Chidokai is a Karatedo school in the tradition of Shoto Ryu, the Shotokan style established by Funakoshi Sensei on the basis of the teachings of Itosu Sensei and Azato Sensei. It was founded in Japan on 8 November 1954 by Takeshi Sasaki Sensei, who learned Karatedo from Funakoshi Sensei and Obata Sensei. Sasaki Sensei passed away in 1992, but his rich legacy lives on through the Japan Karatedo Chidokai (JKC).
In 2004, when JKC celebrated its 50th anniversary, the idea of setting up an international organization that would bring together all existing and aspiring Chidokan schools outside Japan was first discussed. In 2008, the JKC Standing Committee appointed Nakajima Sensei as the coordinator for this project; and IKR-CKI was eventually established in 2010.
Chidokai’s rigorously structured training curriculum is an integral part of our tradition. It is strictly observed at each and every training session, leaving no room (or need) for improvisation.
The strength and distinctiveness of Chidokai training lie in the progressive study of Kihons. Basic techniques become increasingly complex as the student graduates up the scale of successive Kyus. From white belt to black, the learning process is spread over 9 Kyu grades.
After learning basic etiquette, the beginner is first taught static punching and kicking exercises (e.g. Kara Tsuki, Sonoba Tsuki, Heisoku Mai-geri) followed by exercises that gradually introduce four-directional mobility and basic stances (e.g. Kihon Yon Dosa). Over the years, mobility and technique are steadily developed through regular practice of a dozen Uke-Kime exercises, the Tai-Sabaki series and combined techniques like Renzoku Dosa. Chidokai’s 15 precisely codified Kihon Katas make a particularly strong foundation for the study of the Heian and advanced Katas, while Kumite technique is refined and strengthened through practice of the series of 15 Renzoku Waza exercises. Overall, this systematically structured training programme makes Chidokai unique among Karatedo schools.
Karatedo is more than just Karate. One of the features of the traditional teaching is the special relationship that builds up over the years between the student and his/her Sensei, which provides the link with the tradition. This can also help the student gain a deeper understanding of the ethical principles that lie at the heart of Karatedo, and why it is important to take them at least as seriously as the physical training.
In keeping with the ancient tradition of Bushido, the code of honour of the Samurai, the teaching of traditional Karatedo is intimately connected with some form of moral education. Absolute courage, honour, loyalty, sincerity, courtesy and self-control are all qualities upheld by those ancient warriors, whose life was devoted to a cause that they defended with complete selflessness.
Chidokai students are expected to abide scrupulously by those values during training and strive to uphold them in their day-to-day life. Accordingly, at the close of each training session, all participants are invited to express them by reciting a set of five pledges known as Dojo Khun.