Motobu Chōki: “My Art and Skill of Karate” (1932)

The book “My Art and Skill of Karate” presents the technical knowledge and original accounts imparted by famed Okinawa karate master Motobu Chōki (1870-1944). This translation was created in close cooperation with the author’s grandson, Motobu Naoki sensei. It also includes a congratulatory address by the author’s son, Motobu Chōsei sensei, the current head of the school. Moreover, this year marks the 150th anniversary of Motobu Chōki’s birth. In other words, three generations of the Motobu family were involved in this new translation, connecting the history and tradition of karate from the 19th to 21th century.

Print edition:  US | UK | DE | FR | ES | IT | JP | CA

Kindle edition:  US | UK | DE | FR | ES | IT | NL | JP | BR | CA | MX | AU | IN

(Note: The Kindle version does not include the glossary index and only a rudimentary TOC, so navigation is less reader-friendly than in the print version)

In addition to accounts about old-time karate masters in Okinawa, the work features thirty-four photos of Motobu performing Naihanchi Shodan, including written descriptions. Moreover, it includes twenty kumite with pictures and descriptions as well as five pictures of how to use the makiwara.

What makes it even more unique is that the existence of the book was unknown until the 1980s, when the wife of a deceased student sent the book to Motobu Chōki’s son, Chōsei. Until today this edition remains the only known original edition in existence, and it provided the basis for this original translation. This work has to be considered one of the most important sources to assess and interpret karate.

Motobu Chōki: “My Art and Skill of Karate” (2020)

My Art and Skill of Karate (Ryukyu Bugei Book 3), by Choki Motobu (Author), Andreas Quast (Tr./Ed.), Motobu Naoki (Tr.)

  • 5″ x 8″ (12.7 x 20.32 cm)
  • Black & White on white paper
  • 232 pages
  • First Printing: 2020
  • ISBN: 979-8601364751

Posted in Book Reviews, Publications, Translations, Unknown Ryukyu | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Motobu Chōki: “My Art and Skill of Karate” (1932)

Okinawan Samurai — The Instructions of a Royal Official to his Only Son

BookCoverPreviewsmTroubled about the future of his only son and heir, a royal government official of the Ryukyu Kingdom wrote down his ‘Instructions’ as a code of practice for all affairs. Written in flowing, elegant Japanese, he refers to a wide spectrum of artistic accomplishments that the royal government officials were ought to study in those days, such as court etiquette, literature and poetry, music, calligraphy, the tea ceremony and so on.

The author, who achieved a remarkable skill level in wielding both the pen and the sword, also informs us about various martial arts practiced in those days. Translated from Japanese for the first time, from centuries-long puzzling seclusion the state of affairs surrounding an 18th century Okinawan samurai vividly resurrects in what is considered ‘Okinawa’s most distinguished literature.’

Print edition: US | CA | UK | DE | FR | ES | IT | JP

Kindle edition: US | UKDE | FR | ES | IT | NL | JP | BR | CA | MX | AU | IN

Table of Contents

Okinawan Samurai — The Instructions of a Royal Official to his Only Son. By Aka/Ōta Pēchin Chokushiki (auth.), Andreas Quast (ed./transl.), Motobu Naoki (transl.).

  • 5″ x 8″ (12.7 x 20.32 cm)
  • Black & White on Cream paper
  • 218 pages
  • First Printing: 2018
  • ISBN-13: 978-1985331037
  • ISBN-10: 1985331039

Translated from Japanese for the first time!

“I think it is epoch-making that Quast sensei decided to translate the ‘Testament of Aka Pēchin Chokushiki,’ and not one of the famous historical or literary works such as the Chūzan Seikan or the Omoro Sōshi. … I believe this translation has significant implications for the future study of karate history and Ryūkyū history abroad. (Motobu Naoki, Shihan of the Motobu-ryū)

“It is one of THE most important primary sources for truly understanding the unabridged history of our arts first hand by a member of the very class of people who spawned Karate in the first place!” (Joe Swift, Karateologist, Tokyo-based)

“I highly recommend this new work by Andi Quast … as a MUST BUY book …” ( Patrick McCarthy, foremost western authority of Okinawan martial arts, modern and antique, anywhere he roams)

“I’m sure I’m going to learn and enjoy this book.” (Itzik Cohen, karate and kobudo man from Israel)

Posted in From the Classics..., Misc, New Developments, Publications, Theories of Historical Karate in Comparative Perspective, Translations, Unknown Ryukyu | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Okinawan Samurai — The Instructions of a Royal Official to his Only Son

Oni Oshiro

BookCoverPreviewIn the era of Old Ryukyu, a legendary warrior of Okinawan martial arts appeared on the center stage of the historical theatre. Due to his unique appearance and powerful physique—reminiscent of a wolf or a tiger—the people of that time called him Oni Ōshiro, or «Ōshiro the Demon.»

Also known as Uni Ufugushiku in the Okinawan pronunciation of his name, he had been variously described as the originator of the original Okinawan martial art «Ti» as well as the actual ancestor of a number of famous Okinawan karate masters, such as Mabuni Kenwa and others.

This is his narrative. Gleaned from the few primary sources available, which for the first time are presented here in the English language, the original heroic flavor of the source texts was kept intact.

«I invoke the Gods, To quake heaven and earth, To let the firmament resound, And to rescue the divine woman—Momoto Fumiagari.»

Get your copy now: US ►CA ►UK ►DE ►FR ►ES ►IT

5″ x 8″ (12.7 x 20.32 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
94 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1533486219 (CreateSpace-Assigned)
ISBN-10: 1533486212
BISAC: Sports & Recreation / Martial Arts & Self-Defense

Posted in Publications | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Oni Oshiro

Matsumura Sokon: The Seven Virtues of Martial Arts

by Andreas Quast

This is the true story of the seven virtues of martial arts as described by Matsumura Sokon. Considered the primary source-text of old-style Okinawan martial arts, the “Seven Virtues” are admired for their straightforward advice. Handwritten in the late 19th century by Matsumura, the most celebrated ancestor of karate, they are considered the ethical fountain and technical key to understand what can’t be seen.

This work includes the rare photograph of the original handwritten scroll, approved by the Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum as well as the owner of the scroll. It also shows the family crest of the Matsumura family, sporting the character of “Bu.”

Get your copy now: USUKDEFRESITJPCA

Matsumura himself pointed out that the “Seven Virtues of Martial Arts” were praised by a wise man in an ancient manuscript, a manuscript that has remained obscure ever since. Now the ultimate source of this wondrous composition has been discovered and verified. Presented and explained here for the first time, it is not only the source of Matsumura’s “Seven Virtues of Martial Arts”… In fact, it is the original meaning of martial arts per se.

  • 5″ x 8″ (12.7 x 20.32 cm)
  • Black & White on Cream paper
  • 80 pages
  • ISBN-13: 979-8605143611
  • BISAC: Sports & Recreation / Martial Arts & Self-Defense

Matsumura Sokon: The Seven Virtues of Martial Arts. By Andreas Quast, 2020.

Posted in From the Classics..., Publications, Translations, Unknown Ryukyu | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Matsumura Sokon: The Seven Virtues of Martial Arts

A Stroll Along Ryukyu Martial Arts History

A Stroll Along Ryukyu Martial Arts History Paperback – May 15, 2015

by Andreas Quast (Author)

Paperback edition: available at Amazon US ($14.99), Amazon UK (£9.79), Amazon Germany (EUR 14.97), CreateSpace eStore ($14.99), and at online and offline bookstores and retailers, as well as via public libraries and libraries at other academic institutions.

Kindle edition also availableUSUKDEFRESITNLJPBRCAMXAUIN

Based on his acclaimed previous studies, the author here presents a synopsis of the development of Ryukyu martial arts. The events described herein are all real, that is, they are all historical. Strolling along the chronology of martial arts of Ryukyu provenance, a large number of verified events are not only detailed, but also decorated with dozens of precious illustrations. As such “A Stroll Along Ryukyu Martial Arts History” is for martial arts practitioners as much as it is for aficionados of history and Asia. It simply provides a pristine ground to stand on for the practitioner who wishes to understand the primordial origins of Ryukyu martial arts.

  • For those who read “Karate 1.0”: this new book here is a synopsis of Karate 1.0 plus the “chronology (Part VII)” without significant changes. It is an easier read without all the reasoning and footnotes, but instead with nearly 80 illustrations to make it more suitable for the general public, and not only academic people.

Among the unique information that cannot be found anywhere else are also some of the illustrations. For instance, there is only one picture scroll that shows the Chinese investiture envoys (sapposhi) and their military retinue. Here, for the first time you might see how famous Kusanku actually might have looked like.

