By the mid 1930’s a group of KARATE practitioners had formed a loose alliance, and trained together to develop full contact techniques. Most of these KARATE students had an extensive background in SHURI-TE. They used modified KENDO armor (BOGU) to give a degree of realism to their fighting. In 1940, this group was recognized as a new KARATE style, and KANBUKAN KARATE was born.
The name of KANBUKAN was changed in 1950 to RENBUKAN. Translated, RENBUKAN means, “To forge the martial arts place”. Under the name RENBUKAN the style continued to grow in popularity, especially in Tokyo. The first full contact sparring competition using the modified BOGU was held in 1954. Following the success of that inaugural tournament, annual full contact tournaments using BOGU were scheduled. Participants came from across Asia, but mostly from Japan and Korea. Foreign residents, or servicemen would occasionally enter these full contact tournaments
In 1964 RENBUKAN became RENBUKAI. RENBUKAI means, “To forge the martial arts association”. RENBUKAI joined KYO KAI, WADO RYU, SHITO RYU, GOJU KAI and RENGO KAI in becoming the first six recognized styles in the new organization called the Federation of All-Japan Karate-Do Organizations (FAJKO). FAJKO is later re-named the All-Japan Karate-Do Federation (JKF).