O-Sensei Tsuyoshi Chitose
Chito Ryu is the first style of karate in Canada. Chito-Ryu Karate was founded in Japan by the Okinawan master Dr. Tsuyoshi Chitose (1898-1984).
Dr. Tsuyoshi Chitose (also known as Chinen Gua in Okinawa) was born in Kumochi, Naha City, Okinawa-ken (prefecture), on October 18th, 1898.
Dr. Chitose created Chito Ryu after spending years studying both Shorin-Ryu and Shorei-Ryu.
He became the Supreme Instructor, 10th dan, of Chito-Kai of the All Japan Karate Do Federation.
Chito Ryu developed from two disciplines, Shuri no Te (now known as Shorin-Ryu) and Naha no Te (now known as Shorei-Ryu). O-Sensei created Chito Ryu by combining the merits of each with his medical knowledge to come up with a healthier alternative.
At the age of seven, O-Sensei was introduced to the secrets of Naha no Te by the respected fifth master Aragaki Ou. At that time, Gichin Funakoshi a pioneer of Karate-do was also in Naha as a student.
At Shuri city, O-Sensei studied under such masters as: Choyu Motobu, Chotoku Kiyan, Haragusuku Chiyomu, Kanryo Higaonna (who also taught Chojun Miyagusuku, the founder of Goju-Ryu and Kenwa Mabuni, the founder of Shito-Ryu).
In 1922, O-Sensei went to Tokyo to study medicine, while there he assisted in the opening of Gichin Funakoshi's Shoto-Kai Yotsuya dojo. He instructed in kumite and the kata of Seisan and Bassai.
In March 1946, after World War II, O-Sensei opened a karate dojo called Yoseikan in Naka Machi, Kikuchi-gun, Kumamoto-ken.
In 1958, O-Sensei attained the rank of Judan from Zen Okinawa Karate Kobudo Rengo Kai (The All Okinawa Karate and Weaponry Association).
In 1975, he moved his dojo to Tsuboi, Kumamoto City, where it presently exists.
At O-Sensei's death in 1984, his son Yasuhiro Chitose assumed the name of his father, Tsuyoshi Chitose and took on the responsibilities as the new Soke.
Soke - Head of Chito Ryu since 1984
In June 1984, the founder of Chito Ryu Karate, Dr. Chitose Sensei, passed away and his son Yasuhiro Chitose became the head of International Chito-Kai. In keeping with Japanese custom he changed his name to Tsuyoshi Chitose and became the 2nd generation Soke. He is responsible for preserving Chito Ryu Karate today and is now respectfully known as Soke. With Wa-nin and Riki Hittatsu as the basis, he spends his time training and honing skills with all instructors and students in Japan and around the world.
Soke comes from a family of 7 children (two older brothers died following the harsh living conditions after WW II). All the siblings studied karate from their father and Soke began training at the young age of 3 years old. Since then, he has never stopped training even when attending university. He studied Education and Media Communication at Tokai University, Tokyo. In 2003, Soke moved from the family home/dojo to his own house a short distance away. Soke has three sons, Naoyuki and Goshi are married and live with their families while the youngest, Taiga, is still attending school and living at home. The three sons train regularly and often three generations train at the dojo (Soke, Naoyuki, Goshi, and their children).
Soke is the head of the International Chito Ryu Karate-do Federation. The International Technical Program for Chito Ryu is directed by Soke and members of the ICKF Technical Committee. The Sohonbu headquarters is O-Sensei's fifth dojo located in the Tsuboi area of Kumamoto city. Aside from repairs and renovations, the dojo has remained basically unchanged. In 2015 renovations were made including a new 10 bed dormitory, kitchen and washroom for outside guest to stay while visiting and training at the hombu dojo.
The International Chito Ryu Karate-do Federation (ICKF) recognizes Soke as the supreme leader of Chito Ryu. Soke travels throughout all member countries to conduct Chito Ryu clinics and grading sessions. He makes annual visits to member countries including Canada.
3rd Generation Soke
In O-Sensei's will (1982) he declared Soke be his successor and Naoyuki Chitose Shihan the 3rd Generation Soke. In 2018 Naoyuki Chitose Sensei was given the title of Sodai by Soke. Sodai is the eldest son of Soke. He is married and has two daughters, both who train karate. In preparation for the enormous responsibility of becoming the next Soke, Sodai moved to Kelowna, BC when he was only 15 years old. He studied English there for 1.5 years. He currently has his own dojo in Kumamoto, as well as teaches at the Sohonbu. At the beginning of 2013, he has dedicated himself full time to karate.