We practice and cascade to our membership the Karate-Do legacy of Makoto Gima.
Our particular style is now called Shōtōkan-Ryu although in 1968 Gima Sensei’s own style was originally named Shōtō-Ryu (松涛流-). The lineage is carried on by four modern Masters — Ikuo Higuchi, Mitsunori Kobayashi, Hidetada Narumi and Takayuki Sameshima, each assisted by senior members from each branch (Shibu Cho) and their teams of Shidoin.
Each branch and country has its own autonomous Chief Instructor, and all our dojo, whether national or international, interact as ‘one family’. “We walk the same path of karate together!”
In order to preserve Gima Shihan’s long achievements and maintain the propagation and future prosperity of Gima-ha Shotokan Karate School, Gima-Ha Shotokan Dojos can be found in the following areas in Japan, the Tokyo district, Niigata district, Hokkaido district, Iwate district and Fukui Branch. Dojos can also be found Internationally in Canada, Germany, Norway, France, Hungary, India, Sri Lanka, the United States, and of course the United Kingdom.
Ikuo Higuchi Hanshi, Kudan, resides in Tokyo, Kanto, Japan. He was formerly the Karate instructor at Senshu University Karate Club and Chief instructor at the Japan Karate Association (JKA) Johoku Dojo under Masatoshi Nakayama Sensei. He is one of the four senior ‘apprentices’ to Gima Shihan.
The other notable senior from the Gima-Ha lineage is Sensei Tatsuya Kobayashi, Tokyo, Japan. He is one of the two (along with Ikuo Higuchi) to be listed on the genealogy of Karate in Japan and a direct disciple of Makoto Gima Shihan.
Mitsunori Kobayashi Hanshi, Kudan, resides in the area of Ojiya, Niigata, Japan. He is a Buddhist Priest of the Jyosho-Ji, and attended Meiji University graduating with a master’s degree from Otani University. He is an alderman in the Japanese city of Ojiya. He is one of the four senior ‘apprentices’ to Gima Shihan.
Hidetada Narumi Kyoshi, Hachidan, resides in Kushiro, Hokkaido, Japan. He attended Nihon University, Tokyo, and was a noted competitor in Kumite. He sat as the President of the Hokkaido Karate Federation and is a senior Japan Karate Federation official. Narumi Shihan is one of the founder fathers of ‘Karate BC (formerly NKA BC)’ and started the Shisei-Kai (now Gima-Ha) federation in Vancouver, BC, Canada, in 1970. He is one of the four senior ‘apprentices’ to Gima Shihan.
An apprentice to Ikuo Higuchi Hanshi, Takayuki Sameshima Shihan, Hachidan, resides in White-Rock, BC, Canada. He is an amazing Kata exponent, and moves like a ‘hot knife through butter’ whilst performing his Kata. He reigned as the Canadian Kata Champion for many years.
Notably Our lineage within Shōtōkan Karate-Do retains recognisable elements that stretch beyond these four eminent masters.
The original Okinawa ‘Ti’ of Kanga Sakugawa (1733-1815) , and Sokon Matsumura (reported variously as; (1809-1901) or (1798-1890) or (1809-1896) or (1800-1892) are visible in our Koryu Kata akin to the ‘Shorin’ style of karate.
Ankoh Itosu (1830 – 1915) a senior ‘apprentice’ of Matsumura was the main person responsible for the propagation of To-De (Karate) on Okinawa! He is renowned as the foremost exponent of Shuri-Te (Shorin).
Itosu taught two notable names, Kentsu Yabu and Gichin Funakoshi. They were the only two to receive the title of Shihan-Dai from Itosu.
Funakoshi as we know was the first Okinawan to take karate to the mainland of Japan, where demonstrated with another Okinawan karate exponent teaching school in Tokyo – Shinkin (Makoto) Gima.
Makoto Gima had been a student of Kentsu Yabu and Itosu in Okinawa, thus was already skilled and able to assist Funakoshi at the start of karate in Japan, and the style that evolved to become what we now call Shōtōkan.
Gima Saiko Shihan continued his involvement in karate, acting as an advisor to both the JKA and the Shotokai, as well as teaching his own students in the old ways. Gima was awarded 10th Dan (Judan) from Kanken Toyama, during Funakoshi’s lifetime (1956)!
In 1965 Gima started his own school called Shōtō-Ryu. This later became known as Shisei-Kai, and after his death – Gima-Ha Shōtōkan.
A little known point is that Higuchi Ikuo Shihan, one of the two senior Gima Yudansha used to teach at Nakayama Masatoshi’s Hoitsugan Dojo, such was the relationship between Gima Sensei and other prominent instructors of Shoto-kan and Shoto-kai.
Gima Sensei himself taught three times weekly at the infamous Yoyogi Dojo where one of the Kumite coaches was the legendary master – Higaonna Morio Shihan. Gima-Ha members (T. Kobayashi, Higuchi, M. Kobayashi, Narumi) and Goju-Ryu members (M. Higaonna, T. Chinen) would share the floor, the instruction, the karate-do, and the memories.
It is fair to say that few Shōtōkan organisations can boast this direct lineage.