The History of Xi Cheung

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The Origin of Xi Cheung Karate-Do

The following is a brief interpretation and explanation of Xi Cheung and the origin of Xi Cheung Karate-Do.

The Xi Cheung ( pronounced szy cheurn ) Karate-Do dojo was founded by the former teaching staff of Sid Campbell’s Honbu dojo in Oakland, after Hanshi Campbell passed away and his dojo was closed. We organised at our current location in January of 2009 in order to continue training in the art he taught us.

 We are a small dojo, made up primarily of black belts. Under the direction of  Renshi Calvin Tam Chi Mon, Hanshi Campbell’s Chief Instructor at the Honbu dojo at the time of Hanshi’s death, we continue to explore the depths of Kobayashi Shorin-Ryu.This is a lineage decended from Chibana Chosin to Nakazato Shugoro To Grandmaster Sid Campbell to Renshi Calvin Tam who spent 18 years studying under and teaching for Hanshi Campbell at the Honbu  dojo.

We are modeled after the small, family, village schools that existed in China, Okinawa and other places in East Asia with martial traditions. Xi Cheung ( which translates as “ Small Yet Growing in the West “ ) is, in fact, the village in China that generations of Renshi Tam’s family lived and still live in. The name was chosen because we felt it was an apt description of our dojo. We are small but we continue to grow and thrive. We also use the characters meaning “ China Hand “ in our patch (pictured below).  This is to remind us that a great deal of the history of our art is strongly tied to China. In fact, “ China Hand “ was in use until 1936 when it was changed to the now common “ Empty Hand “.  We use the word “ Karate “ in the English translated rendering “ Xi Cheung Karate-Do “ to honor the Okinawan influence of the art.


Scheduled workouts are Monday and Wednesday nights from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm. We do not currently charge any fee, but all sessions are by appointment only.  Contact Renshi Calvin Tam at  510-499-9577 for more information.  New Location:  Classes are now being held at the Oakland Bjornson Hall on Thursday nights from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

Contact Renshi Calvin Tam