Kenseikan History

Early History Japan

Mr Tainen Takemori and Nakanishi Sensei were school mates who did a form of martial arts training based on army self-defence. After graduating as a Chemist at college in Tokyo, and having trained at Funakoshi Sensei’s Dojo, he returned to Toyama and the number of students increased rapidly. This was not planned or organised and it came about due to young people having nothing to do, and because training fees were inexpensive. The good nature and caring attitude of Tainen Kancho and Nakanishi Sensei helped in these early days as well. At one time there were about 2000 students training in school halls and parks.

The academic and technical level of the students was very low, and Nakanishi Sensei recalls this changing when Sakai Sensei began training.

In his words, ” suddenly this tall dignified gentleman arrived, and the quality and technical level of new and old students improved.”

Tainen Kancho decided to go to China to study Martial Arts and Chinese Medicine under Mr La Kai On. He stayed for 7 years.On returning to Japan he studied Zen, and became a very deep and creative person. After a few years he blended these 3 influences (Chinese Martial Arts, Karate Do and Zen) to form Macho Ryu.

 Tainen passing and Appointment of Successor

On the matter of Tainen Kancho’s death and Miki Takemori’s appointment as the head of Seikukan, Nakanishi Sensei stated,

  • Tainen Kanchos’ brother was a conscious objector and jailed during the second world war, where he died. (the reason for his death is not clear)
  • Tainen Kancho did not have any children and began to look after his brother’s son, Miki.
  • Miki Takemori had very little interest in Karate and was not forced to train by Tainen Kancho.
  • Tainen Kanchos’ health deteriorated and a meeting by the senior Sensei (Nakanishi,Kiyohara and & Sakai) was held to consider a new head of style. The decision was that Kiyohara Sensei would take over when the time came.
  • Not long after, Tainen Kancho took 6 students, who were rude and lazy to the Zen Temple for meditation and guidance from the monks. Tainen Kancho passed away at the Zen Temple on March 30th 1962.
  • Tainen Kanchos’ wife and others suggested that Nakanishi, Kiyohara and Sakai Sensei train Miki Takemori to a level where he could become Kancho.
  • Out of respect for Tainen Kancho, his seniors trained Miki to become Kancho and this is the reason many senior Seikukan students past and present felt uneasy with Miki Takemori as head of style.

 Early History Australia

 Tamio Tsuji

Regarding Tamio Tsuji, Sakai Sensei stated,

  • Tamio was a brilliant student at a young age and Sakai Sensei and given the task of being his mentor and advisor.
  • He travelled to Australia as a merchant seaman and met John Halpin.
  • They become close and John sponsored him to Australia and to take over the Brisbane Karate Club (renamed Brisbane Karate Club Seikukan).
  • Tamio Tsuji was John Halpin’s sensei and graded him with Nidan.
  • Sakai Sensei recalls many problems between Tsuji Sensei and Miki Takemori Kancho. Miki Takemori Kancho expelled him (Tsuji Sensei)  from Seikukan.
  • He then formed Tsuji Dojo which dominated Australia Karate Competition in the 70′s.
  • With Frank Nowak (Shotokan), Tino Ceberano (Goju), Don Cameron MP and others formed FAKO, the first national Karate Federation in the 70′s.
  • Tamio Tsuji Sensei reduced his teaching to pursue other interests.
  • Tamio Tsuji Sensei untimely passed away at an early age in 1992

John Halpin

  • While John was formally trained as a chemist, his deep interest in Eastern Philosophy led him to train in Judo and Karate as well as becoming an Acupuncturist.
  • His first exposure to the Martial Arts was Judo which he trained at in the early 60′s and he eventually attained 2nd Dan.
  • He had a deep wish to study karate under a qualified Japanese instructor and was instrumental in bringing out Tamio Tsuji Sensei from Japan to take over the Brisbane Karate Club.
  • John was Captain of the Australian Karate Team which competed in the first World Karate Championships in Tokyo in 1970. Tamio Tsuji was the National coach.
  • In the 70′s John Halpin renewed the links with Seikukan Japan after Miki Takemori Kancho had expelled Tsuji Sensei from Seikukan and created Seikukan Australasia.
  • John then devoted his life to  expanding Karate in Australia.
  • He was the President of the Australian Karate Federation from 1994 and the World Karate Federation treasurer for eight years until his passing in 2007. He was also the President of the Oceania Karate Federation
  • He achieved 8th Dan in Karate-do