Product Details (Paperback edition)

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (May 15, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1512229423
  • ISBN-13: 978-1512229424
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.4 x 9.7 inches

Cover

Cover

Available at Amazon US ($19.99), Amazon UK (£12.79), Amazon Germany (EUR 19,25 ), CreateSpace eStore ($19.99)

Posted in Publications | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on A Stroll Along Ryukyu Martial Arts History

Karate 1.0: Parameter of an Ancient Martial Art

OUT OF PRINT!

The most comprehensive study on the parameters of primordial Karate, this work intrigues readers with rich detail and insights into these ancient combat traditions, the pride of Okinawa.

KARATE 1.0: Parameter of an Ancient Martial Art. Düsseldorf 2013, by Andreas Quast.

cover (4)

Karate 1.0 front cover

  • Pages: xxvii, 502 pp.
  • Language: English.
  • Hardcover binding in green linen material with gold foil stamping, size 8.25″ x 10.75″ (20.95cm x 27.31cm).
  • Full-color dust jacket in matte finish.
  • Inside: black and white printing on cream archival paper (60# weight). White exterior paper (80# weight).
  • Forewords by Patrick McCarthy, Miguel Da Luz, Cezar Borkowski, Jesse Enkamp, Dr. Julian Braun, Soke Leif Hermansson, and Dr. phil. Heiko Bittmann.
  • All copies ship from the United States.
  • Price: $75.00.

Only the highest quality both in content and production: get it now from Lulu.com!

Read the review by the experts:

Continue reading

Posted in Publications | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Karate 1.0: Parameter of an Ancient Martial Art

Matayoshi Kobudō – Genealogy 1999

For a large version, just right-click and “open in new tab.”

Posted in Matayoshi Karate Kobudo - Written sources translated, Matayoshi Kobudo | Comments Off on Matayoshi Kobudō – Genealogy 1999

Matayoshi Kobudō – Teaching and Examination Subjects (Original 1972; revised 1977; revised 1984)

All-Okinawa Kobudō Federation (Incorporated Body) – Teaching and Examination Subjects

Revised on February 19, 1984

3rd Kyū Examination Subjects (teaching subjects for those without kyū grade)

Qualification of candidacy for examination: Those who have been training for not less than 6 months after entering the school.

  • 1. techniques: supplementary exercises (hojo undō) No. 1
  • 2. Sai technique: supplementary exercises

2nd Kyū Examination Subjects (teaching subjects for those with 3rd kyū grade)

Qualification of candidacy for examination: Those who have been training for not less than 6 months after acquiring the 3rd kyū.

  • 1. techniques: supplementary exercises No. 2
  • 2. Tunkuwa techniques: supplementary exercises

1st Kyū Examination Subjects (teaching subjects for those with 2nd kyū grade)

Qualification of candidacy for examination: Those who have been training for not less than 6 months after acquiring the 2nd kyū.

  • 1. techniques: supplementary exercises No. 3
  • 2. Sōsetsukon (nunchaku) techniques: supplementary exercises

1st Dan Examination Subjects (teaching subjects for those with 1st kyū grade)

Qualification of candidacy for examination: Those who have been training for not less than 6 months after acquiring the 1st kyū

  • 1. technique: Shūshi no Kon
  • 2. Sai technique: Nichōsai (No. 1)
  • 3. Partner techniques (kumi-waza): Individual creation or analysis (bunkai)

2nd Dan Examination Subjects (teaching subjects for those with 1st dan grade)

Qualification of candidacy for examination: Those who have been training for not less than 12 months after acquiring the 1st dan.

  • 1. technique: Chōun no Kon
  • 2. Tunkuwa techniques: No. 1
  • 3. Partner techniques: Individual creation or analysis (bunkai)
  • 4. Assigned techniques: Specified by the examiners, chosen from the 1st dan techniques.

3rd Dan Examination Subjects (teaching subjects for those with 2nd dan grade)

Qualification of candidacy for examination: Those who have been training for not less than 12 months after acquiring the 2nd dan.

  • 1. technique: Sakugawa no Kon
  • 2. Sōsetsukon (nunchaku) techniques: Sōsetsukon kata
  • 3. Partner techniques: Individual creation or analysis (bunkai)
  • 4. Assigned techniques: Specified by the examiners, chosen from the techniques up to the 2nd dan.

4th Dan Examination Subjects (teaching subjects for those with 3rd dan grade)

Qualification of candidacy for examination: Those who have been training for not less than 24 months after acquiring the 3rd dan.

  • 1. technique: Tsuken no Kon
  • 2. Sai technique: Sanchōsai (No. 2)
  • 3. Nunti technique: Nunti kata
  • 4. Partner techniques: Individual creation or analysis (bunkai)
  • 5. Assigned techniques: Specified by the examiners, chosen from the techniques up to the 3rd dan.

5th Dan Examination Subjects (teaching subjects for those with 4th dan grade)

Qualification of candidacy for examination: Those who have been training for not less than 36 months after acquiring the 4th dan.

  • 1. techniques: Soeishi no Kon
  • 2. Tunkuwa techniques: No. 2
  • 3. Kai (paddle) techniques: Tsuken Akanchū no Uēku-dī
  • 4. Partner techniques: Individual creation or analysis (bunkai)
  • 5. Assigned techniques: Specified by the examiners, chosen from the techniques up to the 4th dan.

Title Examination Subjects

  • 1. Kata subjects: One type from among the subjects up to the 5th dan.
  • 2. Elective subject: Special study subject from among cane (tsue / ), three-section staff (sansetsukon), tekkō, techū, sickle (kama), weighted chain (suruchin), shield & machete (tinbē), hoe (kuwa), or others.
  • 3. Partner techniques: Individual creation or analysis (bunkai)
  • 4. Academic subject: Write thesis

Note: Qualification of candidacy for a title examination is a 5th Dan.

  • Renshi 6th Dan – 5 years or more after obtaining 5th dan.
  • Kyōshi 7th Dan – 5 years or more after obtaining Renshi 6th dan.
  • Kyōshi 8th Dan – Those who have been Kyōshi 7th dan for 7 years or more.
  • Hanshi 9th Dan – Those who have been Kyōshi 8th dan for 7 years or more.
  • Hanshi 10th Dan –Those who have been Hanshi 9th dan for 10 years or more.

Partial Revision of the Regulation on Awards, Titles, Dan Ranks, and Kyū Grades

Parts of the Regulation on Awards, Titles, Dan Ranks, and Kyū Grades (enacted on May 11, 1972, revised on June 19, 1977) will be revised as per decision.

  • 1. Article 5 (1) will be deleted in its entirety, and in (2) “no less than 4 years after obtaining Renshi 5th dan” will be changed to “no less than 5 years after obtaining the 5th dan.”
  • 2. In Article 5, (2) is raised to (1), (3) to (2), (4) to (3), (5) to (4), and (6) to (5).
  • 3. The examination items of Article 18 and the fees of Article 19 will be amended accordingly.

This regulation will be enforced from February 19, 1984.

(END)

Translator’s / editor’s note: The original was kindly provided by Ray Peet.

Posted in Matayoshi Karate Kobudo - Written sources translated, Matayoshi Kobudo | Comments Off on Matayoshi Kobudō – Teaching and Examination Subjects (Original 1972; revised 1977; revised 1984)

Matayoshi Kobudō official handout, 1990s

All-Okinawa Kobudō Federation (Incorporated Body), General Headquarters: Kōdōkan.

The favorite motto of the Kōdōkan

  • To hone your martial arts, first hone your heart
  • If your heart isn’t right, your martial arts isn’t right either
  • To hone the heart is the Way; the soul of a samurai, the true heart, the past and present.

Instruction (dōjōkun)

Shin (mind): Through training in budō, we strive to refine our minds and develop our character, contributing to society.

Gi (skill): Through training in budō, we will improve our skills, pass on its essence, and strive to spread and develop it.

Tai (body): By forging our bodies through practicing budō, we aim to develop a physically and mentally fulfilling body.

1. Historical Development of the All-Okinawa Kobudō League (Incorporated Body)

Master Matayoshi Shinkō was born in Kakinohana-Chō Naha City, in 1888. Born the third son of Matayoshi Shinchin, Shinkō Sensei spent his childhood in the village of Shinbaru, Chatan.

In his youth, Shinkō studied bōjutsu, uēku(kai)-jutsu, kama-jutsu, and sai-jutsu from Master Agena Uēkata (well-known as Gushichan Tēra-gwā) in Gushikawa Village. Moreover, Shinkō Sensei studied tunkuwā-jutsu and nunchaku-jutsu from Master Irei, who lived in Nosato, Chatan.

