O SENSEI HARUTANE CHIBA
The Houston Budokan and the Fresno Dojo are the only two American Dojo's that teach the Chiba style of kendo. Harutane Chiba, practitioner of the Hokushin Itto Ryu style of kendo for sixty-eight years and Sensei to Darrell Craig was the first person to bring the Chiba style of kendo to the united states. Below is a list of the heads of the Chiba family over the past millennium:
It is customary only in the samurai tradition to take a new surname after death. This is the reason for all the different names in the above list. Tsutane Chiba (1118-1212), the seventh generation in the Chiba family line, formed a style of fencing that became known as the Hokushin Itto Ryu Style (North Star Style of the Sword). This style became so famous that it was soon-and still is today-one of the three greatest styles of fencing in Japan and throughout the world. This style has transcended generations, becoming a legend in Japanese history. Samurai of old have faded in the yellow pages of books and time, but their spirit lives on throughout eternity in the art of kendo.
Shinmen Musashi Kendo
Kunitane Chiba Kendo
The Chiba mark, or family crest, is a circle with a dot at the top. The circle represents the universe, and the dot, which is the Japanese way to make a star, represents the north star. The north star never moves and the universe must move around it. In 1980, Sensei Harutane Chiba introduced the Chiba style of kendo to the United States.
Master Harutane Chiba was a 36th-generation samurai from the Chiba family. The Chiba clan was one of the most famous and influential samurai families in all of Japan. According to Chiba families' recorded documents, over 750 years ago Chiba's ancestors were very powerful warriors, After world war II all kendo was banned in Japan by General MacArthur, and there was a period of ten years when there was no Chiba style of kendo. When the allies lifted the ban on martial arts, Chiba Sensei reopened his kendo school. Sensei Chiba's dream, even in those days, was to introduce the Chiba style of kendo to the United States and maybe someday all over the world.
In 1978 Mr. Chiba was invited by the American Kendo Federation to come to Texas and officiate at the Southern United States Kendo Tournament, where he met Mr. Darrell Craig, President of the Southern United States Federation. After discussing with Mr. Craig his idea of bringing kendo, Chiba style, to the United States and learning that Mr. Craig needed a head instructor, plans were made for Mr. Chiba to become the Head Kendo Instructor at Mr.Craig's school.
In 1956 while assigned to the Third Marine Division in Yokuska, Japan, Mr. Craig received his initiation into the martial arts. He began his career of study with the art of karate under Master Gogen Yamaguchi of the Goju School. It was during this initial period of study that he developed an intense personal interest in the philosophical, cultural and historical foundations of a discipline that can be most closely described by the term 'art'. However, its substance has no true equivalent in western culture, His interest in this foundation has contributed most significantly to his continuation of study and advancement.