Mabuni Kenei, Japanese martial arts expert, Died at 97

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Mabuni Kenei was born on February 13, 1918, and died on December 19, 2015.

He was a Japanese martial arts expert, holder of the 10th Dan.

Mabuni was born in Shuri, Okinawa. As the son of Kenwa Mabuni, the founder of the Shito-ryu and one of the most important karate experts in the history of the martial arts, he was in touch with karate and some of its greatest masters such as Miyagi Chojun, Funakoshi Gichin, or Motobu Choki from childhood.

Besides his karate practice, Mabuni also studied several other martial arts such as aikidō, kendo, Okinawan kobudo, jujutsu, jûdô, and ninjutsu.

At the age of 34, Mabuni became the head of Shito-ryū.

In particular, Mabuni emphasized the importance of the spiritual contents and values of karatedō.

Without generally refusing sport-oriented karate, he supported a clear distinction between traditional karatedō and sport karate.

Among his achievements is the completion of the kata Shimpā that his father had created but not completed.

This kata was inspired by the Uechi-ryu.

Mabuni was the author of several books about the Shitō-ryū techniques and of one book about the historical roots and the spiritual basics of karate as budō art.

On December 19, 2015, Mabuni Kenei passed away at the age of 97.

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