On the island of Okinawa, a mixture of local & Chinese (Kung Fu) forms of martial arts gave rise to the martial art form of "Tode" (Chinese Hand). At the beginning from the 20th century and under pressure of the Japanese empire, "Tode" was renamed to "Karate" (Empty Hand). The most important forms of "Tode are "Shuri-Te", "Naha-Te" and "Tomari-Te"
Master Kenwa Mabuni, born in Okinawa in 1889, brought these three together and developed the Karate style "Shito Ryu". In 1920 Master Mabuni left the Okinawa archipelago to settle in Kansai (Osaka).
Alain Berckmans started practicing Karate in 1975 and acquired a 1st Dan (black belt) in a style related to "Shuri Te".
Four years later he discovers 'Shitu Ryu" and starts practicing with Sensei Nakahashi, 9th Dan.
Alain now holds the rank of 6th Dan (Shihan) Shito Ryu.
Over the last fifteen years Alain has traveled regularly to Okinawa and has taken a keen interest in the Karate teaching by Sensei Nakamoto Masahiro, 10th Dan (Hanshin) and descendant by marriage of Master Matsumura Sokun, founder of Shorin Ryu.
Alain Berckmans has been teaching since 1984 in the Bunbukan Brussels.
Bunbukan Brussels has so far formed more than 20 black belts in Shito Ryu style and has also supported black belts of other dojos that want to deepen their knowledge an skills in these more traditional forms of Martial Arts.
Nakahashi Sensei (9th Dan) at a seminar in the Budo Club Berchem
Soke Kenei Mabuni with Alain (Osaka 1990)