WHY NAKAZATO-HA?

Okinawan Karate-Do 
Nakazato-Ha Shorin-Ryu
Why should there be Nakazato-Ha Shorin-ryu?

Nakazato Shugoro started teaching around 1954, as the founder
Chibana's chosen shihan dai (teacher's assistant). As Chibana's shihan dai he would receive direct instructions in not only the techniques, but also how to teach those techniques to students.
By 1956 Nakazato had opened his own training hall in the Aza village of Naha City as Nakazato Karate Dojo. Almost from the outset, the Nakazato Karate Dojo attracted a large number of American soldiers from the  Air Force and Army Bases located nearby. Two such Americans were among Nakazato's very first group of students to make black belts.  These privileged men were Pat Nakata of Hawaii and Leroy Walker of New York.

In August 1964 SSGT. Leroy Walker introduced Frank Hargrove to Nakazato. At the time Nakazato was 45 years old. This is a very important factor in why there needs to be a Shorin-ryu Nakazato-Ha. At 45 years of age Nakazato's Karate was 'bull strong.'
The karate performed by a 45-year old Nakazato and a 75-year old Nakazato were worlds apart. 

Frank Hargrove started karate under a 45-year old Nakazato when Hargrove was a 19- year old former high school athlete. The training was very physical and extremely demanding. As the teacher, Nakazato performed his karate as a visionary example. Blocks had to be done sharp and fast to keep from getting punched. Kicks had to be snapped or your legs would be hurting for days from the hard blocks he would hit you with. Most would be students stopped coming to training before their first month ended. Frank Hargrove endured despite having his ribs broken three times and knee kicked out at least twice by other students. Within only three years Frank Hargrove became a favorite student. He was the American who was asked to demonstrate his technique at weddings and other social and cultural functions where the Nakazato Karate Dojo performed. 

In December 1967 Nakazato told Hargrove that he should become a karate teacher when he returned to America. Hargrove was unlike most Americans returning to the States, who were promoted just before they left for home. Hargrove was promoted to 4th Dan (4th Degree Black Belt) in April of that year (1967), eight months before he returned to the States. At that same promotion - Hargrove's teacher, Nakazato Shugoro, was promoted to 9th Dan, Hanshi. 
Before Hargrove left for home, the Black Belts took him to dinner. Among those attending dinner were Jiro Shiroma, Sokuichi Gibu, Sakuhara, Kinjo, Kakinohana, Nakaza and others. Nakazato did not go.

Six months in America let Frank Hargrove know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that although he was a skilled martial artist, he was not ready to be a Karate Instructor. In fact, in competitions, Hargrove fought and won 1st place in the Heavyweight Division of every tournament he entered. He fought the reigning Karate Grand Champion, Joe Lewis, for his U.S. Grand Champion Title twice, first at Rhee's National Championship in Washington, D.C., and then at Henry Cho's All-American Championship in New York City. Hargrove said  "Winning tournaments was very easy when you have the best skills on the floor, but teaching karate to children and adults was very very difficult." 

