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The Original Kobudo of Okinawa



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Tesshin Kan Ryu Kyu Kobudo

"The Original Ryukyu Weapons System"

Hanshi Hidemi Tamayose, 9th Dan

Hidemi Tamayose, 9th Dan Hanshi


"Ryu Kyu Kobudo Linage"

Yabiku Moden(1878-1945)
A karate student of Itosu Anko. He studied Yamani type bojutsu under Chinen Sanda, who himself learned Kobudo from his own father, Chinen Pechin, who had trained under Tode Sakagawa, a student of Kusanku.

He studied saijutsu under Sanda Kanagusukua a master from the Shuri region, and a bodyguard to king Sho Tai. He also studied kobudo under Tawata Pechin Shinkazu, a student of Bushi Matsumura known for his skill with bo and sai.

In 1935, he set up a dojo in Gumma Prefecture on mainland Japan, introducing Okinawan Kobudo to the Japanese. It was here he was known to teach all that were interested in the art of weapons, as it was starting to diminish. This was where Master Taira Shinken met him.

In 1911, Master Moden founded the Ryukyu Kobujutsu Research Association on Okinawa; an organization dedicated to the preservation of kobudo kata. This organization existed until his death during the Second World War.

TAIRA SHINKEN:(1897-1970)
Modern Day Founder of Kobudo (Ryu Kyu Kobudo)

Taira Shinken was born Maezato Shinken on the 12th June 1897, in the village of Nakazato'on the island of Kumejima. Officially recorded as Maezato Shinken,he often used his mother's maiden name 'Taira'.

He graduated from Nakazato Elementary school and later worked at a mine in Minami Jima.

At the age of 25 he travelled to Japan intent on studing Judo. In Tokyo he met Funakoshi Gichin. He was so impressed with Funakoshi in 1922 he became a live student and remained for eight years. he became Funakoshi Sensei's assistant instructor and one of his closest students.

In 1929, with Funakoshi's recommendation, he entered Yabiku Moden's dojo to study Ryukyu Kobudo. Here he mastered the Bo, Sai, Tonfa, Nunchaku, and Eku.

1932, he was granted permission to open a dojo, teaching karate and kobudo. In 1933 he received his formal teaching license in Ryukyu Kobudo from Yabiku Sensei.

In 1934,Taira Shinken began receiving instruction form Mabuni Kenwa where he expanded his knowledge of kata and technique of the bo and sai under Mabuni Sensei's watchful eye. He remained a student of Mabuni until 1940 when he returned to Okinawa.

During his time teaching in Gunma Prefecture that Taira allegedly developed the Mariji sai and ifs accompanying kata. The mariji sai has had a long history in China and Okinawa, and Taira's inspiration for the weapon apparantly came after visiting a Buddhist temple to pray for success of his newly opened dojo. It was there that he saw a large manji which to Taira resembled a Kobudo weapon. This inspired Taria to create a weapon from its shape, and the kata Jigan no sai. .

In 1940 Tiara returned to Okinawa and after the death of Yabiku Sensei.

1941, Tiara establised the Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinko-Kai, the association for the promotion and preservation of Ryukyu Kobudo in Naha. It is based on the organizition of Yabiku Sensei's Ryukyu Kobujutsu Kenkyu Kai.

The Hozon Shinkokai included instruction in the use of nine different weapons and their respective kata's. early 1960's he published the first book on Ryukyu Kobudo in Japanese entitled "Ryukyu Kobudo Taiken" which helped greatly to popularize the art in Okinawa.

Later in the 1960's he formalized and strengthed his association by appointing his students to different positions in the Shinko Kai and established testing and licensing standards for his students.

In 1963, The Kokusai Karate-do Kobudo Renmei was formed with Higa Seiko as the chairman and Taira Shinken as the vice chairman.

In 1964 he was recognised as a master teacher of Kobudo by the All Japan Kobudo Federation and awarded his Hanshi certification.

After Taira Shinken's death, Akamine Eisuke, took over the postion as chairman of the Ryukyu Hozon Shinko Kai. In an attempt to expand Ryukyu Kobudo, Akamine Sensie opened his own dojo in 1971, naming it the Shinbu Kan. This was followed by other students of Taira Shinken also opening their own dojos.

Akamine Eisuke (1925 - 1999):

Shinken Taira primarily taught at the garden of Eisuke Akamine's home in Tomigusuku, but the training was often interrupted by rains which were common to the Islands, it was decided that a Dojo be built to facilitate continuous training. The garden formally became a Dojo in 1970 it was also in this Dojo that Shinken Taira awarded to Eisuke Akamine his Shihan certificate.

