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Authors → Kenei Mabuni

Kenei Mabuni

Mabuni Kenei was born on 13 February 1918 in the Okinawan town Shuri. He was the oldest of three children of Mabuni Kenwa, the founder of Shito Ryu. In 1929 Mabuni Kenwa moved to Osaka, a city on the Japanese main island (Honshu), to teach Karate there. His family followed two years later. At the age of 13 Mabuni Kenei started to study the martial arts. His father taught him Karate and Jujutsu, Master Konishi taught him Ryukyu Kobudo and Kendo, and he studied Ninjutsu with master Fujita Seiko. During the 1930's Mabuni Kenei often took part in Karate demonstrations by his father.

In his youth Mabuni Kenei got to know many great masters of Budô, e.g. Miyagi Chojun, Motobu Choki, Konishi Yasuhiro, Moden Yabiku and Funakoshi Gichin.

Photo: Sitting in the center: Mabuni Kenwa (1889-1952). Standing from left to right: Funakoshi Gichin (1869-1957), Nakasone Genwa (1895-1978), unknown, Konishi Yasuhiro (1893-1983), Mabuni Kenei. Photograph from 1930.

In 1939 Shito ryu was officially registered at the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai. After the death of his father in 1952 Mabuni Kenei became his official successor as 2nd Soke of Shito ryu. In 1962 Kenei Mabuni started to spread his style world-wide by teaching Shito Karate in numerous countries. His first trip abroad led him to Mexico. In 1965 Carlos Molina, the editor of the German and English edition of the book "Empty Hand", met Kenei Mabuni, his future master, for the first time.

Mabuni Kenei, 10th Dan, received a lot of awards during his life, e.g. the "Medal for Outstanding Merits in the Field of Martial Arts" by the Nihon Budo Kyougi Kai. Soke Mabuni Kenei is technical advisor of the Japan Karate Federation (JKF). In 1993 he founded the World Shito-ryu Karate-Do Federation. He still holds seminars in different countries, e.g. since 1987 he regularily follows the invitations of Master Nakahashi Hidetoshi, 9th Dan, to Corsica.

Summer seminar in 2007 on Corsica. Rigth: Mabuni Kenei. Left: The editor of the German and English edition of "Empty Hand", Carlos Molina. Beside him is Nakahashi Hidetoshi.

Carlos Molina, Editor

The editor of "Empty Hand", Carlos Molina, 7th Dan, born in 1947 in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, was one of the first students of Mabuni Kenei in Latin America. In 1976 he brought Shito-Karate to the Federal Republic of Germany, and today he is representing it in Germany.
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