The following is a brief and interesting story about the founder of Karate Budokan International and the origins of the style we practice today. Mr Chew Choo Soot was born on the 7th of February 1922. At the age of 15 he became interested in and involved in weight lifting and fitness training. He became the Malaysian national weightlifting champion in 1939, 1940, 1941 and 1942.
He was introduced to the art of “Karate-Do” at the age of twenty during the Japanese occupation of Malaya. Mr Chew made it on to the cover of a local publication and was contracted by a Japanese military officer to be his personal fitness coach. During one of the scheduled visits the young Mr Chew discovered the officer practicing movements, which we now know to be Kata; the styles practiced by the officer were Keishinkan and Shotokan. Mr Chew was impressed and asked for tuition, the officer agreed.
The founders of Karate Budokan International were Mr Chew, his sons Tony, Richard and daughter Angie, they studied a number of martial arts including Chinese Kung fu, Tae-Kwon-Do, and several styles of Karate-do including Shito-ryu, Shotokan and Keishinkan. Keishinkan is a minor style of the Shuri-te strain & is not widely known even in its country of birth.
It comes from the line of Toyoma Sensei and the excellent qualities of its instructors are well known in Australia, Malaysia & elsewhere. With the parting of Keishinkan in 1971 there has been no over riding influences on our style.
There was a trend in the mid 1980’s in our Kata development towards the Shotokan style which has now been revised to include the benefits of some Shito Ryu variations of popular Kata.
It must be understood that Karate is an ever-evolving art & Karate Budokan International is no different in this respect. The styles curriculum has gone under more recent revision to ensure that the techniques that are practiced are functional & practical for use in defensive situations that are specific for today’s society.
Many of Karate Budokan International students have followed the path of Sport Karate and have reached the highest level of competition in this sport – the World Karate Federation World Championships.
So from these humble beginnings in a neighbourhood Malaysian Dojo Karate Budokan International was formed. Mr Chew’s two sons Tony and Richard migrated to Australia in 1968 and Karate Budokan International schools soon developed all over the country. Karate Budokan International now has its Honbu Dojo (Headquarters) in Queensland, Australia and has active Dojos in Australia, U.K, Norway, Germany, United Arab Emirates, Africa, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, & Sri Lanka. Sadly Mr Chew passed away on July 18th 1997. Karate Budokan International and its thousands of Senseis & students are now guided by Richard Chew – Grandmaster and Wayne MacDonald Shihan – World Chief Instructor.