View Full Version : What is All Japan Karatedou (Federation) Renbukai?

3rd October 2006, 06:27
I just moved to Zama city in Kanagawa Prefecture in Japan from the U.S. In the U.S., I practiced Enshin karate, a full contact style. Thus, I was looking for a full contact style to study here in my local area. I found one called "All-Japan Karate Federation Renbukai" that uses bogu (similar to Kendo armor) to engage in full-contact sparring. Does anyone have any additional information on this organization? Is it a full-contact variation of Shotokan karate? Or is it related to Kyokushin and its off-shoots like Daido Juku? Or is it a full-contact "traditional" (Okinawan) style? Any info would be appreciated.

By the way, their website is at: http://renbu.sokui.com/

7th October 2006, 02:25
While I'm new here they seem to wiegh heavy on training for tournaments hence the "coverage"

R. Swanson
27th April 2007, 22:35
Below, I've provided some information regarding Renbukai. Over the last year I've once again began training in this very effective style, along with my son and daughter. Recently, we traveled from California to compete in an Alaskan State Open Karate Tournament (hosted by Sensei Grady) and did very well.

Look up Sensei Kikamura in the Kanagawa Prefecture in Japan. As I understand it, he currently handles international affairs with respect to Renbukai. If you happen to visit California, it would be worth your time to visit Sensei John Lofton (916) 421-9428, as he has been actively involved in Renbukai since 1974.

Renbukai has not one single founder in its history. It was developed as an organization of martial artists by several masters of different martial arts into one all encompassing system.
The school was first known as Kanbukan, "Korean Martial Arts Place," founded in 1940, in Tokyo, Japan. The founder of the Kanbukan, was a Korean school teacher, Geka Yung. He was the first head of the school to become known later as RENBUKAI. The dojo was a small gym where different martial artists went to practice and exchange thoughts. Geka Yung returned to his homeland in 1949 to teach at a Korean University.
Another influential teacher in the development of Renbukai was Hiroyasu Tamae, born in 1906. He was a student of the famous Shiroma Gusukuma, who himself was a direct student of Yasune Itosu, the famous Okinawan master of Shuri-Te. Tamae also trained in Chinese Kempo in Peking, China before World War II. He also trained at the Okinawan's master school, and trained in both Naha-Te and the Bo. These men all had a strong influence in the roots of the style that evolved into becoming THE ULTIMATE MARTIAL ART: RENBUKAI.
In 1945, two young men, Norio Nakamura, a 4th degree in Kendo and a 2nd degree in Judo, and Minoru Okamoto a martial artist also became students at the Kanbukan. These two men later became the leaders in the Renbukai movement. In 1948, Masayuki Koide, a Shotokan practitioner from Waseda University and a 2nd degree in Kendo joined the Kanbukan school. Koide went on to become the International director of Renbukai.
In 1950, under Norio Nakamura the school became known as the "Renbukan, "Training Martial Arts Place." Nakamura went on to become the first director of Renbukan.
It was not until 1964, that the school took the name of Renbukai and became a style of its own. At that time, Renbukai joined Kyo-Kai , Wado-Ryu, Shito-Ryu, Goju-Kai and Rengo-Kai, in becoming the first six recognized schools as members of the "FEDERATION OF ALL-JAPAN KARATE-DO ORGANIZATIONS." Nakamura continued as the director of Renbukai until 1972, at that time Minoru Okamoto became the director.
In the early sixties, Gordon Kennedy introduced what was to become Renbukai to the United States. Kennedy had discovered the Renbukai school while serving with the U.S. armed forces in Japan and had achieved the rank of 1st degree black belt. In August 1964, Ron Marchini started instruction in the art of Renbukai from Kennedy and senior student F. "Boots" Cureton II. From this beginning, Marchini made his first journey to the Orient in 1966 to train under Norio Nakamura and Masayuki Koide. This was the first of many trips Marchini made to the Orient to study the martial arts. James Grady started training with Ron Marchini in 1965. Marchini went on to become the highest ranking martial artist in Renbukai in the U.S. and James Grady the second highest. The two became the most famous of Renbukai practitioners in the world.
Though Renbukai is not widely known in the western world due to the lack of English spoken in the Renbukai organization, it has over 400,000 practitioners in Japan. Renbukai is the only style in Japan to practice fighting full-contact with protective gear. This is done during all training classes and in tournaments to invoke realism. The first full-contact tournament was help in 1954 in Tokyo, Japan.

5th May 2007, 16:13
While I found this interesting I couldn't help but comment on the end of it saying renbukai is the only style to practice full contact fighting wearing protective gear. The first thing that pops in my head is Daido Juku/Kudo and Koei Kan.

22nd May 2007, 13:53
R Swanson, I'm very interested on your input of this since you're a practitioner of this style, perhaps I'm confused?

R. Swanson
25th June 2007, 15:17
Renbukai was the first to use Bogu, similar to the kendo Dogu, since the 1940's.

Renbukai was not satisfied with the semi contact of most karate dojo's and started utilizing the equipment. At the time, Renbukai developed the dogu to keep the fighting as real as possible. The equipment is still used today in all sparring at the dojo.

Koei kan was not founded until 1952, and Daido Juku Kudo was founded in 1980 (Kyokushin was founded in 1964). A few styles have followed the pursuits of Renbukai and many believe they got the idea for using Bogu from the Renbukai Dojo.

Renbukai changed the design for the bogu in 1980 to the white face mask as seen in the books, since everyone was copying the original design. It has once again evolved and has been redesigned to what they are now using.