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Four karate disciplines reunite after 27-year split

Date Posted: 2008-02-28

A rift in 1981 sent Okinawa’s four karate groups in separate directions, but all has been brushed over and the Okinawa Traditional Karatedo Promotion Committee is one.

The four karate specialty chairmen and directors elected Hirokazu Nakaima as president, declaring they’ll all abide by common rules and conditions hammered out over the past year. Nakaima, Okinawa’s governor, promised “Okinawan Karatedo and Kobudo should go on forever, leaving an inheritance for the future.”

The governor pledged “It is our responsibility to do what’s best to make karate known worldwide.” The four group chairmen agreed. Yoshitsune Senaga, chairman for All Okinawa Karatedou League, joined Okinawa Prefecture Karatedou League chairman Yoshio Hichiya, Okinawa Karate Kobudou Leage leader Isao Shima, and Okinawa Prefecture Karatedou Union chairman Hidenobu Goya in declaring the reunification “the special historical day for karate lovers.”

“We have to make one, or many, to become living treasure karate specialists,” a Union leader said, calling on “Karate universities to bring up standards so we can train children, too.” The groups have agreed “Our rules are the real rules”, and Governor Nakaima has pushed farther, encouraging them to “make a world championship in Okinawa next year.”

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