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Soke Masaharu Sakimukai (1943-2010), aka Grandmaster M. Sakimukai, founded Chintokan Karate-do, Hakushin Ryu Ryukyu Kobudo, USA Jodo Federation - Beikoku Shudokai, Kenbukan Iai-do, World Martial Arts Research Association, and Sakimukai's Ryukyu-Te Self Defense.  He was born January 25, 1943 in Kagoshima, Japan.  Opened his first US Chintokan dojo in 1980 located in Wilmington, Delaware.   His legacy continues at the Chintokan World Headquarters "So Honzan" dojo located in Jacksonville, Florida, and other authorized dojos throughout the world.  

(From the So Budo Kai - Chintokan World Headquaters website)

 

The first time I met Soke Sakimukai was was in the very early 80's.  One of his early US students recommended and introduced me to him.  It wasn't until a few years later that I was able to finally be able to train at his dojo.  Shortly after the beginning of my training, I was privileged to witness Soke share his beautiful Japanese Budo Dance.  I found myself amazed for what I had witnessed.  His immense passion for budo was manifested through his performance, and it took my breath away.  At that time, I did not realize I witnessed what I now understand to be "Shin Gi Tai".

 

What was Soke Sakimukai's greatest accomplishment out of so many?  Was it his beautifully choreographed Japanese Budo Dance that brought awe and wonder to all those who witnessed it?  Was it his amazing and thrilling Jodo demonstrations?  Was it his many kobudo and karate kata works of art?  Was it the beautiful dojo he built that continues to educate, guide, and enrich all that enter?  No, I believe his greatest works are his living works of art, his students.  Those individuals that truly embraced his teachings, those that not only trained hard physically, but who continued to strive for perfection of character as he did.  A japanese proverb states "A tree is known for its fruit, so is a teacher known by his students"

 

There was a poem written by Master Toguchi in honor of Master Miyagi Chojun that reminded me of

Soke Sakimukai:

" A Tiger dies and leaves its skin" - Although a living creature, an animal is not conscious of meaning in it's daily striving for sustenance and achieves nothing more than mere propagation of the species.   When it dies it has nothing to leave but it's physical body which soon withers away to dust and bone. 

 

"A man dies and leaves his name" - As humans we are intelligent, sentient beings who plan, build and contribute to civilization.  The ordinary person contributes to the growth of a family, passes on traditions and experiences that enhance that growth.  When death comes to that person he or she is remembered fondly in memories. 

 

"A teacher dies and teaches death" - is indeed a most profound statement.  With every move and moment of life a REAL teacher shows an example how to live correctly and even in dying teaches that life and indeed death is precious.  We should all strive to be such a teacher and by doing so leave more than just a physical body, or a fond memory, but a legacy of striving for perfection within ourselves." 

Presented by Andy Rodriguez for 1st Soke Memorial July 10, 2011