James Mitose

James Mitose in 1920 at the age of three was taken by family members to Kyushu Japan, to be raised by his family.  There are no training records on James Mitose while in Japan, if he did train while he was there and with who that knowledge passed away with him in 1981.

James Mitose returned to Hawaii from Japan in 1937 at the age of twenty, during the period 1937 to 1942 It’s unknown as to if he did any training or teaching. He opened “The official Self Defense Club” in Kapahulu Hawaii in 1942 and taught the art he called Kenpo Jujitsu.  James Mitose taught waza(techniques) and Naihanchi Shodan, this kata was referred to by some of his students as “Monkey Dance”,  probably a reference to Choki Motobu. Training was hard, rigorous and brutal, this is the way his students described the classes. Mitose’s dojo looked like a classic Okinawan dojo with makiwara. James Mitose promoted only a few black belts these included Thomas Young, William Chow and Paul Yamaguchi. James Mitose closed his school in 1953 after eleven years, never to teach again.

James Mitose wrote a book “What is Self Defense, Kempo JuJitsu” in 1947 with his students as investors and assisted in writing in the book, which was published in 1953.  He has given credit to Choki Motobu as ”Great Master of Karate Kenpo” with his picture in the book. James Mitose never states that he was a student of Choki Motobu he simply gives him credit as a Great Master of Karate Kenpo.