In 1921, Shinkō Sensei had an amazing opportunity to demonstrate his kobudō skills at a large event. This event was a welcoming party for the Shōwa Emperor (who was a Prince at the time). Shinkō Sensei demonstrated with Gōjū-ryū Master Miyagi Chōjun at this welcoming ceremony.

Master Matayoshi was called on a knight errantry in 1922. He would travel to Hokkaidō, Saharin [Sakhalin], and Manchuria as well as other places during his 13-years trip. During his travels he spent many years living with nomadic tribes, learning bajutsu (horseback riding) and shurikenjutsu. As well,during those years he studied Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture from Kingai Sensei, and while living in Fuchenghe China, Shaolin Kenpō.

During the 13-years period that Shinkō Sensei was absent from Okinawa, he made a few trips back to Japan. One of those trips occurred in 1928. Master Matayoshi returned to Tōkyō and performed at the Imperial Memorial Budō Demonstration in the Meiji Shrine. The demonstration gave Shinkō Sensei the chance to perform alongside Master Funakoshi Gichin. At this demonstration, Master Matayoshi amazed everyone with his tunkwājutsu and kamajutsu techniques.

In 1935 Shinkō Sensei returned to Okinawa for good. He settled in Naha City where he continued to study with many other martial arts masters. Master Matayoshi was often referred to as “Kama nu Tī Matēshi” (Matayoshi the Kama) and “Shinbaru nu Matēshi,” as he was very popular with the people.

Master Matayoshi Shinkō passed away in 1947 at the age of 59.

Matayoshi Shinpō was born in December of 1921, in Kina in Yomitan Village. He began his study of kobudō at an early age and was raised with masters like Miyagi Chōjun Sensei around his home and his father’s dōjō. He quickly became one of his father’s highest-ranking students in kobudō.

After World War II, Shinpō Sensei taught kobudō in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture. He returned to Okinawa in 1960 and began teaching kobudō in Master Higa’s dōjō, as well as other dōjō. Master Matayoshi Shinpō began to think that karate was becoming more popular than kobudō, and that kobudō needed more instructors to help popularize it.

Shinpō Sensei began his quest to spread kobudō by establishing his own dōjō. He named his dōjōKōdōkan” for his father, Master Shinkō. He took the character (which means “light”) from his father’s name, Shin (which means “true light”). He combined it with the Japanese characters and kan to form Kōdōkan, which means “The House of True Light.”

After the establishment of the Kōdōkan dōjō, Shinpō Sensei began contacting kobudō teachers and students all over Japan. In 1970 they unified to create the “Ryūkyū Kobudō Federation.”

The goal of this organization was to keep the traditions and spirit carried by the old masters alive and well in the next generation of kobudō students and teachers. As well, the organization intended to train the younger students to contribute to their society, as popularize kobudō at the same time.

In May 1972, this organization was reorganized to form the “All-Okinawa Kobudō Federation.” After the birth of the All-Okinawa Kobudō Federation, the members began to promote a kobudō festival and demonstration each year. As well, members of the federation visited several regions and institutions promoting and demonstrating kobudō. These same members of the All-Okinawa Kobudō Federation also demonstrated in many national events.

In 1973, Master Matayoshi Shinpō visited Europe and the United States, teaching kobudō in order to popularize kobudō abroad. In 1983, the All-Okinawa Kobudō Federation sent a group of instructors to visit South America, Central America, and the United States to help spread the teachings of Okinawa Kobudō throughout the world.

The All-Okinawa Kobudō Federation is making great progress on its quest to spread kobudō throughout the world. In fact, the All-Okinawa Kobudō Federation now has students in America, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Australia as well as other countries. As well, the federation is also having great success in creating an international understanding between kobudō students and martial artists throughout the world.

2. Types of Kata

1. Bōjutsu (konpō)

  • Shūshi no Kon
  • Chōun no Kon
  • Sakugawa no Kon
  • Tsuken no Kon
  • Soeishi no Kon

2. Saijutsu

  • Nichōsai (Sai 1)
  • Sanchōsai (Sai 2)
  • Senbaru no Sai

3. Nunchaku

  • Nunchaku kata

4. Tonkwājutsu

  • Tonkwā 1
  • Tonkwā 2

5. Nuntījutsu

  • Nuntī kata

6. Kamajutsu

  • Kama nu Tī

7. Tinbējutsu

  • Tinbē kata

8. Suruchinjutsu

  • Suruchin kata

9. Uēkujutsu

  • Tsuken (Chikin) Akanchū no Uēku-dī

10. Kuwajutsu

  • Kē nu Tī

11. Sansetsukonjutsu

  • Sansetsukon kata

12. Others

  • Tecchū (iron pillar)
  • Tekkō (iron backfist)
  • Kurumanbō (flail)

3. Kōdōkan Ranking Requirements (Guideline for Teaching)

Teaching subjects for 3rd kyū

  • 1. Bōjutsu: Basic techniques, 1st Set
  • 2. Saijutsu: Basic techniques

Teaching subjects for 2nd kyū

  • 1. Bōjutsu: Basic techniques, 2nd Set
  • 2. Tonkwājutsu: Basic techniques

Teaching subjects for 1st kyū

  • 1. Bōjutsu: Basic techniques, 3rd Set
  • 2. Bōjutsu: Basic techniques with a partner (kumiwaza)

Teaching subjects for 1st dan

  • 1. Bōjutsu: The bō kata of Shūshi no Kon
  • 2. Saijutsu: The sai kata of Nichōsai (Sai 1)
  • 3. Kumiwaza (partner techniques): Analysis (bunkai) of kata, practical (ōyō) techniques with a partner (kumiwaza)

Teaching subjects for 2nd dan

  • 1. Bōjutsu: The bō kata of Chōun no Kon
  • 2. Tonkwājutsu: The 1st kata of the Tonkwā
  • 3. Kumiwaza (partner techniques): Analysis (bunkai) of kata, practical (ōyō) techniques with a partner (kumiwaza)

Teaching subjects for 3rd dan

  • 1. Bōjutsu: The bō kata of Sakugawa no Kon
  • 2. Nunchaku: The kata of the Nunchaku
  • 3. Kumiwaza (partner techniques): Analysis (bunkai) of kata, practical (ōyō) techniques with a partner (kumiwaza)

Teaching subjects for 4th dan

  • 1. Bōjutsu: The bō kata of Tsuken no Kon
  • 2. Saijutsu: The sai kata of Sanchōsai (Sai 2)
  • 3. Nuntījutsu: The kata of the Nuntī
  • 4. Kumiwaza: Analysis (bunkai) of kata, practical (ōyō) techniques with a partner (kumiwaza)

Basic techniques of bōjutsu

First set

No.techniquetargetstance
1Jōdan uchiheadzenkutsu-dachi
2Jōdan naname uchineckzenkutsu-dachi
3Chūdan yoko uchiside of bodyzenkutsu-dachi
4Gedan yoko uchianklezenkutsu-dachi
5Chūdan kake uke zukithroatNekoashi-dachi, zenkutsu-dachi

Second set

No.techniquetargetstance
1Gedan harai uke, Jōdan naname uchineckzenkutsu-dachi
2Gedan hane uke, Gedan nuki bōinstepkōkutsu-dachi, heisoku-dachi
3Sunakake (sand throw)eyenekoashi-dachi, zenkutsu-dachi
4Gedan osae uke shiko-dachi, kōkutsu-dachi
5Gyaku uchi, gyaku zukichin, throatzenkutsu-dachi

Third set

No.techniquetargetstance
1Gedan yoko uke, Jōdan naname uchineckshiko-dachi, zenkutsu-dachi
2Jōdan Naname uchi, Jōdan nuki bōtemple, throatzenkutsu-dachi, heisoku-dachi
3Chūdan nagashi uchi, Gedan uke, jōdan naname uchiarmpit, neckzenkutsu-dachi, zenkutsu-dachi
4Gedan yoko uke, Gedan osae uke, jōdan naname uchineckshiko-dachi, kōkutsu-dachi, zenkutsu-dachi
5Gorenda (Jōdan naname uchi, kaeshi uchi, Jōdan uchi, chūdan kaeshi uchi, Jōdan naname uchi)neck, chin, head, trunk, neckzenkutsu-dachi

