Anyone ever heard of Ito Kunimitsu, 9th Dan?
This is in relation to the current Jon Alexander MABS investigation:
Jon Alexander - Zen Shin Budo Kai / Zen Shin Budo Alliance, Cornwall, UK. - No BS MMA and Martial Arts
I'm trying to find out some more information about a martial artist named Ito Kunimitsu (or Kunimitsu Ito, if you'd prefer) who apparently, according to websites run by Mr. Alexander or students of Mr. Alexander holds the rank of 9th Dan in an unspecified (as far as I could see) art.
The problem I'm having here is that I've been unable to find any reference online to this person online in English (there is a former long-distance runner named Kunimitsu Ito, however).
Thought I'd see if any of you JMA-type folks who might not be reading the MABS forum at present had ever heard of the man, or had any idea what style he might be involved with. A Japanese 9th Dan is bound to be familiar to some people somewhere, right? Right?
Any info would be much appreciated.
I found a reference to him in connection with Ed Byrne...
It seems to suggest that Kunimitsu is a karate-ka, since it states that Byrne was awared 9th Dan in "Eclectic Karate" by Kunimitsu and Alexander. Which is odd because Byrne lists himself as the founder for "Eclectic Karate". I can't find any other association of Kunimitsu with "Eclectic Karate", so whoever Alexander and Kunimitsu are, they appear to be in the business of awarding ranks in styles that they are not affiliated with.
It is unusual for anyone to list a rank without specifying the style in which it was earned. This leads me to believe that the rank was not earned legitimately, and could have been self-appointed. One possibility is that he was a mid-Dan grade in another style of Karate, and then started teaching his own system. traditionalists are not known for handing out ranks in other styles, so this leads me to believe that he does not have a 9th Dan in any of the legitimate schools of karate.
Considering the fact that a quick Google search for him spits out this thread as the second result tells me that he's not well known, legitimate or not. Here's a sword arts forum where the existence of Ito Kunimitsu was brought up in relation to, who would have guessed, Jon Alexander. This is from nearly 5 years ago.
Information on Kenjutsu - Sword Forum International
Posts 10 and 12 are the most important for this discussion, but I would guess that if someone of that caliber existed, they'd be known outside of 3 or 4 people and their students. Maybe Kunimitsu did teach Alexander a thing or two, but was a much lower rank than Alexander claims. That's just speculation.
This just in from one of Alexander's students...
Do we have any historians of the Okinawan arts in the house?
Ito Kunimitsu was a student and relative of Okinawan native Ichiji Anko. There are historical public records to this effect. Ichiji Anko was a student of Sokon Matsumura, who instructed in Shuri-te, the Tode Sakugawa bo form and Jigen-Ryu kenjutsu.
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