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Origins: The Japanese Connection

Hanshi Sasaki and his brother Kyoshi Sensei Sasaki founded the Chidokan Karate do organisation in 1954.

Hanshi Sasaki 8th Dan (1926-1993), Kancho Takeshi Sasaki, Kyoshi Sensei Sasaki

Hanshi Sasaki 8th Dan (1926-1993), Kancho Takeshi Sasaki, Kyoshi Sensei Sasaki

Both began their karate training at Waseda University when it was one of the centres of the Shotokai. In later years Hanshi Sasaki trained with Obata as detailed in Shigeru Sawabe's (1982 Chairman of FAJKO) publication of his research into the kata Bassai Dai. This book traces the lineage of Bassai Dai (Passai Dai) as performed by 11 different styles within FAJKO. The shotokan version is that as performed by Mr Miyoshi of Chidokan.

Hanshi Sasaki trained with Funakoshi and Obata Sensei and received his 8th dan from FAJKO at the age
of 41.

Sasaki Sensei’s achievements include:

  • Formulated FAJKO constitution
  • FAJKO Tokyo area President
  • FAJKO Technical Director
  • Managing Director of Tokyo All Sports Association
  • All Tokyo Karate Do 1st Vice President

Hanshi Sasaki is the direct lineage fromObata Sensei who travelled with Funakoshi throughout Japan demonstrating Karate Do.

The Sasaki brothers, Kyoshi Sensei and Hanshi Sensei headed Chidokan. Sometime during the late 1970s, Kyoshi Sensei left the organisation leaving it to Hanshi Sensei Takeshi Sasaki who remained head of Chidokan until his death in 1993. Hanshi Takeshi Sasaki died in 1993 and was succeeded by Mr Kurihara who is now the chief instructor of Chidokan in Japan.

Kyoshi John Clutterbuck (7th Dan) started his martial arts training in Auckland, New Zealand with Jack Simms. He was privileged to see a demonstration of karate at Auckland Town Hall in the late 1960s, by the Japanese Naval Self-Defence team. This team was conducting public demonstrations and was headed by Kyoshi Sasaki (Hanshi Sasaki’s brother).

On seeing this demonstration, Jack Simms contacted Hanshi Sasaki and asked if he could go over to Japan and train at the Hombu dojo. Not long after Jack Simms went to Japan, Kyoshi Clutterbuck went to Japan in February 1969 to train at the Chidokan hombu dojo. In those days it was very hard for gaijin (foreigners) to train in the hombu dojos. The training was very strict, hard and ruthless especially on foreigners.

Kyoshi Clutterbuck trained as an uchi deshi and prior to leaving Japan Kyoshi Clutterbuck received an encouragement award for his fighting spirit and attitude toward his training, and later received his head instructor qualifications from Sensei Sasakawa President of FAJKO.

The express purpose of Kyoshi Clutterbuck’s visit to Japan was to gain training and teaching experience and qualifications to found the Australian Chidokan Karate -Do Organisation.

Kyoshi Clutterbuck immigrated to Australia in late 1969 and established the first Chidokan dojo in Australia. Chidokan’s first dojo in Australia was set up at the North Sydney Police Boys Club on Falcon Street North Sydney in November 1969.

In April 1983, Hanshi Sasaki visited Australia, accompanied by two Japanese dan grade students, to complete an intensive two week training and evaluation of Chidokan Australia. Hanshi Sasaki presented Kyoshi Clutterbuck with an obi (belt) which was one of only 3 that he had presented to any Chidokan student. The others being Mr Yamagami and Mr Kinushta. Mr Yamagami is one of the very few karateka who has managed to win the All Japan Karate Tournament in successive years. The other notable karateka to achieve this feat was Mr Kanazawa.

Hanshi Sasaki Visit, Chidokan Hombu Dojo, North Sydney Youth Club, April 1983

Hanshi Sasaki Visit, Chidokan Hombu Dojo, North Sydney Youth Club, April 1983

Hanshi Sasaki Visit – Sydney 1983

Hanshi Sasaki Visit – Sydney 1983

During his trip to Australia Hanshi Sensei granted Chidokan (Aust), the right to grade Chidokan students to any rank, without the requirement to have it certified in Japan. Chidokan (Aust) was the first Chidokan dojo in the world to be given this authority, which is an acknowledgment of the standard and ability of Chidokan’s instructors and the faith Hanshi Sasaki had in the Australian Chidokan Association under chief instructor Renshi Hudson.

Renshi Sensei Hudson – Chief Instructor

Soshi Sensei Hudson – Chief Instructor

Kyoshi sensei Clutterbuck remained President and founder of Chidokan in Australia while Renshi sensei Hudson was appointed Chief Instructor of Chidokan Australia.

In December 1989 Chidokan held its 20th anniversary at the hombu dojo which attracted a large number of current and past students and friends. It is believed that Chidokan was the first shotokan karate club to be established in Australia (1969).

20th Anniversary Celebration – 1989

20th Anniversary Celebration – 1989

Other shotokan styles such as Shotokan Karate International Australia and JKA did not commence in Australia until 1972 when Mr Nowak (SKIA) and Mr Takashi (JKA) began teaching in Sydney and Brisbane respectively.

In September 1999 Chidokan celebrated its 30th anniversary which included demonstrations performed by Chidokan students from various Chidokan dojos and the presentation of a Japanese sword and certificate to Kyoshi Sensei Clutterbuck for his long and dedicated service to Chidokan in Australia.

30th Anniversary Celebration -1999

30th Anniversary Celebration – 1999

30th Anniversary Celebration – 1999

In August 2003 Kyoshi Clutterbuck resigned from teaching and training due to ill health. Renshi Sensei Hudson, as chief instructor, has continued instructing, teaching and researching maintaining the unbroken lineage of Chidokan in a revamped organization now called the Australian Chidokai Association which maintains direct links with the Chidokan organization (Chidokai) in Japan under Mr Shigeo Kurihara.

* Edward Hudson A Brief History of Chidokan Karate-Do

  1. L-R :Kyoshi Clutterbuck, Sensei Phil Kear (Wado-Ryu), Hanshi Sakaki, Interpreter, Sensei Chris Sargent (JKA), Renshi Sensei Hudson.
  2. Class training when Hanshi Sasaki visited Chidokan Hombu Dojo at North Sydney Police Boys Club in April 1983. Left standing Hanshi Sasaki, Mr Nishiyama, Mr Kin, Mr McCarthy. Right standing Mr Sensei Spiros, Sensei McCormick, Renshi Hudson and Kiyoshi Clutterbuck.

Last Modified 2018/03