Basic techniques of saijutsu

No.techniquetargetstance
1Jōdan mawashi uchitemplezenkutsu-dachi
2Jōdan uke kihon-dachi
3Chūdan zukiribskihon-dachi
4Chūdan harai uke zenkutsu-dachi
5Gedan harai uke zenkutsu-dachi
6Gedan uke zenkutsu-dachi
7Chūdan zuki, Jōdan mawashi uchi, gedan uke kihon-dachi, zenkutsu-dachi
8Chūdan zuki, gedan harai uke, jōdan nuki, gedan uke kihon-dachi, nekoashi-dachi, zenkutsu-dachi
9Chūdan zuki, chūdan harai uke, gedan harai uke, kote uchi, gedan uke kihon-dachi, nekoashi-dachi, zenkutsu-dachi
10Chūdan zuki, chūdan harai uke, mawashi kote uchi, gedan uke kihon-dachi, nekoashi-dachi, zenkutsu-dachi

Basic techniques of tonkwājutsu

No.techniquetargetstance
1Jōdan yoko uchitemplezenkutsu-dachi
2Jōdan uke kihon-dachi
3Chūdan zukiribskihon-dachi
4Chūdan nukithroatnekoashi-dachi, zenkutsu-dachi
5Gedan yoko uchikneezenkutsu-dachi
6Gedan uke zenkutsu-dachi
7Ue (jō) uchi, Jōdan mawashi uchi zenkutsu-dachi
8Chūdan zuki, Gedan harai uke, Gedan harai uke, jōdan uchi kihon-dachi, zenkutsu-dachi
9Chūdan zuki, Gedan harai uke,jōdan yoko uchi, Jōdan uchi kihon-dachi, zenkutsu-dachi
10Chūdan zuki, nikai (2x) mawashi uchi kihon-dachi

(ommission)

Study Application Form – All-Okinawa Kobudō Federation

Mr. Shinpo Matayoshi, President

  • Date
  • Student Name:
  • Address:
  • State / Country:
  • Telephone:
  • Home Dojo and Teacher’s Name:
  • Intended Stay in Okinawa:                Weeks             Months

I promise to keep rules and regulations of the dojo and perform to the best of my ability and be a good ambassador for KOBUDO.

Signed:

OVERSEAS STUDENTS PLEASE NOTE!

A letter of recommendation from your branch is necessary to study at OKINAWA KODOKAN. Students should be accompanied by the above study application form, and a 5000 Yen Study fee per month.

(END)

Translator’s / editor’s note: The original was kindly provided by Michael Calandra, given to him in 1997 by Gakiya Yoshiaki. The contents were only slightly edited here for better readability.

Posted in Matayoshi Karate Kobudo - Written sources translated, Matayoshi Kobudo | Comments Off on Matayoshi Kobudō official handout, 1990s

Kingai-ryū Karate Okinawa Kobujutsu (Info translated from the Nihon Kobudō Kyōkai, 2022)

Origin

Our family started with the first head of the clan Shinbu and has continued for generations throughout the Royal Dynasty of Ryukyu, with the Ma Clan as the extended patrilineal kinship group ([including families] such as Gima, Ishimine, Tawada, Matayoshi, Toguchi, Dana, and Matsumura). Trade with the Ming and Qing dynasties increased the number of opportunities for mutual visits, giving rise to cultural exchanges between the continental culture and Ryūkyū. Among them, the trade of the middle of the Qing dynasty saw a rapid development of unarmed martial arts (kenpō), and Ryūkyū Kingai-ryū was formed based on Southern-style Shaolin Kenpō.

In addition, weapon methods from the era of the royal dynasty of Ryukyu, such as ““staff (kon), stick (tsue / jō), sickle (kama), paddle (kai), hoe (kuwa), metal truncheon (sai), moon sickle (tsukigama), long sickle (naga-gama), nunti, double-segmented staff (nunchaku), three-segmented staff (sanchakukon), four-segmented staff (shichakukon), flail (kuruman-bō), weighted chain (ryūsei / suruchin), iron backhand (tekkō), iron pole (tecchū), throwing weapons (shuriken), shield (tinbē), and tonfa” were completed by combining ancient Japanese martial arts (bugei) and techniques introduced from China.

These martial arts were practiced from the end of the royal dynasty to the middle of the Meiji period by Matayoshi Chikudun Pēchin Shintoku (born 1786) and his son Matayoshi Pēchin Shinchin (born 1844) worked to preserve the techniques and weapons, and Shinchin’s son, grandfather Shinkō, and father Shinpō, committed themselves to spread and develop them.

Genealogy

The style-founder and first head of the clan Shinbu (Ōshiro Aji) – thereafter eight generations omitted, then – Shindai (received Matayoshi in Urasoe District as a fief-in-name-only) – Shin’ei – Shinjun – Shinō – Shintoku – Shinchin – Shinkō – Shinpō – Yasushi.

Characteristics of the style

Okinawa has culture, arts, and martial arts that are unparalleled in the world. Budō / bujutsu are the techniques of fighting that have been trained and developed [in the interval] between life and death, and Kingai-ryū Karate and Okinawan Kobujutsu are bujutsu left behind by the relatives within the extended patrilineal kinship group (monchū) of the Ma Clan at its center.

In particular, as warriors from the end of the Edo period there was Ishimine Shinchi (commonly known as Tunjumui, born 1812) of the Ma Clan from [Shuri Torikohori] and Tawada Shinboku (commonly known as Mēgantū, born 1814) of the Ma Clan, who were the leading disciples of Matsumura Sōkon. In addition, the staff fencing method (konpō) of Soeishi Uēkata Ryōkō, which was handed down only to the eldest son of the royal family of Ryūkyū and the Soeishi family, was inherited by Matayoshi Shinkō and has been handed down to the present. Our school inherited the bujutsu from the era of the Ryūkyū royal dynasty left behind by our extended patrilineal kinship group (monchū).

Books or scrolls that have been handed down

  • – portrait of Guāngmíng Dà Yuán Shī (heaven (ten) scroll and earth (chi) scroll)
  • – portrait of White Crane wizard teacher
  • Wubei Zhi
  • – Iron man image person illustration
  • – Various types of weapons

Status of activities

Japanese Kobudō Martial Demonstration Meet (Nihon Kobudō Kyōkai), All Japan Martial Arts Festival (Kyōto Butokuden), Japan Kobudō Meet (Asakusa, Tōkyō), Summer Kobudō Seminars with participants outside the prefecture and abroad. Naha City Karatedō Kobudō Demonstration Meet, Okinawa Prefectural Athletic Meet, Meiji Jingu Dedicated Demonstration Tournament (Nihon Kobudō Shinkokai), etc. Dispatch instructors to spread Karate and Kobudō outside the prefecture and overseas.

Persons

  • Menkyo Kaiden: Hayasaka Yoshifumi
  • Instructors: Ogidō Hiroko, Ōmura Tomohiro, and others
  • Number of disciples: 900 registered students. Many under the umbrella

Practice places and branch offices

Practice days vary by branch and dōjō.

  • – Domestic Branches: 3 dōjō in Okinawa Prefecture, 1 Hokkaidō Branch, 2 Tōhoku Branches, 2 Kantō Branches, 2 Kansai Branches, 3 Shikoku Branches
  • – Overseas branches: 3 branches in the United States, 2 branches in South America, 1 branch in North America, 3 branches in Asia, 6 branches in Europe, 1 branch in Australia. Many other individual members
Posted in Matayoshi Karate Kobudo - Written sources translated, Matayoshi Kobudo | Comments Off on Kingai-ryū Karate Okinawa Kobujutsu (Info translated from the Nihon Kobudō Kyōkai, 2022)

Kingai-ryū Karate Okinawa Kobujutsu (Info translated from the Nihon Kobudō Kyōkai, 2012)

Origin

Beginning with the first generation Shinbu of our school, we served as military officers of the Royal Dynasty of Ryūkyū until the end of the Tokugawa shogunate, serving as the official instructors in the art of war and the military arts (heihō bujutsu shinan-yaku). From around the middle of the Qing Dynasty, trade flourished mainly in the Fuzhou region of China, and opportunities for mutual visits and trade increased, creating cultural exchanges between the continental culture and Ryūkyū.

In addition, during the end of the Edo period and the Meiji period, Shintoku and Shinchin made efforts to preserve the techniques and weapons, while grandfather Shinkō and father Shinpō worked to popularize and develop the weapon techniques from the era of the Royal Dynasty of Ryūkyū, such as “staff (kon), stick (tsue / jō), sickle (kama), paddle (kai), hoe (kuwa), metal truncheon (sai), moon sickle (tsukigama *1), long sickle (naga-gama), nunti, double-segmented staff (nunchaku), three-segmented staff (sanchakukon), four-segmented staff (shichakukon), flail (kuruman-bō), weighted chain (ryūsei / suruchin), iron backhand (tekkō), iron pole (tecchū), throwing weapons (shuriken), shield (tinbē), and tonfa.”

