A Direct Lineage to Some of the Best Technicians in Japan



Ligo Dojo is a Kyokushin-kan dojo under Kancho (Chairman) Hatsuo Royama (pictured above 2nd from right), but is also affiliated with a 2nd supporting organization called Houshokai under Soke (Headmaster) Hiroto Okazaki (above left). More important than organizational matters (who we’re registered with), however, is an unfettered line to the set of of instructors whose martial art(s) we at Ligo Dojo seek to master and propagate. At Ligo Dojo, we maintain access to direct in-person learning from these instructors, Shihan Masahide Ishijima (above right), being the third; Sensei Ligo with the same three, pictured below.

Sensei Ligo with his (and Ligo Dojo’s) three most significant instructors. From right to left, Kancho (Chairman) Hatsuo Royama of Kyokushin-kan, (Sensei Ligo,) and Shihans Hiroto Okazki and Masahide Ishijima, both chief technical instructors in Kyokushin-kan. Shihan Okazaki of Kyokyushin-kan is also Soke (Headmaster) of Houshoukai.

The two organizations are related since both Shihan Okazaki and Shihan Ishijima are senior students of, and chief technical instructors under, Kancho Royama of Kyokushin-kan. Shihan Okazaki, however, had a 2nd important life long instructor named Sensei Shiokawa Houshou who preserved the original Shitoryu Karate-do, and also mastered and taught Ryukyu Kobudo, Mugairyu Iaido, and Jo-do. When Sensei Houshou died, he passed the mantle to Shihan Okazaki who is now Soke (Headmaster) of Houshou-kai, the organization he founded to preserve the teaching of Sensei Houshou. Since Okazaki Shihan is the chief technical director of Kyokushin-kan, he has incorporated many of Sensei Houshou’s lessons into Kyokushin-kan with the intent of reclaiming the sense of Budo Karate that was diminished in Kyokushin Karate during a boom in tournament fighting popularity in the 1980s and ’90s. 

Sensei Ligo learns from these instructors several times per year, year in and year out, and now Ligo Dojo students know them as well, having traveled with Sensei Ligo to Japan and Russia, or having met them in Seminars in the US or Canada. In the later months of the pandemic, Ligo Dojo students have attended seminars on Zoom with Soke Okazaki almost twice a month, focusing on Houshoukai material. The YouTube videos at right show these instructors at work. Immediately before the pandemic (Covid was already in the news in China) Sensei Ligo took students to Japan where they learned in private lessons arranged with all three of the above instructors. From Japan, Sensei Ligo travled to Costa Rica and Honduras to deliver the lessons he learned in Japan to instructors with programs in those countries.  

Shihan Masahide Ishijima (right) was Kyokushin-kan’s Frist World Tournament Champion, and is now a chief instructor both under Kancho Royama in Kyokushin-kan, and under Soke Okazaki in Hoshoukai. Here he demonstrates Bunkai Kumite for a Shitoryu Kata calld Bassai-Dai, which has also been incorporated into Kyokushin-kan.

Shihan Okazaki of Kyokushin-kan is Soke (Headmaster) of Houshoukai. Here he demonstrates the awesome technical prowess of Houshoukai with the awesome power of Kyokushin.

Kancho Hatsuo Royama is the most respected proponent of Budo Karate in all of Japanese Kyokushin. Second only to one other who was less active, Kancho Royama spent more years learning from, and working under, Kyokushin’s founder, Mas Oyama, than any other instructor in Japan. Many scenes shown here are of him fighting (and taking 2nd place) in the First World Open Tournament in 1971.

Here, Shihan Okazaki teaches Bunkai Kumite from the Kyokushin Kata, Gekisai-sho. Assisting him is Shihan Ishijima.