Jinbukai: The Spirit of Emperors

So you’ve heard—UTKC is part of a greater organization, Jinbukai Canada. We have a sister club in northerly parts of Toronto, the Goulding Karate Club, which also bears the stamp of Sensei Tominaga’s legacy. In fact, Tominaga himself coined the name from three Japanese words, “jin,” “bu,” and “kai,” when he created the association in 1997. More than just a name, Jinbukai speaks to the personality our club itself. We’re committed, we build character, and we’re a part of a community.

The last two syllables are straightforward enough: they mean “martial” and “organization” respectively. “Jin” is a little more mysterious though, with no English equivalent. It’s more accurate to say that “jin” is experienced, assimilated, and made into the very movements of karate. “Honourable person or people of compassion” is our closest approximation.

But “jin” carries another meaning. It shares the same kanji (or Chinese ideogram) as that of “hito”—a suffix attached to important people, like Emperor Hirohito. In this way, “jin” designates those who are benevolent, compassionate, charitable, virtuous, as well as distinguished and highly esteemed. As people of “jin,” we are the stuff of emperors.

“Jinbukai” therefore means that we are an organization of quality people bonded over martial arts. From all walks of life, we join together in our commitment to quality.

One Club to Rule them All

Jinbukai aims to standardize the principles of karate-do in Canada. In 1997, the University of Toronto Karate Club had already maintained connections with the University of Fukuoka for several decades. At this point, however, Sensei Tominaga desired to formalize the training at UTKC under specific guidelines and designs—the “jinbukai” way. Thus, the organization was born.

Currently, Jinbukai houses over 200 members and is directed by several black belts or yudansha. The organization establishes policies and regulates technical standards for both UTKC and Goulding Karate Club. Sensei Tominaga remained the head instructor of UTKC and President of Jinbukai until his passing away in 2016. Felix Chang (the chief instructor of Goulding) has since inherited Tominaga’s roles.

Members of UTKC or Goulding are automatically enrolled into Jinbukai Canada as well. Under Jinbukai’s standards, we receive membership benefits and more.

Our Mission and Purpose

Running a karate club is hard work. Jinbukai streamlines most of the administrative work for your learning benefit. This is why we’ve established committees for different needs—from confirming the scientific basis of all workouts to ensuring that black belt members receive at least minimal CPR training.

We train our senior members hard, too. Black belt members participate in an ongoing instructor training program, which develops leadership and coaching skills. But Jinbukai also promotes fun: we organize social events among associated dojos, including an annual inter-dojo tournament.

Above all, we aim for quality control. Our President presides over all kyu belt and dan examinations. All ranks conferred by Felix Sensei carry our legacy onward—a karate tradition that’s nearly one century old.