*1 Note by the translator: Tsukigama are rather atypical in form and are said to incorporate construction details of the nagikama, which in turn evolved from the ancient hand pike called tehoko. The tuskigama was not used as a spear or for stabbing, but as a tool to strike, hook, and knock down the opponent.

Genealogy

The style-founder and first head of the clan Shinbu – thereafter seven generations omitted, then – Shindai – Shin’ei – Shinjun – Shinō – Shintoku – Shinchin – Shinkō – Shinpō – Yasushi.

Characteristics of style

Okinawa’s culture, arts, and martial arts are unparalleled in the world. Budō / bujutsu are the techniques of fighting that have been trained and developed [in the interval] between life and death. In particular, as history shows, Kingai-ryū Karate and Okinawan Kobujutsu are unarmed martial arts devised to defend one’s life or livelihood, or otherwise an empty-handed means devised to protect life, as well as characteristic agricultural equipment from around us, tools, fishing gear, and things such as stones, or parts of plants, etc.

Books or scrolls that have been handed down

  • – portrait of Guāngmíng Dà Yuán Shī (heaven (ten) scroll and earth (chi) scroll)
  • – portrait of White Crane wizard teacher
  • Wubei Zhi
  • – Iron man image person illustration
  • – Various types of weapons

Status of activities

Japanese Kobudō Martial Demonstration Meet (Nihon Kobudō Kyōkai), All Japan Martial Arts Festival (Kyōto Butokuden), Japan Kobudō Meet (Asakusa, Tōkyō), Summer Kobudō Seminars with participants outside the prefecture and abroad. Naha City Karatedō Kobudō Demonstration Meet, Okinawa Prefectural Athletic Meet, Meiji Jingu Dedicated Demonstration Tournament (Nihon Kobudō Shinkokai), etc. Dispatch instructors to spread Karate and Kobudō outside the prefecture and overseas.

Persons

  • Menkyo Kaiden: Hayasaka Yoshifumi
  • Instructors: Ogidō Hiroko, Ōmura Tomohiro, and others
  • Number of disciples: 900 registered students. Many under the umbrella.

Practice places and branch offices

Practice days vary by branch and dōjō.

  • – Domestic Branches: 3 dōjō in Okinawa Prefecture, 1 Hokkaidō Branch, 2 Tōhoku Branches, 2 Kantō Branches, 2 Kansai Branches, 3 Shikoku Branches
  • – Overseas branches: 3 branches in the United States, 2 branches in South America, 1 branch in North America, 3 branches in Asia, 6 branches in Europe, 1 branch in Australia. Many other individual members
Posted in Matayoshi Karate Kobudo - Written sources translated, Matayoshi Kobudo | Comments Off on Kingai-ryū Karate Okinawa Kobujutsu (Info translated from the Nihon Kobudō Kyōkai, 2012)

Eku, Ieku, or Ueku?

The paddle is one of the weapons used in Okinawa Kobudō. It refers to a two-handed paddle used to propel a small boat. While used by fishermen since ancient times, it has also been used as a weapon on occasion. While it is generally used much like the , it also includes techniques specific to it, such as cutting with the blade or flinging sand at the opponent. When swung it accelerates and increases destructive power. For instance, there is a well-known story of Miyamoto Musashi, who in a duel in 1612 used a paddle carved into a sword in a duel on Ganryu Island. The reason he did this was that the paddel was longer than a regular sword, and in particular it was longer then his opponent’s sword, which was known to be unsually long. This said, besides the variety of its techniques, its huge destructive power, and the “cutting egde,” one of the greatest advantages of the paddle is its length. This is important to note since paddles used in modern kobudō seem to get shorter, smaller, and lighter by the year.

In Japanese, the paddle is simply called kai 櫂, but Okinawa has its own word for paddles, and even that word comes with a number of deviations. Most often it is called uēku ウェーク, iēku イェーク, or ēku エーク, and the difference might actually be bigger in writing than in actual pronunciation.

It should be noted though that different schools of kobudō in Okinawa traditionally use different variants of the name, and this sometimes leads to confusion as regards which is the right way to pronounce it. Well, they are all correct, it is simply a matter of choice.

For instance, in a 1977 publication, based on information provided by Matayoshi Shinpō, the term kaijutsu is followed by the name iēku-dī in brackets. In a 1990s pamphlet published by the “All Okinawa Kobudō Federation” and the Kōdōkan is found uēku-dī followed by kaijutsu in brackets, and with the romanized form of “EKU jutsu” added to it. And in a 1999 pamphlet of the “All Okinawa Kobudō Federation” and the Kōdōkan the word ēku-dī is used. On the internet, too, on Japanese pages mostly ēku is used, and sometimes uēku, while on Western pages mostly eku is used and sometimes ueku.

So the above variations are all correct. It is just, you should chose one version and use it consistantly so as to not confuse people.

Posted in kobudo, Terminology, Translations | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Eku, Ieku, or Ueku?

What is Ufutun Bō?

Obviously there are two names used, namely Ufutun Bō, which seems to be the current official designation, and Ufutun no Kon. How Ufutun was introduced to the Matayoshi Kobudō collection was described as follows in 1999.

Ufutun no Kon

This bōjutsu is said to be of the Shuri officials and also called Tunchi Bō, and is a historical bōjutsu with a long history. It was handed down from the abbot of the Shikina Shrine to Mr. Taru from Shuri, and was handed down by master Kakazu Yoshio and inherited and handed down to the present day by both Maeshiro Shusei and Yabiku Hitoyuki.

In short, it is described as an ancient bōjutsu of the persons in the rank of a Tunchi, that is, medium-level Okinawan samurē families from Shuri, a story well in line with many people’s ideas about the origin of bōjutsu. Then the description says that it came from the abbot (i.e., the chief priest of a Buddhist temple) of Shikina Shrine (which is a Shintō shrine), so here is a terminological contradiction. Anyway, from Shikina Shrine it was handed down to a person named “Mr. Taru from Shuri,” wherein Taru in case of nobles was only used as a childhood-name, but it might have been carried on by a commoner, and since commoners had no family names during the kingdom era, this might have been the case. This Taru then taught it directly or indirectly to a certain Kakazu Yoshio, who further handed it down to Maeshiro Shusei and Yabiku Hitoyuki.

The most important thing to note here, however, are the characters used for writing Ufutun no Kon 大殿の棍. This Ufutun no Kon means “the nobleman’s staff fighting techniques,” and it fits the above shown description of 1999. In short, both name and description of Ufutun no Kon as of 1999 made a connection to Shuri officials and noblemen.

However, today the kata name is written with different characters, namely Ufutun Bō 大屯棒, meaning the “the staff fighting techniques of the place Ufutun,” which refers to the place today pronounced Oton in Yaese, Shimajiri district in southern Okinawa.

In other words, the characters used to wrote Ufutun were changed, and by this act the context of the kata’s origin and history also changed completely. That is, because Ufutun Bō is a village bōjutsu of the place Ufutun (Oton) now located in Yaese, Shimajiri district in southern Okinawa.

Looking further, there was actually an Ufutun Bō already in 1961, as reported in the newspaper. Is this the original? Here follows my synopsis of the article.

  • Shiroma was born in 1885 in Ōshiro in Ōzato Village, which is just a few minutes from Ufutun (Oton). In his youth he became interested in bōjutsu by watching the “soul-stirring bōjutsu” of the young men during village festivals. At age 17 he began visiting master Futenma, who was teaching bōjutsu in the village, and the master had a liking for Shiroma. In 1928, Shiroma performed at a martial arts demonstration meet held at Yonabaru Elementary School after the commemoration of the grand state ceremony for the coronation of His Majesty the Emperor Hirohito, which remained his most cherished memory. Shiroma continued practicing until 1947 or 48, but it was difficult to instruct successors and so he said, “I told the young men of the village to forge their body by learning bōjutsu, but the young people of today do not even look at the . [ommission] If through the upcoming public performance [at the end of 1961] some young men of the villages would understand, I will teach them even though they are young, but I am troubled since there is nobody [interested]. I can now [at my age] barely perform the moves of Ufutun Bō.”

