Nakazato Shugoro

Shugoro Nakazato was born in Naha City, Okinawa. At the age of 16, while attending normal school in Osaka, Japan in 1935, he began his lifelong karate study under the direction of Ishu Seiichi. Nakazato studied under Sensei Ishu for six years. During World War II he was in the Japanese cavalry. Following the surrender of Japan, Nakazato returned to his home in Okinawa to find his family a casualty of the war. In June 1946, he began his study of karate under Chosin Chibana, who was the Menkyo inheritor of Anko Itotsu. In 1948 Chibana's Shuri dojo closed, but Nakazato continued his study with Master Chibana, being personally tutored for over a year in Chibana's own home. In 1951 Nakazato was instrumental in helping Chibana open his new Dai Ichi Dojo in Naha city at Natsuo. Chibana continued his personal teaching of Nakazato at the Dai Ichi Dojo until January 10, 1954, when Nakazato received his Shihan Menkyojo and became Master Chibana's Shihan Dai (Main Assistant). After working as the Shihan Dai in the Matsuo dojo under Chibana's direction for one and a half years, Nakazato was commissioned by Chibana to found the Shorin-ryu Shorin Kan Nakazato dojo in Naha city at Aza.

Nakazato was appointed as one of the directors of the Okinawan Karate Federation when it was formed in 1956 with the four major (shiryuha) system of karate in Okinawa (Goju-ryu, Ueichi-ryu, Shorin-ryu (Ko) and Shorin-Ryu (Natsu)). During this time Nakazato devoted all of his time and energy to teaching and perfecting Shorin-ryu karate. In 1960, the Okinawan Karate Federation promoted him to Eighth Degree Black Belt and titled him Kyoshi. Seven years later Nakazato continued his progress in karate when Master Chibana and the Okinawan Shorin-ryu Karate-Do Kyokai promoted him to Ninth Degree Black Belt and bestowed the title Hanshi on him.

Nakazato began his study of weapons almost from the beginning of his training in 1935. He was trained in the sai, bo, nunchaku, tonfa and nicho kama, but specialized in bojutsu for four years. Throughout his career he has given of his knowledge willingly. He has demonstrated his technique of karate all over the world and has made many trips to America in the furtherance of Karate-do. When Master Chibana passed away in February 1969, Shugoro Nakazato inherited the leadership of Okinawan Shorin-ryu Karate-do, thus becoming the Tenth Degree Black Belt.