Tsuyoshi Chitose (October 18, 1898 – June 6, 1984) is the founder of one of Canada’s most popular karate disciplines, Chito-ryu. He was born into martial arts lineage in Naha City, Okinawa, Japan as the grandson of Matsumura Sōkon. In his works, Kempo Karate-Do: The Universal Art of Self-Defense, he discusses the groundwork he laid for the foundations of Chito-ryu, which translates into “Chinese School”. This reference to China is a way of remembering the roots of the art, dating back over a 1000 years ago. Tsuyoshi Chitose’s style was heavily influenced by Okinawan roots.
As a boy, Tsuyoshi Chitose (born Chinen Tsuyoshi) attended Mr. Funakoshi’s grade school. Their connection lasted a lifetime. Tsuyoshi Chitose practiced medicine in Tokyo in the early 1920’s. While there he assisted in the opening of Mr. Funakoshi’s Shoto-Kan Yotsuya dojo. He instructed in kumite and the kata of SEISAN and BASSAI. Many kata forms, including Shihohai, Bassai, Seisan were all formalized within the Chito-Ryu system.
Tsuyoshi Chitose was a master of karate during a time where different eras of karate were beginning to amalgamate. Thanks to his leadership, structure and willingness to teach, students all over Canada, United States, and Australia are able to practice martial arts.