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Hayashi-ha is a style of Shito-ryu karate developed and founded by Teruo Hayashi in Osaka, Japan in 1970.
Hayashi studied under Kosei Kuniba, a chief disciple of Shito-Ryu’s founder, and briefly under Kenwa Mabuni before leaving for Okinawa for additional training. Hayashi learned the bulk of the Shito-Ryu syllabus, and as such it was the Shito-Ryu versions of the Naha-te kata that Hayashi was taught and incorporated into his school.
In Okinawa, Hayashi was a practitioner of Dojo Yaburi (dojo challenge), in which he would enter a dojo and challenge the students and sensei to a match. The man that issues the challenge must first fight the lowest ranking man at the dojo. If the challenger defeats the man then he is granted the right to fight the next lowest ranking man, and so on until the challenger is defeated or has himself defeated the dojo’s sensei. Hayashi became infamous for defeating all the students and the sensei of many dojos and was consequently barred entrance to many martial arts schools. If Hayashi was beaten at one of these schools he would stay and ask for training.
His primary teachers while in Okinawa were Shoshin Nagamine and Nakaima Kenko. From Nagamine he learned both the Shuri-te and Tomari-te lineages of kata. These kata tend to emphasize long linear stances and quick motion between stances. It was from this man that Hayashi learned the Fujian White Crane form, Hakkaku.
From Nakaima, Hayashi learned an obscure family art called Ryuei-ryu. This style is a southern tiger style imported from China four generations prior to Hayashi’s arrival on Okinawa. Hayashi-ha incorporates much of Ryuei-Ryu’s theory in its practice.
On his deathbed Kuniba asked Hayashi to run his organization until his young son, Shogo, reached a level of maturity to assume leadership of the organization. Hayashi became President of the Seishin-Kai until 1970 at which time Hayashi handed the leadership over to Shogo Kuniba.
Teruo Hayashi, at age 84, died on September 24, 2004 at 8:30 AM in Osaka, Japan from complications from lung cancer. He had been ill for several months and had more or less recovered from lung surgery 6 months prior to his death.
A long term student, Mitsuya Seinosuke, today promotes the Hayashi-Ha-Karate-Do and Kobudo in his organization called Mitsuya-Kai International. A large number of dojo are affiliated with this organization in various countries such as Germany, Italy, Finland, Hungary, Venezuela, Switzerland, Hungary and others. Hanshi Mitsuya currently resides in Palermo, Sicily.
In USA (Seattle Wa. & Hawaii,) Mexico, & Europe Hayashi-Ha-Karate-Do is run by Akio Minakami at his Minakami Karate Dojos.