Harold Mitchum was born in South
Carolina on December 17, 1933. He passed away in June, 2016. He was first
stationed on Okinawa in March, 1958. A
career in the U.S. Marine Corps spanned over 22 years. Sensei Mitchum deployed
once to Korea, twice to Vietnam, was stationed in South Carolina, North
Carolina, California, Georgia, and Okinawa Japan. He enjoyed physical fitness,
playing the guitar, fishing, and sharing his vast knowledge of Okinawan
IsshinRyu Karate. He retired from the Marines in 1973 as a First Sergeant.
Harold Mitchum Sensei was appointed the first President of the American Okinawan Karate Association by Soke Shimabuku. The official appointment letter from Master Tatsuo Shimabuku was dated June 10th, 1961, following an important meeting that was held on Okinawa to determine who would best be suited for promoting Isshin-ryu karate in the United States. However, in a document drafted by Ralph Bove, who was serving as the Judo and Karate coordinator for the USMC, Sensei Harold Mitchum was listed as the President of the American Okinawan Karate Association on a document dated April 12th, 1961.
There were four American Marines, all of whom were
promoted to 8th Dan by Tatsuo Shimabuku; Sensei Mitchum while in Okinawa and Don
Nagle, Steve Armstrong, and Harold Long to 8th Dan in 1966.While on Okinawa,
Harold Mitchum ran a second dojo for Master Shimabuku. His certificate is
numbered #1 and dated 5
The United Isshin-ryu Karate Association (now the WUIKA) was formed in September of 1975 with Sensei Mitchum’s guidance. His focus was to standardize kata performance, promotion criteria, and provide assistance to all Isshin-Ryu dojos through training clinics.
This story shows the relationship between Master Shimabuku and Sensei Mitchum: When Mitchum and Steve Armstrong gave Shimabuku a red belt to wear, Shimabuku removed the red and white belt he had on and gave it to Harold Mitchum to wear
Sensei Mitchum was promoted to 9th Dan,Hanshion
June 5, 1988 by the late Masufumi Suzuki, who was at that time, and until his
passing was the head of the All Japan Budo Federation and the Seibukan Academy
in Kyoto, Japan. Mr. Suzuki knew Master Shimabuku quite well and stated
that he had heard Master Shimabuku speak very highly of Mitchum.
On March 20, 2004, the board of directors of the International Isshin Ryu Karate Association presented Mitchum with a 10th Dan certificate. He was inducted into the Isshin Ryu Hall of fame in 1983.
(Reference John Ingram’s personal recollections, and other collections as edited by D. Holloway)
Mysteries of Isshin-ryu] ]
[ [http://www.karatefive.com/mitchumview.html Interview with Master Mitchum] ].