(Teaching Authorization Sign)
Shogo Kuniba,
Ryukyu Karate-do Motobu-ha,
Nippon Karate-do Shito Ryu,
Head Family,
presented Church sensei with this kanban prior to his return to the states in 1969.

World Karate-do Federation

Kanagawa Prefectural Headquarters

Albert C. Church, Jr. President
Shogo Kuniba Sensei
Standing next to Church sensei's kanban
Japan, 1969
This teaching authorization sign that was issued to Church sensei named him as the Kanagawa Prefectural leader of the Seishinkai.

Shito Ryu

Shito Ryu was founded by Kenwa Mabuni (1887-1952) an Okinawan born descedent of the Bushi warrior class. The Okinawan martial arts were known by the village where each was practiced, such as: Shuri-te, Naha-te and Tomari-te.

Kenwa Mabuni trained under Ankoh Itosu (1830-1915) in the art of Shuri-te. Ankoh Itosu was a student of Sokon Matsumura (1792-1887). In 1928, Mabuni sensei moved to Osaka, Japan, where he began teaching karate. Later in the 1930's, Mabuni sensei named his art Shito Ryu in honor of his two foremost teachers, Itosu and Higashionna.

Shogo Kuniba began training with Mabuni sensei as a young man and at age 17, was promoted to sandan (third degree black belt).

Kenwa Mabuni died in Osaka, Japan, in May, 1952.

Motobu Ha

Choki Motobu (1871-1944) was born in Shuri, Okinawa, the third son of a ranking lord. He was not trained directly in the family art which by custom was taught only to the first born son. Motobu trained on his own but eventually found formal instruction with Kosoku Matsumora, Tokumine and Itosu.

Kosei Kokuba, ("Kokuba" is the Okinawan form of "Kuniba"), Shogo Kuniba's father, was a direct student of Choki Motobu and eventually inherited the art.

At the age of five, Shogo Kuniba began training with his father in his father's personal system of Seishin-kai. The Seishin-kai's roots came from the Okinawan karate styles of Shuri-te and Naha-te.

At age 24, Shogo Kuniba became one of the youngest to be named "Head of Family" in Japan by inheriting the style his father inherited from Choki Motobu.

Motobu Ha Shito Ryu

Motobu ha Shito Ryu combines the fierce, powerful attacks of Motobu ha with the fluid blocking and counterattacking style of Shito Ryu. As part of its teaching style, Motobu ha Shito Ryu includes teaching weapons and a specialized self-defense art.