View Full Version : Ryu Kyu Kobujutsu

16th May 2008, 01:18
Eventually, Kanagushiku ( the Ufuchiku or Police Inspector) became a police instructor, and, finally, police commissioner and bodyguard to King Sho Tai. Not surprisingly, he encountered any number of hooligans and assorted threats: threats to his life and to the lives of the men he supervised and trained. His kobujutsu was serious and effective. Kanagushiku learned much from his tenure in the "real streets", as it were, of Shuri. The knowledge that he passed on was priceless, even in his own time. By the Meiji era, Kanagushiku was relieved of his royal duties, but, so respected was he, he remained in the office of chief magistrate. However, his martial knowledge almost never got passed on.

After a long martial career, the great Ufuchiku (an alternative rendering is Uhuchiku) planned to commit jiha ritual suicide in 1912, after the death of his "liege lord", Sho Tai. After spending a lifetime collecting and adapting various weapons from the criminal element, as well as the traditional Okinawan kobujutsu, Kanagushiku was ready to leave this world without an heir to his legacy. This caused other martial artists to protest his intended suicide, without the bequeathing of his knowledge to posterity. Respecting those entreaties, Kanagushiku began teaching a rather rough and uncompromising individual named Takashiki, as well as giving occasional lessons to members of well-connected, once-noble families. Later, after realizing that there was so much to pass on, Ufuchiku took on another full-time student. This man was, in contrast to the gruff Takashiki, an educated schoolteacher. His name was Kina Shosei (1882-1981, see Figure 7.12), and he would become the successor to Kanagushiku, as official head.of the "system". Kina studied under both Kanagushiku and Takashiki, teaching alongside his large and powerful senior for many years.

In his hundred years of life, Kina endeavored to pass on all that Ufuchiku had divulged to him, before the great samurai supposedly (according to what may be nothing more than a modem and tenacious fable) committed jiha suicide in 1920. References and historical writings about Kanagushiku (, which appear in popular sources, say that he did kill himself. Nevertheless, the present (as of this writing) head-master of Ufuchiku-den Kobudo steadfastly maintains that Kanagushiku (Ufuchiku) died of "natural causes". Thus, he died on October 13, 1920, at age 90 of pneumonia, evidently from complications of the common cold. Kina Shosei was also the last surviving karate student of the Meijin (great master) Itosu Anko. With a lifetime that spanned the ages, Kina was a personal witness to the emergence of modern karate.
Although a small and gentle man, Kina helped save the village of Shimabuku during World War II, by appealing to allied soldiers. This brought him enduring tribute. Ironically, Kina never received any black belt ranking, having learned his art before the popular adoption of the grading system. This situation was finally rectified in 1974, when the Zen Okinawa Karate Kobudo Rengokai (All Okinawa Association of Karate Kobudo Organizations) awarded Kina with the highest rank, the Judan (10th degree). Having taught kobudo to a plethora of karate schools and groups over the years, many of the members of that organization were probably his students. Kina's direct system was passed on to Isa Kaisho and Kiichi Nakamoto.The Ufuchiku-den system is very rare, but is said to include over 100 Kobudo kata and 25 weapons! The bo kata are of simple design, with little grandiose flourishes, as are the sai kata, which follow their own unique patterns (including a way of gripping the weapon) that set Ufuchiku-den forms apart from Taira or Matayoshi style kobudo.

John Sells (Unante, 2000)

Kiichi Nakamoto, 10th Dan, successor to the "old-style" Ryu Kyu kobujustu system is making a rare appearance in the United States!

He will be training interested individuals in the basics of the Ufuchiku-den Kobujustu System

at the New Orleans Karate Institute May 22nd, 23rd, 24th and 25th.

Serious Martial Artists interested in expanding their knowledge of Okinawa-Style Kobudo can register to attend at