Hargrove's realization about his teaching moved him to pack his bags and travel back to Nakazato's Karate Dojo for "Advanced Instructor Training." Nakazato had never had a student come to Okinawa specifically for Instructor Training. Six months after Hargrove's return, Chiba Harunobu (a mainland Japanese martial artist), came to the Nakazato dojo for the same purpose. Harunobu spoke almost perfect English, but refused to speak to Hargrove in English, forcing him speak Japanese. They both came to train twice a day, six days a week without fail, and were often the only students of Nakazato at most of the daytime classes.  That Instructor Training lasted for twenty-months before Hargrove would move to Tokyo, on the Japanese mainland, to attend university. Despite the move, Okinawa remained Hargrove's home base, and he would return during all school vacations so the training with Nakazato-sensei never stopped. "As a matter of fact, the training intensified because now I was representing the Nakazato Karate Dojo in Tokyo. Sensei and I wanted to show those Japanese how strong Okinawan Karate is," recalled Hargrove. 
Kumite in Tokyo
It was at that time that Hargrove's karate training became most productive. He began to study other arts and he wrote down everything thing that he learned. He would log many questions that he would ask Nakazato when he returned to Okinawa on those school breaks. Japanese karate looked very pretty to Hargrove, but wasn't very strong, even though the physical training was much harder. The heart of karate-do was missing in Japanese karate, so they couldn't really fight. They fought as if they were "playing a game" in Japan, but in Okinawa you fought for your life, or to keep from getting hurt. He just couldn't get over fact that the Japanese looked so pretty when they were doing their Karate. Hargrove had to solve this dilemma of sharp looking techniques, versus techniques that really work in a real fight for your life. Near his university in Yotsuya was a Shotokan dojo where their world champion and his training partner (Oishi Takeshi & Tanaka Mashiko) worked out. 
 "I didn't mind being their gaijin punching bag dummy," remarked Hargrove. They more than likely don't even remember his name, but Hargrove studied their every movement. Their techniques were very mechanical; almost puppet-like. That was it, their movements were bio-mechanical. It was Karate bio-mechanics - the law of mechanics that are applied in the functional order of Karate movements. Studying this physiology of movement based on math, physics and anatomy helped Hargrove to gain a greater understanding of the performance of karate techniques...

This "science of karate movements" always worked.

From that point on, every question Hargrove asked Nakazato-sensei was from his new understanding of bio-mechanics. His movements were so changed after this discovery, that Nakazato-sensei asked Hargrove if he was studying with another instructor. This gave Hargrove the opportunity to talk about his new discovery with his teacher. Nakazato-sensei encouraged Hargrove in this new research and helped him add his findings to the execution of how he did his kata. Hargrove took the Okinawan Shorin-ryu Karate-do taught to him by Nakazato-sensei and clarified the quality of technique execution.
In one of their training sessions, Hargrove once asked Nakazato-sensei why he didn't teach everyone this new discovery.  Nakazato-sensei asked Hargrove, "for what reason should I do that?" 

This became the hallmark of Frank Hargrove's technique execution and of his style of teaching. After returning to North America in 1973, Frank Hargrove used his dojo much like a laboratory to refine the karate he had learned from Nakazato-sensei. He first wrote a curriculum of study for Shorin-ryu students spanning  from white belt to black belt. Each training drill in the curriculum was developed by Hargrove and his students at his Kecoughtan Road dojo. Montez Dennis and Dwight Phipps acted as models, while English teacher, Wayne Eaton would document each new development. Kuniba
Shogo came and spent three weeks with Frank in the summer of 1974 and was very helpful with this process.  By 1975 that curriculum was published as a Shorin-Ryu Karate Handbook with detail requirements for each "Kyu" rank, 10th-kyu through 1st-kyu, and black belt all with Nakazato-sensei's approval and encouragement. Every year Hargrove travelled back to Okinawa two or three times to train at the now Shorinkan Headquarter Dojo. (Note:The Shorinkan Association was founded in 1974. In 1973 when Frank Hargrove returned to America the name of the organization was Okinawan Karate-do Shorin-ryu Shuwakai.)
Hargrove & Kuniba Shogo
By 1985, the branches in North America had grown to the point that Hargrove brought Nakazato-sensei (and five directors of the association) to the states for a summer training camp to review what he was doing to produce such strong karate students. At this summer camp, Kenpo Kinjo made the observation that if Okinawan Karate-Do masters didn't get on the ball they would be coming to Virginia to learn Okinawan Shorin-ryu Karate-Do. This group, Kinjo Kempo, Kakinohana Keshin, Nakazato Minoru, Nakaza Seiei and Higa Yutoku, stayed for three weeks studying Hargrove's teaching methods. Nakazato-sensei told the group that they should all learn how to teach from Frank Hargrove! For the next ten years there was never one year that someone did not come from Okinawa to visit Frank Hargrove's Dojo. One family sent their teenage son to live with an aunt so he could train in Frank Hargrove's Dojo. The Okinawan Knockdown Champion, Matsutake Tadashi,  trained by Shorinkan's top fighting dojo of Gibu Sokuichi, moved to America to work in Hargrove's dojo. He was beaten so often by the young Black Belts in Hargrove's dojo that he  returned, embarrassed,  to Okinawa having "lost face."

