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James Mitose


1915 - 1981 Kosho Ryu Kempo

Dr. James Mitose, was a Japanese-American born in Hawaii in 1916. At age five he was sent to Kyushu, Japan, for schooling in his ancestral art of self-defense, called "kosho-ryu kempo," said to be based directly on Shaolin kung-fu. Mitose returned to Hawaii in 1936. In 1942 he organized the Official Self-Defense Club at the Beretania Mission in Honolulu. This club continued under his personal leadership until 1953, when it was assigned to Thomas Young, one of his chief students. Only five of his students-Young, William K.S. Chow, Paul Yamaguchi, Arthur Keawe, and Edward Lowe-attained the rank of black belt. But the kempo arts flourished in Hawaii and later on the west coast of the mainland, where three of Mitose's proteges formed clubs of their own. In 1953, before going to the mainland, Mitose wrote What is Self-Defense, reprinted by his students in 1980.

Mitose moved to the mainland in 1954. From 1954 until 1977, Mitose taught only one student, Terry Lee, for a period of one year. During these twenty-three years, Mitose took many trips to Japan to further his martial studies. According to Thomas Young, he would often stop over to spend a few days with Young in Hawaii on his trips back and forth to Japan. Mitose and Young remained friends for many years.

Late in 1977, Bruce Juchnik was introduced to Mitose by Juchnik's student George Santana. Juchnik studied with Mitose until the latter's death in 1981. Before he died, Mitose awarded Bruce Juchnik full mastery certification (Menkyo Kaiden and Inka Shomei) and gave him the "... power to do whatever (Juchnik Hanshi) thinks is good and right for God, for (Mitose), and for Kosho Shorei, true self-defense, true and pure Karate and Kempo" from that day foreward. No other person received such certification. Some people did receive certification in the philosophical aspects of the art, and were asked to act as representatives, but no one else received certification in Kosho Shorei True and Pure Karate and Kempo, the martial arts aspect of the study, besides Juchnik Hanshi. This period in Kosho Ryu history is described completely in Juchnik Hanshi's second book, To Fall Seven, To Rise Eight.




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