Chito Ryu Karate

The martial arts of Okinawa were heavily influenced by the military skills of the Chinese, but they have been strongly shaped by the Okinawan creativity for fighting tactics. Although I no longer involve myself in this art, it was my first, and I still know the techniques.

Canadian Chito Ryu KarateKarate was first taught in Canada on a commercial basis by Mas Tsuruoka of Toronto, in the early 1960s. He was a student of Doctor Chitose who was the founder of Chito Ryu or “1000 year” style. Mas Tsuruoka produced many fine black belts in the Toronto area, and his legacy still exists, although there has been the commonplace splitting of the style, as various instructors have taken independent paths. My lineage may be traced through Sensei Andre Langelier, of Ottawa, who taught in the 1960s and early 1970s. He was a direct student of Mas Tsuruoka. I was his student from 1965 to 1972. At that time, he ceased teaching to follow other pursuits. In the Ottawa Valley Region, his immediate students included people such as Fern Cleroux, Harry and Gilles Villeneuve, Georges Sylvain, Pierre Myre and many others. In the early 1970s Sensei Bob Smith and Sensei McArthur moved to Vancouver BC. Some of these instructors are still active, and have spawed several new generations of students. One of these, Sensei Harvey Brown, has a web site. See:Ottawa Chito Kai – Sensei Harvey Brown. On that site, Sensei Brown gives a little more detail of the history of Karate in Ottawa. The link between Sensei Brown and myself is that when he first started training at Langelier’s club, I was the person who instructed beginners for the first 2-4 weeks of their training. After I was graded for 1st kyu, it was a requirement to do so for a year, and I did it for about a year and one half, consistently. As far as I can remember (and Sensei Brown thought that this might be the case when I talked to him a few years back), I gave him his earliest lessons. So, I found that personally gratifying.

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