Kyoda Juhatsu

L to R: unknown, Kanzaki Shigekazu, Kyoda Juhatsu, Kyoda Shigeaki, Kyoda Juko

August 31 marks the date of the passing of Kyoda Juhatsu sensei, the founder of Tou’on-ryu. I spent that morning practicing Sanchin, Sesan, Sanseru and Bechurin and reflecting on what he had passed down to his students; not only kata but his moral and ethical teachings:


Posted by Kowakan Dojo | Karatedo
Shinshukan dojo

Front: Minowa sensei (L) & Yoshimura sensei (R) Standing: Tageshima san (L) & Me (R)

It’s been 20 years since I first entered the dojo of Minowa sensei and Yoshimura sensei to study Ryukyu Kobudo with them. Until then I had been practicing Goju-ryu for about 10 years and thought I was pretty set as far as my Karate-do was concerned. Initially I was only interested in learning Kobudo, but at their suggestion and encouragement I began to practice Uechi-ryu.

Rusty Tikko

Posted by Kowakan Dojo | Kobudo

Rusty Tikko 2

I purchased my first pair of Shureido tikko (手甲) way back in 1995 when I was training with Minowa sensei and Yoshimura sensei (as an aside, I don’t think Shureido sells them anymore, but I’m not completely sure). Like anything new, they were shinny with not a scratch on them, but over the years they’ve become a little worse for wear and have rusted quite a bit. So, this past week I decided I had better get off my as!@ and do something about that.

Know your weapon

Posted by Kowakan Dojo | Kobudo, Training
The weaponry of Ryukyu Kobudo

The weaponry of Ryukyu Kobudo

The older I get the more I love Ryukyu Kobudo. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy my Karate-do practice, but not nearly as much as Kobudo. There is a wonderful depth and breadth to the art of Kobudo that I seem to appreciate more than Karate-do. It’s something that I can see myself practicing well into my old age. But, oddly enough, Kobudo is not any easy art to commit to and it is IMHO a much more unforgiving mistress compared to Karate-do. You see, in Ryukyu Kobudo, if you make a mistake you get hurt…seriously.

In Shoshin Nagamine’s Essence of Okinawan Karatedo he states that the, “intermediate movements (fighting postures) are integrated into kata as links between paired units of basic movements.” The fighting postures that he lists include among others: ryu no shita no kamae (dragon-tongue posture), sagurite no kamae (searching-hand posture), suirakan no kamae (drunkard posture). What do these postures  mean and why did Nagamine list only a limited set of them?