchi, an older student, to assist them as their coach and to travel around and compete against other Karate club.
In those days, they fought by "knock out system"--the winner being the one left standing, They were very successful and it is largely due to this success that Goju-Ryu Karate earned the respect and reputation that it still has today, (Now there are over 800,000 members world wide).
Mr. Kenzo Uchiage has spent over 60 years studying and teaching Master Miyagi's Goju-Ryu Karate. He was a director of the All Japan National Team that entered the 4th W.U.K.O. World Championships, He is the highest for all J.K.F. Karate styles. He was elected to the Nippon Budokan Budo Koroh-Sho (Japan Martial Arts Award), the only individual from Karate in 1987.
We are very fortunate here in Richmond that: Kenzo Uchiage's youngest child, Takeshi Uchiage, who is now the chairman of the J.K.F. Pan American Goju-Kai, lives and teaches here in Steveston. He has also been chosen by Naojiro's descendants to become the heir to his grandfather's original "Imata" name.
The J.K.F. Goju-Kai Kata Standardization Committee was formed from Mast Chojun Miyagi's remaining students and they have decided how these original Goju Ryu Katas should be done. These are now the standard for the J.K.F. and the World Union of Karate Organizations. (W.U.K.O. new name is W.K.F.)
Shihan Takeshi Uchiage
· J.K.F. (Japan Karate-Do Federation) 7th Dan
· Goju-Ryu Karate-Do 8th Dan
· Kenyu Ryu 4th Dan
· Sumo 1st Dan
Takeshi Uchiage was born in 1948 in Osaka-Japan.
He made his first steps in Goju Ryu Karate-Do in his father’s dojo at the age of 6. When he studied Physical Education at the Tenri University in Nara-Japan, he also practised Kenyu Ryu under the direction of Master Tadao Nakano.
In this period he practised on a daily basis and was rewarded with a 4° Dan. He also achieved several first places at the University Championships in Japan. During his education he was also rewarded with a 1° Dan in Sumo by the Japanese Sumo federation.
After his graduation in 1971 he became trainer/coach of the Tenri University Karate-Do team in Nara-Japan and a technical counselor for the Taiiku-kai Karate-Do team of the Osaka Keizai University in Osaka-Japan. Furthermore he still practised Goju-Ryu at the dojo of his father, Kenzo Uchiage in Osaka and gave several classes at the Kenbukan dojo of Shozo Ujita in Wakayama.
In 1972 the first typical Martial Arts building outside Japan was inaugurated in the Steveston district of the city of Richmond-Canada. Because of the amity between Richmond and Wakayama-city, Shozo Ujita who was mayor of Wakayama-city, was also present. He was astounded by the fact that Karate-Do would not be practised in this new Martial Arts dojo. Therefore, being president of J.K.F. Goju-Kai and vice-president of J.K.F., he requested one of his top-students to leave for Richmond-Canada as a goodwill-ambassador for Karate-Do.
Thus Takeshi Uchiage left for Canada in June 1973. He became a guest of the renowned Mr. Jim Kojima, the Chief Referee of the International Judo Federation and President of Judo Canada.
Takeshi Uchiage began to teach Goju-Ryu Karate-Do in Richmond in the backyard of Mr. Jim Kojima. After two weeks he founded the Steveston Karate-school.
From that day on, he literally stayed a Karate-Do ambassador. He travels all around the world to teach Karate-Do.
He is chairman of Goju Ryu Karate-Do Uchiage-Kai, which is a member of J.K.F.Goju-Kai, Chief of Technical Committee of Osaka Keizai University Taiiku-Kai Karate Club. (Nibu) since 1980, former W.U.K.O. (WKF) Kumite Referee and Kata judge
At this moment Goju-Ryu Uchiage-Kai has dojo's in Japan, Europe, Australia, Africa, lndia, Southeast Asia, North-America, Central-America, the Caribbeans and South-America.
His wife Kayoko was a member of the National Team of Japan. She was awarded 6° Dan, the highest ranking ever to be awarded to a woman in Japan by the J.K.F.
His son, Toshihide Uchiage, is 10 times Canadian National Champion (Jr. and Sr.), Jr. Pan American Champion & Sr. Pan American medallist and won third place in the 17th WKF Championships in 2004, Monterrey, Mexico at the age of 19.
Both his daughters, Hidemi Uchiage and Sumi Uchiage, are 3 times Canadian National Champion and were medallists for the Jr. Pan American.
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