Tode Sakugawa

Today's karate is heavily indebted to Karate Master Tote Sakugawa. He was born in Shuri, Okinawa on March 15, 1733 and died there on August 17, 1815. History records that he commenced his studies of the martial arts under Takahara Peichin, a Buddhist monk residing in the village of Akata, at the age of seventeen. Six years later, when he was twenty-three, Tote Sakugawa traveled to China to continue his martial arts studies with the famous Chinese Tode master, (Shang) Kusanku. After five years, when he was twenty-eight years old, Sakugawa returned to Shuri to teach karate, as he had learned it, to the people of Okinawa. "Karate" Sakugawa, as people come to know him, taught three distinguished students who remained inseparable during their years of karate training: they were Makabe (Bird Man), Okuda (Iron Man), and Sokon Matsumura (Bushi). Of the three students, Soken Matsumura became one of Okinawa's greatest teachers of karate and it was he who was the founder of the Shuri-te style.