According to this, Ufutun Bō has a long history in Okinawa, and even might go back to the 19th century!!! Alas, the name Ufutun Bō is an old name, but the modern kata of Ufutun Bō seems to be a different kata. This is because the newspapers in 1961 wrote, “Then, grabbing the that was placed in the tokonoma alcove, he said ‘This is Ufutun Bō,’ and went on to perform the kata,” of which a photo was added to the article.

As you can see, and you might want to turn to a video for comparison – this posture is nowhere to be found in today’s Ufutun Bō of Matayoshi Kobudō.

In short, in Matayoshi Kobudō, first the name Ufutun no Kon (the nobleman’s staff fighting techniques) was used with an accompanying story, and later the name Ufutun Bō (the staff fighting techniques of the place Ufutun) was quasi-officially adopted for the same kata, which was introduced and adapted to Matayoshi Kobudō around the 1990s or so.

Judging from Shiroma’s posture in the 1961 newspaper report, his Ufutun Bō – which had a long and rich history back to at last the early 20th century – was a different kata. Also, as can be seen from his traditional clothes – wearing more or less village festival costume – it might not have been a typical martial arts kind of technique, such as has evolved in modern karate and kobudō during the 1st half of the 20th century.

In other words, today’s Ufutun Bō of Matayoshi Kobudō might be a great addition to any kata collection, but it might neither fulfill the claim nor the definition of the term kobudō. I don’t know for sure but as long as I don’t see a video of Shiroma performing Ufutun Bō in 1961 and as long as it is not clearly the same as today’s Ufutun Bō, I will remain sceptical.

This is noteworthy since today’s Ufutun Bō recently won gold in the male adult division at the 2nd Okinawa Karate World Tournament, and it helped many to reach the last 16 or last 8 etc. This means that, in this way, without being able to prove the actual history, meaning, and age of a kata, Okinawa Prefecture and its subordinated karate and kobudō associations might authenticate a kata, even make it an intangible asset, or an UNESCO ICH.

As a solution, and to prevent abuse, a strict process of examining kata should be implemented by the prefecture, and the presenters should provide proof for all claims, which then need to be assessed by independent appraisers.

Posted in Matayoshi Kobudo | Tagged , , | Comments Off on What is Ufutun Bō?

The History and Contents of Matayoshi Kobudo as of 1999

Grandfather Shinkō was born on May 18, 1888, in Kakinohana Town, Naha City as the third son of great-grandfather, Shinchin. Raised in Senbaru, Chatan Village, he learned kenpō (empty-handed martial arts) and bukijutsu (martial arts with weaponry) handed down as a Matayoshi family tradition from his grandfather, Shintoku, and his father, Shinchin. From his grandfather Shinchin’s martial comrade, Bushi Agena Chokuhō (aka Gushikawa Taira-gwa) from Gushikawa Village, he learned bōjutsu (staff methods) and kaijutsu (paddle methods), as well as kamajutsu (sickle methods) and saijutsu (tesshaku).

Chikin Akanchū nu Ēkudī is a technique that his father, Shinchin, was most skilled at, and is a representative technique of the Matayoshi family.

The bōjutsu received from Shinchin’s teachings are Kubo no Kon (from the place name of Kubo, Gushikawa City), Yonegawa no Kon (from the name of Yone River in Shuri), and Yara no Kon.

In Chatan Village, he spent his childhood and young boy period devoted to bujutsu while learning nunchakukun and tunkuwājutsu from venerable Bushi Irei (commonly known as Jitodē Mōshi) who lived in [Chatan Village] Nozato. Also, growing up listening to bujutsu stories from the Chinese mainland, in the spring of 1904, with new determination, his friend Wu Xiangui (Go Kenki, an expert of Shaolin-style Crane Boxing; his Japanese name was Yoshikawa Kenki), who had opened a tea house in Naha City, recommended him to visit Sakhalin, Manchuria, Shanghai, and Annam, from where he crossed over to Fuzhou. That was when Shinkō was seventeen years old.

In Manchuria, while being active together with mounted bandits, he learned how to use surūchin for hunting, acquired shurikenjutsu as one of the throwing bujutsu, and practiced combat-style training.

In Fuzhou, [Shinkō] started his activities mainly in Go Kenki’s parents’ house (in Nantai Shuifuguan Qian Jie, Fuzhou City, Fujian Province), where he received instruction in Fujian Shaolin Boxing from [Go Kenki’s] father, Wu Guanggui (Go Kōki), and then, through the introduction by Wu Guanggui, he first met his lifelong master, Kingai Rōshi (“old master Kingai”) (a senior disciple of Zhou Zihe).

[The term] Kingai means “kin (gold) changes according to the substance, and gai (hardness) is as hard as steel,” that is, gōjū (hardness and softness).

Kingai Rōshi’s instruction was very strict, but strangely, there was something in common with the bujutsu handed down in [Shinkō’s] family tradition since childhood and it felt like seeing the origin [of it]. It was similar to the kenpō taught by his father and grandfather, and that kenpō was centered on the images of tiger and crane and on Sanchin, as well as training in kata of Fujian Shaolin Boxing such as Thirteen Steps (Sēsan), Fifty-four Steps (Gojūshiho), and Fifty-seven Steps (Gojūnanaho), and their analysis (bunkai).

One of the innermost secrets of [Kingai] Rōshi’s teachings is the “strike-person-method” (dajinhō, exact pronunciation unclear). The “strike-person-method” is about the physiology of the human body as used in bujutsu, including vital points (kyūsho), and all of them are dangerous because they kill and injure the enemy’s human body. Daki (striking the life force/heart) is a method of striking by using the opponent’s ki according to the secret methods of the Sānzì Jīng [Three Character Classic, 13th century] and is also called the breath-striking-method (kokyū dahō), which is a method of striking in accordance to the opponent’s breathing. Daketsu refers to striking acupuncture points on a channel, and these acupuncture points are points in both acupuncture and moxibustion. Acupuncture points are like checkpoints (barriers) on fourteen channels of the human body and are also called pressure points (tenketsu) because they are attacked with the fingertip or an ipponken.

Grandfather Shinkō also learned the vital points of the human body, the art of Shaolin Chinese (herbal) medicine, and Chinese herbal medicine, and during the Taishō period, he temporarily returned to Japan and gave treatment to people of Okinawa as a doctor of Chinese (herbal) medicine.

After returning to Japan, he instructed a small number of disciples in karate and weaponry and established a study group with the masters of karate at the time to promote bujutsu exchanges.

In 1921, when Emperor Shōwa was still crown prince and was on a tour abroad, he called at a port in Okinawa, and [grandfather Shinkō] performed bujutsu from the Ryūkyū Dynasty in the Main Hall of Shuri Castle.

In November 1928, when an imperial ceremony festival was held at Meiji Shrine, along with other Okinawan bujutsu practitioners, as a representative of Okinawa Prefecture he performed a martial arts exhibition for which he received a medal.

As his bujutsu research progressed in Okinawa, to further improve his skills, he returned to Fuzhou again to study weapons methods from Kingai Rōshi, such as nuntī, tōhai (= shield; tenbī), and ryūsei (surūchin), and was given two hanging scrolls (ten [heaven] and chi [earth]) of Guāngmíng Dà Yuán Shī, the god of war (bujin) in the Kingai-ryū.

Guāngmíng Dà Yuán Shī symbolizes the wisdom of the bodhisattva, and is a general term for all worldly desires, vice, and those who provide knowledge, and it is the light of the Buddha’s virtue, or the god who protects the Eighteen Arhats. To this day, our family still protect the two scrolls of Guāngmíng Dà Yuán Shī.

In the spring of 1934, [venerable Shinkō] returned to Okinawa and set up a residence in Naha City. While working as a trader, he tried to interact with the warriors (bujin) of the time and devoted himself to joint training and was called Chiruran Tanmei [unknown meaning], and he took the world by storm known as Kama nu Tī Matēshi (Matayoshi, expert of the sickle techniques) or Senbaru Matēshi (Matayoshi from Senbaru) and had a high social status as a warrior (bujin), and his existence was highly evaluated. However, he passed away in May 1947, regretted by many people.

He was fifty-nine years old at the time of his death.

Bujutsu since the Era of the Royal Dynasty of Ryūkyū

Bōjutsu

Bōjutsu has been used by government officials (the current police officers) since ancient times, but according to the Okinawan Language Dictionary, it is described as “a staff for carrying loads, a staff for martial arts,” and it was used by general townspeople, farmers, and fishermen. It was an essential item for daily life.

In addition, many excellent techniques that have been studied for self-defense have been handed down.

