In Memory of
Okinawan Kenpo is a term that dates back to the beginning of the 20th century. It is often used as a generic term to describe all of the Okinawan Karate styles. During the early 1950's this term came into use to describe a particular style, the karate being taught by Master Shigeru Nakamura.
Master Nakamura was born on Jan. 20, 1894. His karate training started whilst in attendance of Icchu Middle School in Shuri. It was here that both Kanryo Higashionna (1845-1915) and Chomo Hanashiro (1830-1945) were the karate instructors. Yasutune Itosu (1830-1915) as well as Kentsu Yabu (1863-1937) also made visits to the school. Upon Graduation from middle school, Nakamura Sensei returned to Nago city where he continued his training under Shinkichi Kunioshi. In 1953, Nakamura Sensei opened his own dojo in Nago city where he called his form of karate "Okinaw a Kenpo", he became famous for his introduction of "bogu gear", protective equipment permitting full contact sparring.
Seikichi Odo, whose name means "world walker" in Japanese, was born in Okinawa in 1926 of samurai descent, (Agena Village Okinawa) he was small in stature and introverted as a youth, making him the target of much teasing and practical jokes by older boys. At age 9 Odo began his martial arts training in Judo, but found this not to his particular tastes. At age 13 Odo met Koho Kuba of Kawasald, Okinawa. Kuba Sensei taught Odo the art of Okinawa-te. At the age of 20, Odo began to study Okinawan Kobudo. He was soon to fall in love with the weapons arts, and studied them tediously to ensure the preservation of the old ways.
Over time, Odo's kobudo instructors included many of the leading practitioners of Okinawa, such as Mitsuo Kakazu, Kenko Nakaima, Matayoshi and, Seike Toma. At 23 Odo began to study karate under Nakamura Sensei. Odo studied kobudo (with Mitsuo Kakazu) as well as karate and kobudo with Seike Toma, whom was a senior student of Chotoku Kyan (1880-1945). However, Odo Sensei still considers Master Nakamura as his primary instructor as well as mentor.
It was during his studies with Master Nakamura that Nakamura Sensei asked Odo to incorporate the kobudo with Nakamura’s own karate teachings. During the last few years of Nakamura’s life, Odo began to undertake the teaching responsibilities of the dojo. Sensei Odo began to fully incorporate kobudo training with the Okinawa Kenpo Karate system in the mid 1970’s. In July of 1983, Master Odo restructured the Okinawa Kenpo Karate-Kobudo Association, renaming it the Okinawa Kenpo Karate Kobudo Federation. Master Odo’s OKKKF teaches a total of 48 kata, 18 open hand forms and 30 weapons kata.
In October of 1997 OKKKF again, was renamed RYUKYU HON KENPO KOBUJUTSU FEDERATION of which Marcus DeValentino sensei resigned as technical advisor in 1998 continuing as a licensed instructor and preserving the ancient arts through DSSI.
*Special thanks to C.Bruce Heilman of the IKKF for his research and use of his notes. Marcus DeValentino, who began Okinawa Kenpo studies in 1984, became a direct Deshi (student) of Grand Master Odo (1993) and resigned as RHKKF technical advisor 1997-98. DSSI operates as an independent entity and member of the National Karate & Kobudo Federation.
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