Grand Master Miyahira Katsuya

Founder of Okinawa Shorinryu Shidokan

Foto Sensei Joachim Laupp

Miyahira Katsuya
10. Dan Hanshi
16.08.1918 – 28.11.2010

Grand Master Miyahira Katsuya, the founder of Okinawa Shorinryu Shidokan, was born in Nishihara-cho, Okinawa,. He was a student of Chibana Choshin who was one of the main representatives of the Kobayashi ryu on Okinawa. until his death.  Grandmaster Miyahira was 10th Dan Hanshi and he was the president of Okinawa Shorin Ryu Karatedo Kyokai (Okinawa Shorin Ryu Karatedo Association) till he passed away.
Grandmaster Miyahira on the karate festival 1991

Insight his life's work

The history of origin of Okinawa Shorinyu Shidokan

Grand Master Miyahira Katsuya was taught at the age of five by his father, who came from the Toyama military school and had good knowledge of gymnastics and sword-fighting (Kendo). His deep karate studies began in April 1933 under Chibana Choshin, studying traditional Shuri-te. He was influenced by senior students of the Dojo such as Yoshitsugu Teichi, Kangi Shoya, Yasuyoshi Kamikosu, Tsuguyoshi Miyagi, Chozo Nakama and Shinji Tawada. From September of the same year he was also able to practice at the College of Shuri under Tokuda Anbun, another student of Itosu "Anko" Yasutsunes. Later, Miyahira deepened his knowledge mainly in Kumite in the dojo of Motobu Choki.

The teacher

Distintive experiences in Manchuria

Grand Master Miyahira spent the last years of the Second World War as a teacher in Manchuria experiencing a lot of poverty and misery. After his return to Okinawa and based on these experiences he decided to give young people the opportunity to improve and to protect themselves . So he founded his first dojo in his native town Nishihara. He named it Shidokan. More Shidokan dojo were set up in the following years . From 1953 Miyahira Karate taught at Ryukyu University. In 1956, he built the Shidokan Dojo in the garden of his home in Tsuboya.

The Dojokun

The principles in Grand Master Miyahira's Dojo

The traditional Shuri-te is based on the principle of Atemi. Central idea is that a block (uke) not only serves the own defense against the attacker, but at the same time to destroy the attack. Ideally, you should train your hands and feet to reach a state where strength and flexibility co-exist, like steel is hard and elastic at the same time. Therefore, one should practice with the Makiwara by performing different strokes (tsuki) every day more than two hundred times with each hand. The aim of this exercise is the simultaneity of attack and defense. Grandmaster Miyahira always followed the traditional methods of Shuri-te in his practice. The basic rules in Grand Master Miyahira's dojo are accordingly:

Try to perfect your own personality

Maintain the spirit of constant effort

Restrain your youthful zeal 

Note the etiquette

Doctrine of Sensei Miyahira

First principle and source of Shidôkan

gō ri gō hō kyō son kyō ei
"Following reason and law, living in community, blooming together."

The basic principle of Shidôkan is -as state of mind- to get rid of nonessential movements, to go for a rational karate, to always maintain balance and serenity, to teach hotheads to pratice karate in common, to strive for harmony (team work).
Anniversary Taikai 40 years Okinawa Shôrinryû Shidôkan
May 25, Heisei 02 

Have dignity, do not act furiously.
Have dignity and have mercy from the bottom of your heart.

A student describes the personality of Confucius in the Book of Conversation. "Warm and passionate, dignified without being savage, respectful and peaceful." This was considered as ideal for a man of perfect virtue.

From the origin of Shidôkan
Miyahira Katsuya

"As for the origin of Shidôkan, thsi is what happende when I gave the name Shidokan to my own karate dojo, going back to a quote from the Chinese sage Confucius from the doctrinal record of his" Book of Conversations" 4th volume, section 7: The way ahead, committed to virtue, based on mercy. 

Sensei Miyahira teaches that the ideal karateka has "the hand of a devil, but the heart of a Buddha." The Shidokan School can not be limited to sports or health aspects of karate. Rather, Grand Master Miyahira sees in the perennial practical exercise no goal of its own, but a means to the higher goal of shaping the human character.

Miyahira Katsuya, 10th Dan Hanshi with his student Sensei Laupp
Grandmaster Miyahira says, "There are only a few differences between the Shorin styles taught on Okinawa, but the Shorin-derived Japanese styles have changed a lot. Their kata have moved so far from the originals that the techniques have become virtually ineffective. Maintaining the correct basic form is of utmost importance."

Appraisal of his life's work

In 1967 Grand Master Miyahira received the grade of 9th Dan Hanshi from Chibana himself.
Two years later, after the death of Chibana, Grandmaster Miyahira became his successor as President of Okinawa Shorin Ryu Karatedo Kyokai. He was also president of the International Okinawa Shorin Ryu Shidokan Karatedo Association founded by him. In September 1978 he received the degree of 10th Dan Hanshi. In 1986 the Prefecture of Okinawa promoted him as President of the Karatedo Federation for the entire Okinawa Pefecture. In 1989, the Japan Martial Arts Council honored Grand Master Miyahira for his merits. As a special honor for his services to the continuation of the Karatedo tradition in the sense of his predecessors, he was awarded in 1990 the 9th Budo merit award of the conference of Nippon Karatedo. This was followed by another award in early 2001, when Grand Master Miyahira, along with other exponents of the Shorinryu, was awarded the title of invaluable support to Okinawa's culture (intangible cultural asset) through Okinawa Prefecture. Grand Master Miyahira Katsuya died on November 28, 2010 after a long illness on Okinawa.

Spread of Okinawa Shorinryu Shidokan

Grandmaster Miyahira's Shidokan style is now wide spread beyond Okinawa in many parts of the world, including the US, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, the Philippines, Guam, France, Spain and Australia. In Germany, the Shidokan School is represented by Joachim Laupp in the European Center for Okinawa Shorinryu Shidokan Karatedo in Düsseldorf and in Trier; students of Sensei Laupp are teaching in other cities and countries of Europe (see Shibu Dojos).

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