Shane Yukio Higashi has lived a long life in karate, achieving high levels in his own training, teaching, inspiring thousands and helping to establish Chito Ryu karate around the world.
He was born the third youngest in a family of eleven on October in Chimus, British Columbia. Six years later, following the end of the war, the Higashi family moved to Japan. They returned to Toronto in the spring of 1956.
In 1961 Higashi Sensei started studying karate at the age of 21 in Toronto under the instruction of Masami Tsuruoka Sensei (then 6th
The young man’s interest in karate was prompted by a deep curiosity in the dan). The young man’s interest in karate was prompted by deep curiosity in the philosophy of the east asian martial arts. He was also inspired by his interactions with a brother-in-law who was a 4th dan in judo and one of his relatives in Japan who was a 5th dan in karate.
At the Tsuruoka school Shane Higashi became a start pupil, achieving 1st dan in Chito Ryu Karate in only one year. In April of 1963 Higashi Sensei opened his own dojo. By 1964 he became Grand Champion of the Canadian Open Karate Tournament, improving his 2nd place finish of the previous year. By 1965 he was awarded 2nd dan by O Sensei Tsuyoshi (Gochoku) Chitose.
In January 1966 Shane Higashi returned to Japan for personal instruction from O Sensei Dr. Chitose, 10th dan Supreme Instructor of the All Japan Karate Association and founder of Chito Ryu Karate-do. He trained intensively for seven months and attained his 4th dan and a special instructor certificate issued only to a select few. By 1968, O Sensei awarded him 5th dan. Four years later he received 6th dan. In 1979 he was awarded Kyoshi-go (Elite Master Instructor Licence) and 7th dan by Dr. Chitose), awarded Sensei Higashi 8th dan in Chito-Ryu Karate-do.
Sensei Higashi has been involved in many aspects of martial arts. In 1974 he officiated in the first Canadian Black Belt Championships held in Alberta by the National Karate Association. In 1975 he was designated the leading authority in Canada for the Okinawan weapons arts (kobudo or kobujutsu) of the Ryukyu Kobujutsu Hozon Shinko Kai (Society for the Promotion and Preservation of the Ryukyu Classical Martial Arts) by founder Motokatsu Inoue Sensei. In 1991 Sensei Higashi received his 4th dan in kobujutsu from Kaicho Inoue Sensei, son of founder Motokatsu Inoue. In 1995 he formed the Canadian Ryukyu Kobujutsu Association to promote and preserve traditional kobujutsu.
In 1979 Sensei Higashi was designated the leading authority in Canada for Chito-Ryu Karate-do by Dr. Tsuyoshi Chitose. The same year he formed the Canadian Chito Ryu Karate-do Association. He continued to play a major role in spreading Chito Ryu in Canada and around the world.
Over the years Sensei Shane Yukio Higashi has worked with many sensei to set up clubs in their home countries. He helped to establish Chito Ryu Karate in:
- Australia with Vance Prince (1970)
- Scotland with Fraser Clarke (1986)
- Hong Kong with Jonathon Marsh (1989)
- Singapore with Bruce Philipson (1991)
- Norway with Rune Ingebrigtsen (1992)
- Iceland with Kristinn Torfaso (1993)
- Romania with Daniel Mihalache (2009)
- Jamaica with Harvey Brown (2011)
His other accomplishments include:
- Helping to form the NKA (now Karate Canada) and still sitting on its Technical Committee
- Receiving the Ross Rumbell Award from NKA (2004)
- Being inducted into the Canadian Karate Hall of Fame (2007)
- Receiving his 9th dan and title Hanshi from Masami Tsuruoka Sensei (2009)
- Receiving from Karate Canada 9th dan (2010).
Today his time is mainly spent travelling around the world and conducting clinics and gradings, as well as running his own dojo, Higashi School of Karate on Curlew Drive in Toronto.