Thursday, August 21, 2014

Henri Plée Hanshi

The Father of European Karate Henri Plée Hanshi left us on August 19, 2014.

Henri Plée Hanshi was one of the rare Westerners to hold the rank of 10th dan karate masters. 

Born in Arras, France on 24 May 1923, he started his martial career with French Savate, Ju Jutsu, and Fencing. His studies were interrupted by World War II in 1940.

After the war, he learned Judo in Paris under Mikonosuke Kawaishi. He was the 96th French black belt and is now ranked 5th dan at Judo.

In 1946, he returned to French Savate, also known as French kickboxing, and trained and sparred with some of the best French fighters such as Rigal, Pierre Plasait, Cayron, and Pierre Baruzy. Despite quality of this training he was still feeling the need to go stronger and deeper, and was looking for something else.

In 1953, he discovered aikido, karate and kobudo with Minoru Mochizuki. This was the start of his karate career.

Minoru Mochizuki Hanshi

In 1955 he founded his dojo where he taught the four pillars of Japanese Martial Arts : Karate, Judo, Aikido, and Kendo. Henri Plée Hanshi instructed many black belts who, at a later stage, became the foundation of the European karate institutions, and are today some of the highest ranking karate masters in Europe. 

From 200 karate practitioners in 1961, Henry Plée's efforts have led today to more than 200,000 practitioners in France. The French government considers him as one of the greatest international experts in Martial Arts, and knighted him with the French Ordre national du Mérite in 2008.




  • 5th dan, Judo.



  • 1st dan, Kendo, by Minoru Mochizuki.


  • 1st dan, Bo-Jutsu, by Minoru Mochizuki.
Henri Plée Hanshi 1923 - 2014.   

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