Master Shigeru Kimura 1941 to 1995
The following is intended to give only a brief insight into the youth who was to become a Master.
Shigeru Kimura was born on the 2nd March 1941 in Kobe, Japan. After spells training in the arts of Judo and Kendo, at the age of 16 he began to train in karate with the then Sensei Chojiro Tani at his dojo in Kobe.
Shigeru Kimura was always enthusiastic, ambitious and supremely talented. At the age of 21 he fought in and won the All Japan Karate Championships, the following year he won the event for a second time. However it is understood that the young man doubted the effectiveness of his own standard of karate, because of this he tried full contact fighting with other students. The outcome was that whilst his punches etc were fast enough to beat his opponents he was still not satisfied with their effectiveness. This drove him to seek improvement. Through to the time of his death Master Kimura was never completely satisfied with his technique and continued in his quest for improvement until the time of his death in 1995..
In 1965 Master Kimura left Japan to spread the Shukokai style, his journey took him through parts of Africa and Europe before he settled in the U.S.A. In the U.S.A Master Kimura met Sensei Kidachi a renowned Judo-ka. Sensei Kidachi allowed Master Kimura to begin a karate class in his dojo and even spent some time training in karate with Master Kimura. As the class grew it became clear that Master Kimura needed his own dojo. With the help of Sensei Kidachi a suitable building was found in Hackensack, New Jersey, U.S.A. This dojo was to become the headquarters for Master Kimura’s expanding international following.
As Master Kimura’s following increased in numbers his dream was for a residential dojo where students from around the world could come to train and live for the duration of their stay. Around 1987 this dream became a reality when a new dojo was opened in Tenafly, New Jersey, U.S.A. This dojo was complete with a large fully matted training area and sleeping, recreation, and kitchen areas.
In addition to teaching at his dojo Master Kimura took time to travel overseas teaching in countries where he had students, often twice a year. This was a gruelling schedule during which he never complained about his work load. During many of his early visits to England, Sensei Kimura taught at Bolton Karate Centre and stayed with Sensei Stewart at his home where training / technical discussions often went on until the early hours of the morning.
In 1980 Master Kimura married Kaoru a beautiful Japanese lady and took her on a tour of the countries which he regularly visited, to allow her to meet the people he would be with during his future teaching trips. During this special tour Master Kimura again taught at Bolton Karate Centre, on this occasion Mrs Kimura who could not speak any English spent time at Sensei Stewarts home making origami birds for his daughter Kimberly who was a baby at the time.
Master Kimura was constantly seeking to improve his technique, of his style of karate, it never stood still. During training sessions around the world Master Kimura’s students experienced the developments and always felt their technique had been improved with each visit. As Master Kimura developed his style of Shukokai Karate the difference between it and the original Shukokai of Master Tani became so great that Master Kimura’s way became known as “Kimura Shukokai” by his followers.
Sadly on the 7th July 1995 Master Kimura died during the night at his home in New Jersey, U.S.A. of a massive heart attack. Master Kimura is greatly missed by his student all around the world.