It is a popular story and common belief that Okinawan farming tools evolved into weapons due to restrictions placed upon the peasants by the Satsumasamurai clan when the island was made a part of Japan, which forbade them from carrying arms. As a result, it is said, they were defenseless and developed a fighting system around their traditional farming implements. However, modern martial arts scholars have been unable to find historical backing for this story, and the evidence uncovered by various martial historians points to the Pechin Warrior caste in Okinawa as being those who practiced and studied various martial arts, rather than the Heimin, or commoner. It is true that Okinawans, under the rule of foreign powers, were prohibited from carrying weapons or practicing with them in public. But the weapons-based fighting that they secretly practiced (and the types of weapons they practiced with) had strong Chinese roots, and examples of similar weapons have been found in China, Malaysia and Indonesia pre-dating the Okinawan adaptations.Okinawans kobudō was at its zenith some 100 years ago and of all the authentic Okinawan kobudō kata practiced at this time, only relatively few by comparison remain extant. In the early 20th centuries a decline in the study of Ryūkyū kobujutsu (as it was known then) meant that the future of this martial tradition was in danger. During the Taisho period (1912–1926) some martial arts exponents such as Yabiku Moden made great inroads in securing the future of Ryūkyū kobujutsu. A large amount of those forms which are still known are due to the efforts of Taira Shinken who travelled around the Ryūkyū Islands in the early part of the 20th century and compiled 42 existing kata, covering eight types of Okinawan weapons. Whilst Taira Shinken may not have been able to collect all extant Okinawan kobudō kata, those he did manage to preserve are listed here. They do not include all those from the Matayoshi, Uhuchiku and Yamanni streams however.
MOTOKATSU INOUE SENSEI – KOBUDO & NINJITSU MASTER
Picture on left =Motokatsu Inoue Sensei is sitting in the middle front row being the most senior Kobudo instructor in this group of Kobudo masters.
Motokatsu Inoue Sensei was the master and founder of the Ryu Kyu Kobudo Hozon Shinkokai. He actively preserved the Kobudo Art and headed the Organisation for the Preservation of the Okinawan (Ryu Kyu Islands) Kobudo Arts.
Motokatsu Inoue Sensei was the man who taught Hanshi Hans Haupt Kobudo in the Mountain Region of Shizuoka in a little village called Shimizu-Shi, in the South of Japan, where Hanshi Hans Haupt lived and trained with Master Inoue until he was awarded his 3rd Dan in Kobudo. Hanshi Hans Haupt also trained Jui-Jitsu under Fukae Shihan and Sengai Shihan at the Kobudo Dojo of Inoue Sensei.
Motokatsu Inoue was the Grandmaster of the Yu Shin Kai Karate and Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinkokai.
Born in Tokyo in 1918, his Father was a general in the Army, and his mother was the Grandaughter of Inoue Kaoru, a former Prime Minister of Japan.The noble status of the family granted access to doors closed to the majority and Motokatsu Inoue began the customary indoctrination into Budo at a very young age.
SEIKO FUJITA (14th Headmaster of the KOGA NINJA RYU)
His first teacher was Seiko Fujita, his father’s body guard and 14th Head Master of the Koga Ninja Ryu. Fujita was a true master, capable of many strange feats including the ability to disregard pain.Fujita thought Karate was too linear and Aikido too circular for practical use in close fighting. His style was a very aggressive form of Jujitsu and AikiJitsu and Ninjitsu with particular emphasis on attacking the eyes, throat and groin using open hand techniques and low kicks.He also taught weapons, a skilled exponent of anything he picked up, but his preference was those peculiar to Ninjitsu, especially the Shuriken. He taught the young Inoue to throw anything, but the basis was always from the straight iron darts, around 8 inches in length.
By the age of 18, Inoue Sensei had obtained a good understanding of Kobudo, Jujitsu, NinJitsu, Shuriken Jitsu and Bo Jutsu, as well as Sumo (learned at Keio university). Fujita wanted him to become adept at all martial arts, so ordered him to study under Sensei Yasuhiro Konishi
OTHER KOBUDO MASTERS
Kanga Sakugawa, also Sakugawa Satunushi and Tode Sakugawa, was an Okinawan Martial Arts master and major contributor to the development and the precursor to Kobudo and modern Karate. He is mostly known for his famous Kon Kata – SAKUGAWA NO KON which are still practiced today.
Date of birth: March 5, 1733
Place of birth: Shuri, Okinawa