Sakugawa Kanga

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Sakugawa Kanga

Sakugawa Kanga ( Japanese 佐 久 川 寛 賀 ; * March 5, 1733 in Akata, Shuri (today: Naha ); † July 7, 1815 ) was the best known and most important master of the early Okinawan tode .


Coming from the common people, he took the name "Sakugawa" after his appointment as Chikudun Pēchin ( 筑 登 之 親 雲 上 , civil servant). Because of his services in the area of ​​death, he also got the "nickname" Karate (/ Tōde) -Sakugawa ( 唐 手 佐 久 川 ).

At the age of 17 he began to study Okinawan martial arts with the monk Takahara Peichin (1683-1760) from Akata. This was a student of Matsu Higa , a expert. In 1756 the first meeting between Sakugawa and the Chinese martial arts expert Kushanku took place. Takahara recommended training through Kushanku and thus Kushanku had another Kohai called Sakugawa in addition to Chatan Yara (Kitayra) .

During the six years of training and five other trips to China, Sakugawa deepened his knowledge of Quánfǎ and Qigong . Thereby he became an advocate of the Chinese traditions, which were based on traditional contents of martial arts as well as the inner development of the student. He imparted his kata knowledge to his students only when he was completely convinced of the correct inner attitude of the Kohai.

The specialization in martial arts met with great rejection. Sakugawa's philosophy of life was: “A master of karate must be proficient in all things in life. A specialist is someone who understands more and more of less and less ”.

He also established the five dōjōkun that go back to Bodhidharma .


Sakugawa had three students: Okuda (called "Eisenmann"), Makabe (called "Vogelmann") and Matsumoto. Sakugawa handed over the license for the style board ( 免 許 皆 伝 , Menkyo Kaiden ) to Matsumoto. Makabe went to Tomari and teaches the later Tomari master Matsumora Kōsaku . At the age of 78 he taught the then still young Matsumura Sōkon from Shuri. With him the great era of Shorin ryu began.

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