In 1970, before his death, Shinken Taira renamed the organization he founded in 1959 in Naha Shi Okinawa to Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinkokai in an effort to preserve his lifelong research and development of Ryukyu Kobudo and appointed his top student Eisuke Akamine as it's second President. Eisuke Akamine dedicated the rest of his life towards the goal of his predecessor. He named his Dojo "Shin bu Kan" taking the name from "Shin" ken Taira in honor of his Sensei. To this day, the Dojo, now a modern three story building, still stand in its original location.

Akamine Eisuke was born May 1, 1925 in the last years of the Taisho Era. Until his death on January 13, 1999, he lived in the Nesabu section of Tomigusuku, the small village in southern Okinawa. In 1942, at the age of seventeen, he began the study of Yamani Ryu bojutsu (staff art) under Higa Seichiro, Higa Raisuke, Akamine Yohei (no relation) and Higa Jinsanburo.

Akamine Yohei was widely known for his mastery of the bo or kon (staff). From his early teachers, Akamine learned these kata: Soeshi no Kon, Sakugawa no Kon, Shirataru no Kon and Yuniga no Kon. In 1944, Akamine married Higa Seichiro's daughter, Shizuko. Shortly thereafter, at age nineteen, Akamine was drafted into the Japanese army where he served one year in Taiwan. When he returned to Okinawa, he resumed vegetable and sugar cane farming and his study of Yamani Ryu bojutsu.

During his early days as a farmer, Akamine became known for his unorthodox harvesting methods. Rather than using a kama (sickle) or machete to cut down sugar cane, Akamine used his bo.

After the death of Akamine Sensei in 1999, Tamayose Hidemi one of his senior students and the chairman of the board for the Hozon Shin Ko Kai Ryu Kyu Kobudo organization left to form the Tesshinkan Ryu Kyu Kobudo organization to preserve and promote the Kobudo that was taught to him by Akamine Eiskue.

"Tamayose Hidemi"(1949 - )

Tamayose Hidemi was born in Showa 24 (1949) July 14, on Ikema Jima, Miyako, south of Okinawa to a family of eleven children. At sixteen years of age he moved to Okinawa and upon graduating from the University of Okinawa, Tamayose began teaching High School. In 1975 he married his lovely wife Masako, also from Miyako and they are both teachers in Shimajiri Gun (southern) Okinawa where he resides with his wonderful family.

His formal Karate training began in 1967 under Matsubayashi Shorinryu Sensei, Shima Masao in Kanzatobaru, Naha City. In 1975 he changed to Kobayashi Shorinryu under Nakamura Seiyu Sensei who also taught him the weapons of Ryukyu Kobudo.

In 1982 Tamayose began studying directly under Akamine Eisuke Sensei at the Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinko Kai Hombu in Nesabu, Tomigusuku. As one of the senior students, he was ranked 7th Dan by Akamine Sensei and 8th Dan by the All Okinawan Karate Kobudo Association and served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Hozon Shinko Kai until the death of Akamine Sensei in 1999. He is currently the Secretary General of the Okinawa Ken KarateDo RengoKai. He was one of the prime organizers of the 1998 Okinawa World Karate Tournament and somehow, this humble man also finds time to be the vice president of the Okinawan (Kodomo Kai) Child Development Association.

In 1995 Tamayose Sensei began teaching Kobudo seminars in Canada and the U.S. and now teaches regular summer clinics there. Plans are currently in progress to teach in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Britain. Travelling with his senior student and interpreter, Canadian born Don Shapland, Tamayose Sensei's purpose is to promote correct Ryukyu Kobudo throughout the world. Tirelessly teaching the syllabus of 23 Kata, Kihon, history and Kumite with perfect form and incredible power, this quiet Okinawan Master is rapidly gaining international acclaim. His shy sincerity and teaching style are perhaps the key to his popularity and respect among his peers in the Okinawan Karate Kobudo community. July 23, 2000, Okinawa hosted the G8 Summit conference and Tamayose Sensei was chosen as one of four Okinawan Masters to demonstrate the cultural arts of Karate and Kobudo for the leaders of the worlds most powerful countries.

The Ryukyu Kobudo system, as we know it today, consists of 36 Kata, gathered and preserved by Taira Sensei. (Unfortunately, some of these kata were not maintained and are now lost.)

Upon Akamine Sensei's death, Tamayose Hidemi, Hatchi Dan, in order to perpetuate Ryukyu Kobudo in the manner he was taught by Akamine Sensei, formed the Tesshinkan Ryukyu Kobudo Association May 22, 1999. The Tesshinkan uses 23 of the main kata, employing Nunchaku, Tekko, Bo, Sai. Tunfa, Eku, Kama and Tinbe/Rochin as the primary weapons in it's grading format.