It was Frank Hargrove who took the karate-do taught by Nakazato-sensei and refined it to Okinawan Karate-Do Nakazato-Ha Shorin-Ryu. From 1973 to 1999 every member of the Okinawa Karate-do Shorin-ryu Shorinkan Association in North America did this karate because it was what was required for black belt rank testing. Nakazato-sensei visited the USA 12-times at summer camps, and often times he would bring other instructors with him so they could see how strong the karate in the United States and Canada was. During these visits many students would be promoted. While many perceived that they were being promoted by Nakazato-Hanshi, he never actually promoted a single person. Nakazato-Hanshi merely handed the students their certificates. The students were actually graded, and the names were written on their certificates by Frank Hargrove.    Nakazato-Hanshi did not know the names of most of the students at the camp.  In truth the only student that Nakazato-Hanshi actually graded during these sessions was Hargrove himself.

After 1999 the karate of the Shorinkan Association stopped following the teachings of Frank Hargrove. While the organization continued to expand in size, the general quality of the karate grew progressively weaker until now. It MUST BE NOTED that there is one significant difference between the Shorin-ryu of the people imitating a 80-year old Nakazato (who, after 1999, most have only seen perform on the video tapes), and the strong Bujitsu Karate of the 45-year old Nakazato, The warrior that Frank Hargrove first started to study with in 1964. Nakazato-Ha is Warrior Karate-jitsu.
In this 1985 photo Frank Hargrove 7th Dan with
Seiei Nakaza, Kinjo Kempo, Minoru Nakazato
and Keshin Kakinohana all 6th Dan with Higa 
Masaru 5th Dan. Other in the photo Tony 
Nixon-Hargrove Green Belt, Montez Dennis 6th
Dan & James Tabron 4th Dan

From 1973 through 1999 under Frank Hargrove's direction there was nothing but growth and develop of Nakazato's Shorinkan Karate-Do Association in North America. In that 26-year span, the organization grew from less than 10 branches to more than 110. It was only after one person was taken to Okinawa for a visit and was given a dan grade, (that he was not qualified for) causing everyone to travel to Okinawa for rank "tests", that the quality of the karate began to decline. Until this happened, all dan grades had to be approved by Frank Hargrove.

In 1973, Hargrove returned to the USA permanently as a 6th Dan (6th Degree Black Belt).  It was 10-years later in 1983 that Frank Hargrove became THE FIRST American 7th-Dan Kyoshi in the Nakazato lineage, after training more than 150 black belts to their next rank of black belt, enduring a 10-hour test of physical training (10 mile run, 500 push-ups, 500 sit-ups, 4000 kicks [500 of each: front, side, round and back kicks with each leg]), and doing all fourteen ko-ryu katas at least ten times.  This true test lasted from 1:00 am until 11:30 am when Hargrove's sempai, Shiroma Jiro, presented him before Nakazato Hanshi for the investiture of  the 7th-Degree Black Belt certification and the title 'Kyoshi'.  That day, July of 1983, was the birth of Nakazato-Ha Shorin-Ryu Karate-Do.  For the next fifteen years (1983 - 1998) all North American Shorinkan Association schools followed the guidelines set by Frank Hargrove, for his teacher Nakazato Shugoro 10th Dan Shorinkan Kaicho. By 1999, Frank Hargrove had built his teacher Nakazato Shugoro's Okinawan Karate-Do Shorin-ryu Shorinkan Association into a world wide association. 
To answer the most asked question, "Will I, Frank Hargrove, leave the Shorinkan Association?" No. I will never leave my family. There is not a way to un-father oneself after your father has produced you. When your father passes away, he still remains your father. The same is true in a real martial art's family.


Okinawan Karate-Do 
Nakazato-Ha 
Shorin-Ryu no Kaihatsusha Hargrove Otetsu-Cho

Okinawan Karate-Do Nakazato-Ha Shorin-Ryu  is the Karate Way of Nakazato Shugoro Bushi 
amplified and codified by 
Franklin D. Roosevelt Hargrove through forty-nine years of training, study and instruction.