Chito Ryu is the first style of karate in Canada. Dr. Tsuyoshi Chitose was the founder of the Chito Ryu style; in Okinawa he was known as Chinen Gua but is now respectively titled O-Sensei. At O-Sensei's death in 1984, his son Yasuhiro Chitose assumed his father's name and took on the responsibilities as the new Soke and head of Chito Ryu.
Chito Ryu Yuseikan formerly known as Burnaby Chito Ryu started in Burnaby, BC in 1980-81 under Gary Mah and Robert Lee. In 1982, under the direction of Robert Lee the dojo permanently moved to Eastburn Community Centre. Robert Lee has been the head instructor since that time. He is a 6th degree black belt with the title Renshi. His karate and life have been positively influenced by many notable instructors including: O-Sensei, Warren Mauer, Brian DeMasters, Chris Taneda, Gary Mah, David Akutagawa, Shane Higashi, Tsutomu Tashiro, Hiroshi Tanaka, Ryuichi Nakamura, Morimitsu Tamaki and his greatest influence Soke Sensei.
Chito Ryu is a traditional Japanese martial art which offers not only self defence but also excellent physical conditioning and preparation for life's daily challenges. The student develops a greater sense of self-confidence, focus and learns to respect themselves and others in their community. The development of good character, self-esteem, and manners are emphasized.
The karate classes are fun and interactive; no special athletic ability or skill is required. Chito Ryu can be practiced by all ages, regardless of gender. Chito Ryu Yuseikan has a unique family atmosphere based on a mentoring system where older students work with younger ones to provide a supportive network. Students are encouraged to progress at their own rate and potential.
Chito Ryu Yuseikan has been a long standing member of Karate BC and Karate Canada/National Karate Association, the recognized sport governing bodies in BC and Canada. These associations provide funding; sanction regional, provincial and national tournaments and clinics; sponsor coaching (including NCCP) and officials programs; provide accident and dental insurance, etc.
Dr. Tsuyoshi Chitose, also known as Chinen Gua in Okinawa, was the founder of Chito Ryu Karate. Born in Kumochi, Naha City, Okinawa-ken (prefecture), on October 18th, 1898 Dr. Chitose created Chito Ryu after spending years studying both Shorin-Ryu and Shorei-Ryu. He became the Supreme Instructor, 10th dan, of Chito-Kai of the All Japan Karate Do Federation.
Chito Ryu developed from two disciplines, Shuri no Te (now known as Shorin-Ryu) and Naha no Te (now known as Shorei-Ryu). O-Sensei created Chito Ryu by combining the merits of each with his medical knowledge to come up with a healthier alternative.
At the age of seven, O-Sensei was introduced to the secrets of Naha no Te by the respected fifth master Aragaki Ou. At that time, Gichin Funakoshi a pioneer of Karate-do was also in Naha as a student.
At Shuri city, O-Sensei studied under such masters as: Choyu Motobu, Chotoku Kiyan, Haragusuku Chiyomu, Kanryo Higaonna (who also taught Chojun Miyagusuku, the founder of Goju-Ryu and Kenwa Mabuni, the founder of Shito-Ryu).
In 1922, O-Sensei went to Tokyo to study medicine, while there he assisted in the opening of Gichin Funakoshi's Shoto-Kai Yotsuya dojo. He instructed in kumite and the kata of Seisan and Bassai.
In March 1946, after World War II, O-Sensei opened a karate dojo called Yoseikan in Naka Machi, Kikuchi-gun, Kumamoto-ken.
In 1958, O-Sensei attained the rank of Juudan from Zen Okinawa Karate Kobudo Rengo Kai (The All Okinawa Karate and Weaponry Association).
In 1975, he moved his dojo to Tsuboi, Kumamoto City, where it presently exists.
At O-Sensei's death in 1984, his son Yasuhiro Chitose assumed the name of his father, Tsuyoshi Chitose and took on the responsibilities as the new Soke.
In June 1984, the founder of Chito Ryu Karate, Dr. Chitose Sensei, passed away and his son Yasuhiro Chitose became the head of International Chito-Kai. In keeping with Japanese custom he changed his name to Tsuyoshi Chitose and is now referred to as Soke Sensei.
Soke Sensei comes from a family of 7 children (two older brothers died following the harsh living conditions after WW II). All the siblings studied karate from their father and Soke Sensei began training at the young age of 3 years old. Since then, he has never stopped training even when attending university. He studied Education and Media Communication at Tokai University, Tokyo.
In 2003, Soke Sensei moved from the family home/dojo to his own house a short distance away. Soke Sensei has three sons, Naoyuki and Goshi are married and live with their families while the youngest, Taiga, is still attending high school and living at home. The three sons train regularly and often three generations train at the dojo (Soke Sensei, Naoyuki, Goshi, and their children).
Soke Sensei is the head of the International Chito Ryu Karate-do Federation, www.chitoryu.co.jp/en/. The International Technical Program for Chito Ryu is directed by Soke Sensei and members of the ICKF Technical Committee. The Sohonbu headquarters is O-Sensei's fifth dojo located in the Tsuboi area of Kumamoto city. Aside from repairs and renovations, the dojo has remained basically unchanged. Exciting plans are now to rebuild the dojo into a modern, three-story karate research facility. The first level will be parking and office; second floor the dojo, change room and meeting room; and third floor a 10 bed dormitory, kitchen and washroom. Grand Opening is planned for April 2014.
Chito Ryu Yuseikan is a member dojo of the International Chito Ryu Karate-do Federation and recognizes Soke Sensei as the supreme leader of Chito Ryu. Soke Sensei travels throughout all member countries to conduct Chito Ryu clinics and grading sessions. He makes an annual visit to the Chito Ryu Yuseikan dojo usually in the spring
In O-Sensei's will (1982) he declared Soke Sensei to be his successor and Naoyuki Chitose Shihan the 3rd Generation Soke. Chitose Shihan is the eldest son of Soke Sensei. He is married and has two daughters, both who train karate. In preparation for the enormous responsibility of becoming the next Soke, Chitose Shihan moved to Kelowna, BC when he was only 15 years old. He studied English there for 1.5 years. He currently has his own dojo in Kumamoto, as well as teaches at the Sohonbu. At the beginning of 2013, he has dedicated himself full time to karate.
Chitose Shihan has visited the Chito Ryu Yuseikan dojo several times and knows many of our students by name. In June of 2013, our younger members were treated to a special class with him. It is an honour to train with any member of the Chitose family, hopefully our younger students appreciate the Chito Ryu lineage and history. We look forward to more visits from Chitose Shihan.