Before you join anything, you want to know more about the people
behind the organisation and what they will do for you. That's
why we have put as much information on this website as we could but
in the event we have missed something, simply drop us an email and
we will do our best to answer your questions.
The Politics of Karate!
Throughout the karate fraternity there are many problems with
"karate politics". This includes issues
about whether or not you do "Sport Karate" which is
predominantly competition based or "Traditional Karate"
which follows the ways that karate was intended to be - practical.
Since the late 1970's. Takumi (formally known as St. Ann's Karate)
has experienced many of these political problems, many of which
included instructors and heads of associations whose ideas of
practical traditional karate were otherwise motivated.
After many years we grew tired of the bickering and the ego's and
simply wanted to get on with the job in hand - training and trying
to improve our karate. Since late 2003 we have been a member
of an association whose members feel the same. The
Scottish Karate Confederation is a group of clubs who
all simply want to work together and train together for the benefit
of their members. In February 2007 the SKC had to leave the
Scottish Karate Governing Body who tries to serve
the needs of both Sport and Traditional Karateka, and joined
Karate Great Britain. TKGB is an
organisation who are self governing and who is aim is to meet the
needs of the thousands of karateka in the UK who are not interested
in competition. Rather than go into the TKGB's aims in detail,
please feel free to visit their website for further info.
The bottom line is that we do not believe in egos, we do not
believe in ripping members off, we simply want to train with others
and exchange views and training methods openly and without
fear of being taken to task by a body that does not believe in
The Types Of Martial Arts We Practice
We currently study two forms of martial arts at Takumi, Tani Ha
Shito Ryu Karate (also known as Shukokai) and Ryukyu Kobujutsu
(Okinawan Weapons Training). It should be pointed out that we
do not offer classes in Kobujutsu as many of our Instructors are
still learning this art themselves. What we do is provide
access to courses and tuition by Sensei Julian Mead who is
the Chairman and Chief Instructor of the Ryukyu Kobujutsu
Association of Great Britain
Tani Ha Shito Ryu Karate (aka Shukokai)
Of all the Japanese and Okinawan styles, Shito-Ryu teaches the greatest number
of kata, including all the Itosu and Higoanna forms. It also incorporates the
Kata taught by the Shorin-Ryu, Shotokan and Goju-Ryu schools as well as
traditional Kata. Mabuni also created some that are unique to Shito-Ryu. A book
of Shito-Ryu kata by Ryusho Sakagami, a leading teacher of the style, includes
thirty-eight kata and the list is by no means complete. Some authorities list
over fifty kata and that is not including weapons kata.
Basic techniques resemble Shotokan to some extent, except that the stances are
not as low and ore use is made of Sanchin and Neko Ashi stances. After Mabuni's
death the style split into various independent groups and associations headed by
Mabuni's senior students. Chojiro Tani led one of the groups. Sensei Tani
concentrated on developing a style aimed at competition fighting and after a
great deal of research and experimentation, a method known a Shukokai was
created. It featured high stances, simplified direct blocking methods and fast
kicking and punching techniques. Due to its success it tournaments, this form of
Shito-Ryu is the most well known in the west.
Shukokai kata, while being based on older Okinawan models, have been changed to
conform to the dictates of competition. One of Tani's students, Yoshinao Nanbu,
broke away from Shukokai to found his own system known as Sankukai. He did this
as he found the stress of competition too limiting and not in keeping with his
view of the martial arts. Later Nanbu created another system know as Nanbu Do.
The original Shito-Ryu is now beginning to spread to Europe through the efforts
of a number of Japanese teachers. In America, Shito-Ryu is quite well
established with some of the best known teachers being Fumio Demura and Sensei
This style forms the basis and foundations for our
training, but like anything in life has evolved and developed to suit the combat
field of today.
Ryukyu Kobujutsu (aka Kobudo)
The ancient martial arts of the Ryukyu Islands consist of Toshu-jutsu, the way
of the empty hand and Emono-jutsu, the way of weapons. The former is called
Karate and the latter, Ryukyu Kobujutsu.
The Ryukyu Kobujutsu appeared in history approximately 700 years ago. It is said
that it was the use of weapons in the periods of heroes holding grand. Most Kata
of Weapons remaining now are footprints of old masters approximately 200-400
years ago. With the prosperity of Kobujutsu many grand masters appeared in the
1700, 1800, and 1900 centuries. As time went on however, the lack of instructors
and people to carry on the tradition caused the decay of Ryukyu Kobujutsu, at
one time it faced the prospect of dying out all together.
In the Taisho era some masters who were deeply worried about the situation made
great efforts to restore and promote Ryukyu Kobujutsu. One practitioner who
stands out in history is the late Master Shinken Taira. He was a disciple of
Yabiku Moden Sensei and compiled and authenticated 42 Weapons kata, which
consist of eight kinds of weapon.
For more information on Kobujutsu, please