Yoshimi Inoue “Kumite through Kata…” – upon hearing those words one might wonder what Soke Yoshimi Inoue means by that. Connecting Kihon, Kata and Kumite is something of a lost secret that most Karate masters have either forgotten or have never known. Not only does he know it but can also teach and show you how to do it, leaving everyone in awe as he smoothly shifts through stances and applies his techniques.
Yoshimi Inoue was born in September 28, 1946 in Tottori, Japan. He dabbled in other sports such as Judo and baseball at an earlier age. At that time, Karate-do was not very popular in Japan. In movies, Karate was usually portrayed in matches against Judo, and Judo always won. But even so, at 15 years old he bought a book and started teaching himself Karate-do. After some time, the Tottori University Karate Club got stronger, and Karate-do more popular. As soon as Yoshimi Inoue finished high school, Inoue went to Osaka in order to look for the teacher he had read about in his Karate book, Soke Teruo Hayashi. Inoue asked to be his student for about 6 months and was finally accepted as his Uchideshi (live in student). He stayed there for 4 years living with Soke Hayashi and looking after his dojo and home.
Soke Yoshimi Inoue had to go back to then, as his father had gotten sick. In order to help his family financially, Inoue got a day job and at the same time, opened a Hayashi-Ha Shito Ryu Kai branch in Tottori. His classes were tough, since Soke Inoue believes that only hard practice will bring results. Currently Soke Yoshimi Inoue sits on the technical committee for the All Japan Karate-do Federation and is on the board of examiners for the JKF.
One of his most prominent students, 3-time World Kata Champion Mie Nakayama, started training at his dojo with one of his assistant instructors at 18 years old. He pointed out to Soke that she was talented and after 2 months of training, Inoue took her to the Hayashi-Ha All Japan Karate-do Championships. She participated in the kyu rank category. Within 48 competitors, being the last one to perform her Pinan Nidan Kata, she was the winner. After that, the first thing Soke did was asking Nakayama’s father’s permission to install a Makiwara at her house, which she began to use every day. Nakayama accompanied Inoue in his 1000-abs-a-day routine and 2 hours of Ido Kihon. According to Soke, Nakayama developed very good “Karate muscles”.
Cry in the dojo, smile in competition”. She also competed in Kumite. In her first fight, she knocked out her opponent with a Chudan Mae Geri, which incurred a Hansoku upon her. Although she was disqualified, Soke says he got happy, since his teachings were really working. In 2 years, Nakayama was JKF All Japan Champion. In addition to training Sensei Nakayama, Soke Inoue has successfully led to victory karatedo champions including Atsuko Wakai and Ryoki Abe of the Goju-ryu style, the world famous Hasegawa brothers of the Shito-kai, Nao Morooka and Hisao Yokoyama also of the Shito-kai. From his own dojo, Kusuga Wakabayashi has won the All Asian Karate-do Championship and Rika Usami is the current All Japan Kata champion.