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Chosin Chibana was born on June 5, 1885 in the Tori Hori District of
Shuri. He wanted to be a student of karate master Anko Itosu but was
turned down twice. When he was 15 he made a third request and Itosu
accepted him as a student. He studied with Itosu for 15 years until Itosu's
death. After Itosu's death, he became his successor. He opened his first dojo
in Tori Hori in 1918 at the age of 34. His second dojo was opened in the
Kumojo district of Naha. As successor, he made minor changes to the style.
He learned Matsumura's Passai kata from Tawada Sensei and preferred it
Chibana barely escaped during the Battle of Okinawa when Shuri was destroyed. After the war, the US military outlawed martial arts organizations, which forced him to close his dojo. In the early 1950s, the US became "more tolerant" and Chosin reopened his school. He returned first to the Gibo area, then to 10 different sites in the Yamakawa district of Shuri and Naha before opening his main dojo in Mihara. He was the karate advisor and senior instructor for the Shuri Police Precinct. In 1956, he was the first president of the Okinawa Karate Federation. On May 5, 1957, he was awarded the title of Hanshi (Grand Master) from the new Dai Nippon Butokukai.
Chosin's reputation as a karate master spread throughout Okinawa and to main land Japan. In 1964, he erected a monument at the Itosu family tomb on the 50th anniversary of Itosu's death. Also in 1964 he was told he had terminal throat cancer. He continued to teach despite his body's weakened state. He died the morning of February 26, 1969.
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