The length of the is six shaku (ca 182 cm), so it is called rokushaku-bō (6-foot-staff), but the length of the carried by the warrior class who served at the Royal Castle in Shuri was 5 shaku 8 sun (ca 175.7 cm), which is the height of the lintels of the mansions of the time, so the was shortened so as not to suffer an embarrassing defeat when used indoors.

The development of the technique lies in the historical environment of the Ryūkyū Kingdom. It is believed that about 600 years ago, when Chinese envoys from Fujian were exiled, they introduced the method of the kon (konpō) to the Okinawans, and that Okinawans migrated to southern China and Shanghai, learned the method of the kon of those areas, and brought it back.

This is because many of the techniques that have been handed down in our school are analogous to the method of the kon described in the oldest martial arts book Wubei Zhi (Record of Military Preparation) and Jixiao Xinshu (New Treatise on Military Efficiency).

In the “Shaolin Method of the Kon” (Shaolin Gunfa) as recorded in the Wubei Zhi it is described that “All martial arts are modelled on the methods of the kon, and the methods of the kon are modelled on the Shaolin.” To use a kon is like reading the Four Books [i.e., the Great Learning, the Doctrine of the Mean, the Analects of Confucius, and Mencius], and each hook, sword, lance, and rake are learned as one single [one of the Four Books]. If this is understood, the principle of the Six Classics [i.e., Book of Songs, Book of History, Book of Rites, the lost Book of Music, Book of Changes, Spring and Autumn Annals] will also be understood, and the methods of the kon will be obtained according to the methods of each former device.” Like that, the methods of the kon are the root and foundation of various martial arts, and the use of the name kon during the Royal Dynasty of Ryūkyū is a representation of this method and indicates its denomination.

Our style of bōjutsu is a combination of the Chinese methods of the kon and ancient Okinawan bōjutsu and has developed in accordance with the physical shape of the people of Okinawa, its topography, and the environmental changes of the times.

[Bōjutsu] is divided into rokushaku-bō (6-foot-staff; 182 cm), sanshaku-bō (3-foot-staff; 90 cm; also called tanjaku [short shaku] and shaku-jō [shaku cane]), hasshaku-bō (8-foot-staff; 242 cm) (naga-bō [long ]), and as a variant, jūnishaku-bō (12-foot-staff; 364 cm) (also known as bajō-bō, or horseback ).

The kata of bōjutsu that are handed down in our school are Shūuji no Kon, Sakugawa no Kon, Chōun no Kon, Tsuken no Kon, and Soeishi no Kon.

As regards Shūuji no Kon, a person from Shanghai, Mr. Shū [Zhou in Chinese] came to Ryūkyū about 100 years ago and built a residence near Sōgenji Temple in Asato, Naha City, where he was active as a trader. It was there that venerable Shinkō exchanged with him and was taught bōjutsu, and Mr. Shū was also quite a master of karate.

As regards Sakugawa no Kon, about 140 years ago, Chinen Yamane, who learned Shuri-te from Matsumura Sōkon, studied village (mura-bō), and his technique was approved by the king of Ryūkyū, and Chinen bought himself a warrior rank, and the name of the method was called Sakugawa no Kon. Chinen Yamane was a senior to Kyan Chōtoku.

The successor to this trend was Ōshiro Chōjo [the original misspells to Chōdo], commonly known as Ōshiro Sakugawa no Kon, who researched the of Chinen Yamane and compiled this technique.

Ōshiro Chōjo [the original misspells to Chōdo] was born in Shuri Ōnaka in 1887. He received instruction in Tomari-te from Oyadomari Kōkan, and after that he studied the of Yamane and was nicknamed Ufugushiku Sakugawa. He died on September 3, 1935, aged 47.

As regards Chōun no Kon, its meaning is “to cut [through] the morning mist.” This kata was handed down about 250 years ago by Chōun Uēkata, a warrior from Tomari. It is popularly performed in the areas of Tomari and Jiri. The kata imagines [fighting] against enemies on three sides and is technically excellent.

As regards Tsuken no Kon, Tsuken Uēkata Seisoku taught a hunter on Tsuken Island in Katsuren Village and devised this bōjutsu. The technique is configured assuming an enemy with a spear. According to the “1,000 Years of Okinawa History,” bōjutsu has existed since the Warring States period, when the three realms (sanzan) were divided and defended their local authority, showing that bōjutsu was used by the feudal leaders called aji of the time. In addition, there was a lance-staff (sōbō) during the Keichō era (1596–1615), and it is mentioned that Tsuken-bō was handed down by Tsuken Uēkata Seisoku.

As regards Soeishi no Kon, it was devised about 300 years ago by Soeishi Uēkata (the military arts instructor of the king of Ryūkyū), who was a great expert from Shuri. Soeishi was a master of karate, nicknamed Shuri-te Soeishi.

[rest ommitted]

Source: Ko Matayoshi Shinpō Tsuitō. Matayoshi Kobudō Karate-dō. Kokusai Enbu Taikai. Date and Time: 8. August 1999, Start of presentations: 2 pm. Venue: Theater building of the Okinawa Convention Center. Under the auspices of: Zen Okinawa Kobudō Renmei, Kingai-ryu Karate Matayoshi Kobudō Sōke Sō-honbu Kōdōkan. With friendly support by Dai Nihon Butokukai Honbu, Nihon Kobudō Kyōkai, Okinawa-ken Karate-dō Renmei, Naha-shi Karate-dō Renmei, Shureidō.

Posted in Bojutsu Kata Series, kobudo, Matayoshi Karate Kobudo - Written sources translated, Matayoshi Kobudo, New Developments, Postwar Okinawa Karate, Prewar Okinawa Karate, Terminology, Translations | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The History and Contents of Matayoshi Kobudo as of 1999

The History and Contents of Matayoshi Kobudo as of 1977

  • Chairman: Matayoshi Shinpō (hanshi)
  • Registered domicile: 2-16-6 Kumoji, Naha City, Okinawa Prefecture
  • Present address: 323 Yogi, Naha City, Okinawa Prefecture
  • Date of birth: January 16, 1922
  • Occupation: commerce

Martial Record

  • 1930: Studied under Kyan Chōtoku (karate training) (8 years old)
  • 1934: Studied under Makoto Shinkō (biological father) (kobudō training) (12 years old)
  • 1935: Studied under Go Kenki (Wu Xiangui) (Chinese Shaolin Crane Boxing [Chūgoku shōrin-ha tsuru-ken]) (Age 13)
  • 1945–1960: Instructed Okinawan kobudō in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture
  • 1960: After returning to Okinawa, he became a kobudō instructor (shihan).
  • 1969: Established the “Kōdōkan
  • 1970: Established the Ryūkyū Kobudō Renmei and assumed the post of chairman
  • 1972: With permission to establish a (public) corporation, he changed the name to Shadan Hōjin Zen Okinawa Kobudō Renmei ((Public) Corporation All-Okinawa Kobudō League), and has been active as the chairman of the association, which he continues to this day.

History of the (Public) Corporation Zen Okinawa Kobudō Renmei (All-Okinawa Kobudō League)

Venerable Matayoshi Shinkō was born in 1888 in Kakinohana Town, Naha City and grew up in Senbaru, Chatan Village. From an early age, venerable [Matayoshi Shinkō] studied under venerable Higa (commonly known as Gushicha [Gushikawa] Tēra-gwā) in Gushikawa Village, training in bōjutsu, kai (iēku)-jutsu, kama-jutsu, and sai-jutsu. Furthermore, in Nosato, Chatan Village, he also learned tounkuwā-jutsu, nunchakukun-jutsu from venerable Irei (commonly known as Jitodē-mōshī-gwā).

From the end of the Meiji period (1868–1912), by way of Hokkaidō venerable [Matayoshi Shinkō] traveled to Sakhalin, Manchuria, Shanghai, Fuzhou, and Annam, and devoted himself to a knight errantry (musha shūgyō).

Especially in Manchuria, he lived with mounted bandits [esp. in north-east China from the end of the Qing dynasty {see: Honghuzi}] and mastered horsemanship, shuriken-jutsu, and the art of lasso throwing. In Shanghai, he trained under a certain teacher (there is a theory that his name is Kingai) in the techniques of tinbē-jutsu, suruchin-jutsu, and nunti-jutsu, and also learned Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture, and moxibustion. In Fuzhou, he studied the techniques of Shaolin boxing [Shōrin-ken] and returned to Okinawa in 1934.

