Mr. Kenichi Sawai (1903 - 1988), the founder of Taiki-Shisei-kenpou


Mr. Kenich Sawai was born in Fukuoka prefecture in 1903, and had fifth-dan of Judo and forth-dan of Kendo and I-aido. Later on, his ambition took him to the Chinese continent. There, he fought with the Chinese man who, all Chinese people recognized, represented Chinese kung-fu all over the country. His name was Wang. At a glance, Master Wang was skinny and not so big. Mr. Sawai was confident that he would win easily. However, Mr. Sawai could not hold him by using his techniques of Japanese Judo at which he was good and, on the contrary, he was sent flying every time he attempted to hold Wang. For the next stage, Wang had Mr. Sawai hold Wang's body, and then said 'Are you ready, Mr. Sawai?' As soon as Sawai replied 'OK', he was beaten at his heart and again sent flying by Wang.
Furthermore, Sawai attacked Wang with a stick used for Japanese Iaido. The result was the same as before. After defeating Sawai, Wang told him quietly 'Either a sword or a stick is just an extension of the hands.' Sawai was completely defeated and so shocked, that he could not eat anything. After considering, he, at age 36, decided to learn Yiquan from Wang. Initially, Sawai learned Yiquan from one of Wang's disciples, Master Yao Zongxun, who would be the formal successor of Wang later. Through training for a few years, Sawai's skill had developed very much and he was promoted to learn from Master Wang directly not only in the gym but also in the garden of Wang's house. Sawai was the only foreigner who was learning Yiquan under Wang. In addition to his fast enhancement of Yiquan's skill, Mr. Sawai's special skills of Japanese Iaido and Judo made him receive special attention from Master Wang.
August 15th 1945, 5 to 6 years had passed since Sawai started to learn Yiquan, World War II had ended. He was shocked very much by the defeat of his mother country and was considering suicide with his family. At that time, Master Wang came to his house and dissuaded him from suicide. Master Wang insisted that Mr. Sawai should live and return to Japan, which was the best choice not only for Sawai but also for Yiquan (Dachengquan).
After returning to Japan, Sawai practiced with Mr.Oyama Masutatsu, the founder of Kyokushin-karate, and also taught to Mr. Oyama's students. At the same time, Sawai separately started to teach Taiki-ken (Yiquan) to his own students in Meji Jingu forest, located Shibuya-Tokyo, every Sunday.



Isato Kubo

Isato Kubo joined the school of Taiki-ken at the age of 19. He studied his art under the legendary Master Kenichi Sawai himself. After some years of intensive training he became the youngest trainee to have the license of Renshi 5th dan. After reaching this master level he flew to Europe, to practice Kumite (Free fight) under Jan Kallenbach his elder Taiki-ken apprentice and kumite specialist. Isato Kubo visited China several times to learn the source of Yi Quan
(Da Chengquan) under Yao Chengguang and Yao Chengrong the successors of Yi quan.



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