Born in Yamagushi, Japan, Kenji Tokitsu is one of the best skilled practitioners and theoreticians of contemporary budo.
Master Kenji Tokitsu, 2007
He began practicing martial arts at the age of 10 with karate-do, sumo and kendo. Then, at the time of his studies at the Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo, he studied the JKA shotokan school of karate.
Upon obtaining his university diploma in 1971, he immigrated to Paris, France where he was the pupil and assistant of Master Taiji Kase. Since 1974, he has performed a critical study of the shotokan style of karate and returns on a regular basis to Japan where he carries out research on the form of karate originally practiced by Master Gichin Funakoshi, the founder of shotokan. He works with, among others, two students who studied directly under Master Funakoshi: Shozan Kubota and Takagi Fujisaro.
Master Kenji Tokitsu, 2008
His research then pushed him to the roots of Okinawan karato-do, principally through the study and practice of the shorin-ryu style. He definitively abandoned the shotokan style and then pushed his research towards the Chinese martial arts. In Japan, he began the practice of the Yang school of tai-chi chuan with Master Yo Meiji and the Chen school with Master Ruyushi Matsuda. He also began the practice of kiko with Master Kozo Nishino who also initiated him to the practice of Master Kenichi Sawai’s taiki ken.
In 1983 in Paris, he founded a martial arts school for bare handed shaolin-mon based on the deep roots of budo practice. It is a synthesis of the various methods that he studies with a particular attention to health and well-being.
In looking further into the advantages of the study of the Chen school of tai-chi chuan and the authentic synthesis form created by Master Wang Shu Jin, he studied, among others, the Chen school under Master Wang Xi An and the Authentic Synthesis under Master Wang Fu Lai. He found, also, the practice of i chuan (da cheng chuan), which he notably studied under Master Yu Yong Nian and his student Master Guo Gui Zhi, a specialist in the martial aspect of this art.
At this time, he is also expanding his knowledge of ken-jutsu and iai-jutsu under Master Tetsuzan kuroda. In 1996, the shaolin-mon school became the shaolin-mon/jisei-budo school.
Dr Toshihiko Yayama and master Kenji Tokitsu during a seminar in Switzerland in the summer of 2008
In the mid-1990’s, he began studying kiko with Dr. Toshihiko Yayama, the immunologist responsible for surgery and oriental medicine at the Kenritsu Byoin Kosekan hospital in Saga, Japan. The cooperative effort begun between these two masters, continues today. His school developed more and more in Japan under the name jiseido. Today, Master Kenji Tokitsu’s school continues under the name jiseido tokitsu-ryu, which is practiced in a number of countries.
Philippe Munn & Master Kenji Tokitsu in Québec in 1998