Chito-Ryu Karate was developed by the Okinawan
Karate master, Dr. Tsuyoshi Chitose (1898 - 1984). He developed his teaching
from his extensive study of
Okinawan Shorei Ryu and Shorin Ryu karate and his medical knowledge of anatomy
and physiology. He combined the strengths of these two karate styles to provide
a suitable regiment for those seeking physical exercise and self-defense skills.
Consequently, Chito-Ryu Karate is a traditional Japanese/Okinawan martial art
comprised of strikes, kicks, blocks, throws, and holds. Additionally, the training
is based on Kihons (basics), kata (form), and kumite (fighting) practice. To
this end, the United States Chito-Ryu Karate Federation is dedicated to the
preservation of its founder, O’Sensei, Dr. Chitose, currently taught
by Hanshi William J. Dometrich, the chief instructor and founder of the United
States Chito-Ryu Karate Federation.
Karate traces its ancestry back to the ancient martial arts of the Tang Dynasty in China
(618 – 907AD). This type of martial art was brought to Okinawa and passed on through
many notable past masters. However, to fully understand and appreciate Chito-Ryu
Karate, we must begin with our founder, Dr. Tsuyoshi Chitose, or O’Sensei as he was
affectionately known by his students.
Dr. Tsuyoshi Chitose was born in Naha City on the island of Okinawa on October 18, 1898. He began his tode (China hand) training when he was seven years old under the tutelage of Arakaki, Sensei, who taught him his first kata - Seisan. O’Sensei also had the opportunity to practice with other great karate masters, such as Anko Itosu, Sensei; Chotoku Kiyan, Sensei; Chiyomu Hanagusuku, Sensei; and Kauryo Higashionna, Sensei. In 1922, O’Sensei went off to Tokyo to study medicine, but continued practicing karate in his spare time with Gichen Funakoshi, the "father of modern day karate.” In March of 1946, Dr. Chitose, after having practiced medicine for some years, opened Yoseikan Dojo in Kirkuchi City, Kyushu. Since O’Sensei was a medical practitioner, he was concerned about some of the negative effects of the older training methods and therefore, based his style of teaching on sound medical, physiological and scientific principles in order to foster health in all his students, especially the young.
In 1948, Dr. Chitose, along with Gichen Funakoshi and other great karate masters, helped organize the All Japan Karate-do Federation (Zen Nihon Karate-do Renmei). In the 1930’s, when the name was changed in Okinawa from tode (China hand) to karate (empty hand), O’Sensei was greatly displeased, he know that Okinawan karate had improperly taken out the “to” (China) to divorced itself from its Chinese roots. However, after giving much thought to the direct antecedent of all Okinawan karate styles, O’Sensei wanted to continue the use of the name “to”(China), which was the heritage of all Okinawan karate, when he named his style in 1952, “Chito-Ryu,” “Chi” meaning “thousand,” “to” meaning from the Chinese “Tang” and “Ryu” meaning “way,” hence, translating Chito-Ryu as “the thousand year old Chinese Tang dynasty way,” signifying the ancestry of karate. O’Sensei passed away June 6, 1984.
In 1952, a young man by the name of William J. Dometrich, of the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team, began his training of Chito-Ryu in Japan. While stationed in Beppu City, Kyushu, he studied under one of O’Sensei’s students, Ichiro Shirahama. Eventually, he was granted permission by Shirahama, Sensei, to meet and train under O’Sensei, himself. The young Dometrich did not anticipate being refused to study Chito-Ryu by O’Sensei, but that was the case for some time. With much determination and perseverance, O’Sensei accepted the American soldier as his karate student. Having trained with O’Sensei for a few years, Dometrich, Sensei, earned his San Dan, (third degree black belt), and returned to the U.S. with his unit. Dometrich, Sensei, established a small dojo in Northern Kentucky in 1962, with the help of Barbara Dometrich, his wife, and the first U.S. female Chito-Ryu black belt. O’Sensei made a visit to the US in 1967 and requested that a strong Hombu Dojo (headquarters) for Chito-Ryu be established in the United States, as well as the development of a good organization. With the support and encouragement of O’Sensei, the United States Chito-Ryu Karate Federation (USCKF) was born in Covington, Kentucky, and Dometrich, Sensei, was named Chairman and Chief Instructor.
Shibu-kai (dojo head instructors)
Shihan-kai (Shihans of the US Chito-Ryu Karate Organization)
The address to the United States Chito-Ryu Karate Hombu is:
United States Chito-Ryu Karate Federation
22 Martin Street
Covington, Kentucky 41011