Category Archives: kata

Okinawa Kenpo: The Four Ways of Fighting

Okinawa Kenpo of Oregon


We practice a traditional style of Okinawan Karate that traces back it’s roots to the late 1400s.  The framed scroll you see at my acupuncture and medical clinic is the lineage chart that illustrates the genealogy of our karate system.

Okinawa Kenpo of Oregon

Naha Bushi Sakiyama lineage of Okinawa Kenpo

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Okinawa Kenpo: a complete system of self defense

Okinawa Kenpo, a complete ‘hard and soft’ system of Okinawan Karate, has a curriculum based on classical kata (empty handed forms) and kobudo (weapons-based forms).  In addition, there is a foundation that involves  rigorous body conditioning, a unique blend of nerve strikes,  “knock out” strikes, and an aspect  of bunkai which I call,  translational bunkai.  What  separates Okinawa Kenpo from all other karate is the long standing established use of the Bogu Kumite ‘Gear’ to allow for free form full contact reality-based fighting.

Okinawa Kenpo of Oregon

Kenwa Mabuni, circa 1925, wearing Bogu Gear.

Shigeru Nakamura introduced the world to the Bogu ‘Kumite’ Gear in 1923.  In 1925 he introduced the Bogu equipment to what was known as Siam, (now known as Thailand) and introduced the Bogu Gear to Indonesia and Malaysia in 1927.  Historical records show that he had several prototypes that his uncles were developing around the turn of the century.  Shigeru Nakamura, felt that the system that was later to be called “Karate” was not rigorous enough in its training methods and that new training methods and equipment needed to be developed.  Shortly before he was made the next head of a Ryukyu Ti lineage that traced its roots back to the late 1400s, he pursued this endeavor and thus creating the Ryukyu Islands version of ‘mixed martial arts.’

Okinawa Kenpo of Oregon

Shigeru Nakamura, my teacher’s, teacher.

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The “other” Gojushiho Kata: A Nakamura lineage contribution to Okinawan Karate

Say It Ain’t So

There has been some written material  in the martial arts literature with regards to the “Gojushiho” katas known in Okinawan, Japanese karate, Korean martial arts.

Okinawa Kenpo of Oregon

Um…not that kind.

Upon first glance, you think “yeah sure Gonzo, one is a short version and the other is a long version- [Dai and Sho].” Variations of these Gojushiho Sho and Dai kata are also known as  “Ueseshi,” “Sushiho” “Hotaku” and “O Sip Sa Bo” among other variant form names.  You can see some  variations  on You Tube here.

Okinawa Kenpo of Oregon

Oh no! No more weird stuff with kata– let me be ignorant in peace!

In addition, you can read in the martial arts literature and on informational sources that this kata means the “number 54” written like this: 五十四歩

All of this information is correct.  Unless you are talking about the kata forms by the same name in Okinawa Kenpo. In fact, the discussion about tournament karate with JKA (Japan Karate Association) referees does not apply to this conversation or topic.  The kata known as Gojushiho Ichi (aka Gojushiho Koryu) and Gojushiho Ni (Gojushiho Chu) have a completely different connotation in Okinawa Kenpo. This is the story of a kata by any other name…

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Okinawa Kenpo 101- The Basics

The problem with karate today, especially karate practiced in the United States, is that it is typically:

[1] no longer traditional, [2] no longer reality-based and [3] not easily transmitted.

Rodeo Clown 1

Traditional Okinawan Karate? That’s a Clown question Bro!

The problem may just stem with the times;  we have to compete against video games, reality TV and the many variations of what people consider martial arts.

Okinawa Kenpo Junior Dos Santos

Will someone PLEASE give Mr. Dos Santos a glass?

What makes Okinawa Kenpo, ‘Okinawa Kenpo?”

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