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.