Kenei was born on February 13, 1918 in Shuri Okinawa.
He is the first born of 3 children of Master Mabuni
Kenwa, founder of Shito-ryu Karate-do. Beginning
at an early age Kenei received personal instruction
from his father throughout his childhood.
After the Mabuni family moved to the Kansai district
of Japan in 1928, Kenei would sometimes accompany
his father at various Karate related functions.
He would be asked sometimes to participate in the
demonstration with his famous father throughout
Japan during the 1930's.
It was also during this time, March 1934, that
Grandmaster Mabuni Kenwa first established a dojo
in Osaka naming it Youshukan. Many times young Mabuni
Kenei stayed with the Konishi family and was treated
like a family member while his father continued
to teach around Tokyo the Kanto district.
|(Lef to right, standing):
Funakoshi Gichin, unknown, unknown, Konishi
Yasuhiro, and Mabuni Kenei( when he was at 13th),
Master Mabuni Kenwa (seated).
Mabuni at the age of 13.
Kenwa Mabuni,(right) Kenei Mabuni.
In March, 1939, Mabuni Kenwa would officially register
the name of his Karate style called 'Shito-ryu'
with the leading martial arts organization, the
"Dai Nippon Butoku Kai", that governed
all martial arts in Japan at the time. Kenei knew
many of the famous karate teachers who came to study
with his father including Master Motobu Choki, Konishi
Yasuhiro, Moden Yabiku and Funakoshi Gichin.
After the end of World War II he continued to help
his father teach and spread Shito-ryu Karate throughout
to right)Front Row: Mabuni Kenwa, Motobu Choki,
Konishi Yasuhiro. Second Row (L-R) unknown,
Mabuni Kenei, unknown
Hiroshi, Yamaguchi Gogen, Ohtsuka Hironori,
Mabuni Kenei and Iwata Manzo.
Shortly after Master Mabuni Kenwa's sudden death
from a heart attack on May 23, 1952, Mabuni Kenei
succeeded his father as the Second Soke, or 2nd
designated Master of the style.
Kenwa demonstrating Yoko-tobi Geri
sensei demonstrating Nipaipo kata
In November of 1960, Kenei sensei became the Western
(Kansai-President of the Shito-ryu Federation, while
Iwata Manzo was named the Eastern (Kanto-President).
1962 Kenei Mabuni sensei travelled around the
globe continuing to instruct in Shito-ryu Karate.
He visited Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and the
During the Inagural 1970 Ist World Union of Karate-do
Organizations (WUKO) World Karate-do Championships
Mabuni sensei first demonstrated the 'Nipaipo'
kata of Gokenki sensei.
In 1972, he was certified by the Federation of
All Japan Karate-do Organizations (FAJKO) as a
first class examiner.
On January 15th 1984, Mabuni sensei was presented
'The Distinguished Service Medal' for his contribution
to the Martial Arts presented by Japan Martial
Arts Council (Nippon Budo Kyougi Kai).
On March 17th 1993, in Osaka, Japan, Kenei Mabuni
sensei helped establish the World
Shito-ryu Karate-do Federation and was named
it's 'Governor" (Sosai).
Kenei Mabuni recall the days with Master Kenwa
Mabuni's son Kenei wrote, "in his younger
days many people would challenge my father to
"kake-dameshi" (challenge mach, or exchange
of techniques) after they heard that he was practicing
"te". He accepted these challenges and
would choose a quiet corner of the town for the
mach. Each contestant would bring a second. There
were no special dojo's like there are today; "we
used to train and fight on open ground. There
were no street lights, so after dark we used lanterns
during the challenges." In this dim light,
the contestant fought, and then after a period
the seconds would intervene and stopthe fight.
They would then declare who would be the winner
and who needed more training. Such challenges
were often made to my father, and he frequently
acted as a second to others. He pointed out though,
that people might easily get the wrong impression
from these events.