Updated: Jan 4, 2022
Anko Azato was one of the most well known masters of Okinawa-Karate who as a son of a Tonichi, (one of the two highest classes of the society of Okinawa) was born 1827 in the city Azato on Okinawa.
He was an advisor to the king of Okinawa in all matters military. He was above all one of the most famous Karate experts who, apart from Karate, also studied Jigen-ryu, a very dynamic fighting art, which still exists today in Japan. Also he practiced the art of horse riding, wrestling and was a well-known philosopher and scholar.
Azato lived not off Karate, making his living from the previously mentioned skills. Indeed he had only two pupils: Gichin Funakoshi and Chogo Ogusuku. Even his oldest son he gave to Sensei Itosu to learn Karate. Therefore he is often referred to as "the master in the shadow".
Azato collected information about the Okinawan schools of Karateka and had a very detailed records about the strengths and weaknesses of each school. One of his sayings was "Know you and your opponent; that is the secret of the strategy".