During that time, when he temporarily returned to Okinawa, there was a celebratory martial arts demonstration in Tōkyō in 1915 in commemoration of the [Taishō] Tennō’s accession to the throne, where karate was performed by Funakoshi Gichin, and the ancient martial arts of tounkuwā-jutsu and kama-jutsu were performed by venerable Matayoshi [Shinkō]. In 1921, when the present emperor [Hirohito], who was the crown prince at the time, visited Okinawa, a martial arts demonstration of karate and kobujutsu was held as part of the celebratory event, in which Miyagi Chōjun performed Gōjū-ryū and venerable Matayoshi [Shinkō] performed kobudō.

After returning to Okinawa, he moved his residence to Naha, interacted with the warriors (bujin) of the time, and devoted himself to joint study.

Known as “Kama-no-te Matēshi” or “Senbaru Matēshi,” he took the world by storm and was highly regarded in society as a warrior (bujin), but he passed away in 1947 at the age of 59.

After the end of the war, Master Matayoshi Shinpō, the senior disciple and biological son of venerable Matayoshi [Shinkō], taught Okinawan kobudō in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture, but returned to Okinawa in 1960, and as an instructor (shihan) of kobudō, he taught kobudō in various places, mainly at the dōjō of Higa Seikō of Gōjū-ryū. The teacher [Matayoshi Shinpō], thought that today, where karate-dō is developing as a budō in the world/society, Okinawan kobudō is still not popular and there are only few highly skilled instructors, and so he established the “Kōdōkan,” with [the syllable] “kō” from his father’s name “Shinkō.” After that, he connected with disciples from all over the prefecture as well as outside the prefecture, and led by Master Matayoshi [Shinpō], they investigated and handed down the essence of Okinawan kobudō, and forged the minds and bodies of the youth [young men and boys] through the great intangible cultural assets of Okinawa left by our predecessors. In 1970, the “Ryūkyū Kobudō League” (Ryūkyū Kobudō Renmei) was established with the aim of developing socially competent human resources and promoting the spread and development of legitimate kobudō.

After the establishment [of the Ryūkyū Kobudō League], starting with the first martial arts demonstration meet in 1971, the meet was held regularly each year, and this year is the 7th meet, and in addition to the meet, [Matayoshi Shinkō] visited each facility and gave martial arts condolence demonstrations in each region.

He participated in Okinawa’s Return to Japan Commemorative Martial Arts Demonstration Meet (in Kagoshima Prefecture), performed kobudō at the Return to Japan Commemorative National Athletic Meet (Okinawa Special National Athletic Meet, Wakanatsu Kokutai [1973]), gave special master’s martial arts demonstration at the Amami Ōshima Karatedō Federation Martial Arts Demonstration Meet, and at the Okinawa International Ocean Exposition in 1975. In the process of performing martial arts at the historic opening ceremony, with the permission received to establish a (public) corporation in 1972, the Ryūkyū Kobudō Renmei was renamed to Shadan Hōjin Ryūkyū Kobudō Renmei*1 as a (public) corporation. In 1973, Master Matayoshi Shinpō traveled all over Europe and further to the United States, where he devoted himself to the spread and development of Okinawan kobudō, and still today he continues to energetically appeal to society for the essence of Ryūkyū Kobudō. Master Matayoshi’s devotion to social enlightenment of the idea of Ryūkyū Kobudō is precious. The Shadan Hōjin Ryūkyū Kobudō Renmei*1 is a budō organization with limitless potential for development based on the harmony of human minds and the joint study of kobujutsu.

*1 In the martial record, it is said he changed the name to Shadan Hōjin Zen Okinawa Kobudō Renmei

Types of Kobudō

  • (1) Bōjutsu (sanjaku [ca. 90 cm], shishaku [ca. 121 cm], rokushaku [ca. 182 cm], hasshaku [ca. 242 cm]).
  • (2) Saijutsu (2 Sai [nichō sai], 3 Sai [sanchō sai]).
  • (3) Nunchakukun (aka nunchaku).
  • (4) Sanchakukun
  • (5) Tounkuwā-jutsu (also called tunfā, tuifā)
  • (6) Nunti-jutsu
  • (7) Suruchin-jutsu
  • (8) Tinbē-jutsu
  • (9) Kama-jutsu (Nichōgama no te) [techniques of two sickles]
  • (10) Kaijutsu (Iēku-dī) [techniques of the paddle]
  • (11) Tetchū (tetchū, techū)
  • (12) Tekkō (tekkō, tekkō)
  • (13) Kuwa-jutsu (Kue no te) [techniques of the hoe]

(The above is based on materials provided by Matayoshi Shinpō.)

Source: Uechi Kan’ei et al.: Seisetsu Okinawa Karate-do: Sono Rekishi to Giho, 1977, pp. 766-771.

Posted in kobudo, Matayoshi Karate Kobudo - Written sources translated, Matayoshi Kobudo, Postwar Okinawa Karate, Prewar Okinawa Karate, Translations | Tagged , , | Comments Off on The History and Contents of Matayoshi Kobudo as of 1977

How “Tsuken Hanta-gwā no Kon” became “Urasoe no Kon”

Urasoe no Kon is a kata name that first appeared in the postwar era. That is, none of the kata lists presented by Miki (1930) and Taira (1938) included the name Urasoe no Kon, nor does it appear elsewhere. While students in some dōjō learn one combination from it as early as in the basic techniques taught from the start, today, Urasoe no Kon is a high grading kata of about 7th dan level. Although it might be performed in other schools, it is a kata of Taira lineage kobudō, and Taira first mentioned it in 1964.

Where did the name Urasoe no Kon came from, and when?

Well, those who study the culture of Okinawan kobudō probably stumbled over the names Tsuken Kōra-gwā and Tsuken Hanta-gwā. It is often related to the frustrating experience that nothing definite can be found, and even the highest sensei have not an answer.

About this matter, I want to say the follwong. In 1948, Yun wrote as follows:

Old man Kōra-gwā (between 100 and 300 years ago)

Only the name of this sensei was known and handed down, and I could not find a detailed description, so I decided to just list him as a great master of bōjutsu.

As mentioned earlier, Taira Shinken later copied Yun’s research and presented it in partially altered in 1964, where Yun’s entry became this:

Tsuken Kōra-gwa Sensei

There is no detailed description of this sensei, except that he is listed as a great master of bōjutsu, but he is said to have devised the Urasoe no Kon and the Kōra-gwā school of saijutsu.

In short, Yun described Kōra-gwā as a great master of bōjutsu, but admits that besides his name nothing more is known about him, or his technique. Taira on the other hand adds that he devised Urasoe no Kon and the Kōra-gwā school of saijutsu.

Well, Yun 1948 in 1948 also wrote about a certain Tsuken Sensei, who is a different person:  

Tsuken Sensei (120 to 130 years ago)

Speaking of Tsuken Sensei, Hanta-gwā no Kon immediately comes to mind. [Tsuken] Sensei has studied variously, but what makes him different from other sensei is the overhand grip of the bō (gyaku-te no bō). Tsuken Hanta-gwā no Kon is the fruit of his representative research, with its characteristic overhand grip of the bō.

This was copied by Taira without any significant change or additions.

Tsuken Sensei (100 years ago)

As the Sensei who invented the Tsuken Hanta-gwā no Kon, he has conducted various research, and Tsuken Hanta-gwā no Kon is the fruit of his representative research, and it’s characteristic is the overhand grip of the (gyaku-te no bō).

In later times obviously further consolidation of data has taken place. On a kata list written by Akamine Eisuke of Shimbukan – a student of Taira Shinken – are written the kata names of the association. Among it is “Urasoe (Gyaku-te Hanta-gwā).” Moreover, the list also shows a saijutsu kata named Hanta-gwā.

In other words, here, Tsuken Hanta-gwā no Kon has by then been equated with Urasoe no Kon. Obviously, this happened due to some changes made to the original source and over time. Let me say this: without the original source (Yun 1948), it is impossible to unravel the confusion about Hanta-gwā, Kōra-gwā, and Urasoe.

Again, while Yun wrote in 1948 that nothing is known about Tsuken Kōra-gwā except his name and that he was a great master of bōjutsu, and that a different person named Tsuken Sensei devised Tsuken Hanta-gwā no Kon, Taira in 1964 wrote that Tsuken Kōra-gwā devised Urasoe no Kon as well as the Kōra-gwā school of saijutsu. Later, Taira’s student Akamine Eisuke equated Urasoe no Kon with Tsuken Hanta-gwā no Kon, and furthermore added a Hanta-gwā no Sai to his list.

And in this way, Tsuken Hanta-gwā no Kon became Urasoe no Kon.

Posted in Bojutsu Kata Series, Postwar Okinawa Karate, Terminology | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on How “Tsuken Hanta-gwā no Kon” became “Urasoe no Kon”