8th Dan in Karate-do 

Katsumi Niikura, Sensei. Born in 1943 and raised near the Atsugi Military Base in Japan. At the age of 12, began studying Karate and Judo. Trained Karate under Kanken Toyama Sensei as a Uchi-deshi (live-in student/apprentice) and received his 3rd Dan in 1963.

sensei nikura karate tree

Niikura Sensei also practiced Aikido and Iaido. In 1973 he founded International Ryokukai Karate-do, a new karate style based on the best of what he had discovered through his study of a variety of martial arts. In 1984 Niikura Sensei came to the USA and opened the Honbu Dojo of International Ryokukai in Sterling Heights, Michigan. 

Niikura Sensei is well know Master of Ki
Throughout his life, Niikura Sensei worked intensively with Ki. Sensei Katsumi Niikura has been interested in the power of breathing since his early childhood. While playing outdoors, he often wondered how fish managed to sometimes stay immobile in the river despite of the flow of the current. Did it have something to do with how it breathed?

At the age of 12, Katsumi Niikura began studying martial arts. While helping his fellow students with their injuries, he discovered that some kind of energy was emanating from his hands. His effort to use Ki for healing came when his daughter was diagnosed with brain cancer. He added traditional Ki energy healing techniques to her conventional medical treatment. When she recovered Sensei Katsumi Niikura continued to refine his skills to be able to help other people. 

He believes that one of the benefits of Ki therapy is that it helps to restore the energy of the body that was weakened after conventional medical procedures. It helps to alleviate the discomfort and enhance the body’s natural resistance to illness. 

Today, Sensei Katsumi Niikura teaches Ki, which is a tool for healing as well as a powerful medicine by itself. 

niikura ryokukai 

Niikura Sensei also tells stories about his time with Toyama Sensei. 

Toyama Sensei’s students practiced their reverse punches on watermelons. All of the students punched through the watermelons. When Toyama Sensei demonstrated his reverse punch, the following happened: Toyama Sensei punched the watermelon but he didn’t punch through it. Some of the students were snickering to themselves that he was unable to puncture it.  Toyama Sensei had one of his students cut the watermelon in half and what they have seen was pretty incredible. The watermelon was completely mangled inside. All of the students were amazed and couldn’t believe it. Their watermelons looked nothing like his. 


Encouraging karate phrases

  • "Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle."
  • "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Keep moving forward."
  • "Train hard, fight easy. Your dedication and effort will bring success."
  • "A black belt is a white belt who never quit. Stay persistent and determined."
  • "Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will."
  • "Every champion was once a contender who refused to give up. Keep pushing your limits."
  • "In karate, the spirit and the mind are just as important as the body. Cultivate all three."
  • "Pain is temporary, but the pride of achieving your goals lasts forever."
  • "The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle. Give it your all."
  • "Karate is not about being better than someone else; it's about being better than you were yesterday."
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