In the 8th episode of the Okinawa Karate “WA” series, Kobudō master Iha Kōtarō sensei introduces some Bō (staff) fighting techniques.
The video is at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s29GlmTJkG4
In the 7th episode of the Okinawa Karate “WA” series, Kobudō master Ishiki Hidetada sensei introduces a Tunkwā (Tonfā) kata that he created for the purpose of learning the handling of this weapon.
Even at 80 years old “Eyaa!”
A full house kobudō demonstration
Published in the Okinawa Times newspaper on November 27, 1961
With the support of the Cultural Heritage Protection Committee, the Ryūkyū Shimpō and the Okinawa Times, the Okinawa Kobudō Association sponsored the “1st Okinawa kobudō demonstration” at the Naha Theater on January 26 from PM1:00. Next to Chief Executive Ōta (1), Naha City Mayor Kaneji, even mainland sightseeing tour groups present on the island at that time showed up. The venue was thus extremely crowded on both the first and second floors, with even people at the windows.
Demonstrations included “Passai” and “Kūsankū” etc for karate as well as Sai, Nunchaku, Kama, Kiai-justu, Taiho-justu etc., altogether close to 80 items that are not usually performed in public. The performers participated from all over the island, including Minami Daito, and unique martial arts that were hidden in various regions were introduced. Young performers were mixed with elderly seniors such as 83 years old Nohara Kamaichi (Kochinda Village), 82 years old Irei Matsutarō (Koza City), and 79 years old Kina Shōsei (Koza City). The seniors displayed powerful technique that surpassed that of the young performers and their performances received great applauses.
Words from Chief Executive Ōta: I think it was meaningful to have a demonstration to preserve the old martial arts passed down from our ancestors. There were many things that I had never seen before. Through the excellence displayed today, I feel that we have gained pride and confidence in the culture of our ancestors. It can also be said that old martial arts are loved not only in the city centers but also in the entire Ryūkyūs. I would be happy if this could be the driving force for a new cultural creation.
(1) Ōta Seisaku was the Chief Executive of the Government of the Ryūkyū Islands from October 1959 to November 1964.
Impressed with every move
A 20 years long-cherished wish
A kobudō demonstration held
Published in the Ryūkyū Shimpō newspaper of November 27, 1961
Sponsored by the Kobudō Association with the support of the Okinawa Times and the Ryūkyū Shimpō, the “Kobujutsu Demonstration” was held at the Naha Gekijō Theater on the afternoon of January 26th from PM1:00 with the intent of preserving and disseminating the martial arts (1) that have been passed down locally for a long time.
Concerned about the preservation of martial arts, related people have been eagerly preaching out for more than two decades. Preservation through photographic filming was also thought about at some time, but it did not bear fruit. Finally, the demonstration was held 16 years after the war.
On this day, the venue that was Naha Theater was filled with an enthusiastic crowd, including people from far away Minami Daito. Two hours before the beginning at AM 11:00, the room was filled by 80% and when the demonstration started, the hall was packed with no room to stand. A large number of late-arrived people stood outside the venue, and many famous people from various fields, including Chief Executive Ōta and Tōma Jūgō (2) were also present.
The demonstration started with a greeting speech from the Association’s president Mr. Higa. It was followed by 83 years old Nohara Kamaichi, first on the list of more than 70 people kobudō seniors and their students from the entire Ryūkyū islands. All performed their unique skills and received warm applauses from the audience.
The event was divided into two parts. The first part introduced mainly demonstrations from young people while the second part comprised mainly performances by seniors. Yet, the martial arts performed by the seniors were truly honed over the years, and the crowd was fascinated by the elegance of each move.
According to the president of the association Higa Seitoku, the performers who participated in the demonstration were still a small part of the whole, and whenever there will be a chance, he would like to introduce those who could not perform this time.
Chief Executive Ōta, who saw the demonstration commented as follow.
Words from Mr. Ōta: I was very impressed. The preservation or dissemination of old martial arts is also significant in the creation of a new culture. It is necessary to preserve the brilliant culture of Okinawan ancestors. Furthermore, as performers came not only from Naha and Okinawa main island but also from Minami Daito I learned that kobudō is popular and has spread throughout all the Ryūkyūs. This is really reassuring.
Words from Tōma Jūgō, chairman of the Sport Association: I came with the interest of seeing martial arts that I haven't seen before. The kon or staff martial arts as in Tenryū-no-kon, Yonegawa-no-kon, Sakugawa-no-kon was good. I have been watching kobudō for many years since I was a student, but this is the first time that the elders of all the Ryūkyūs gathered and performed together. I am delighted that they held such a good event.
(1) In the original text written as “Bujutsudō”
(2) Ōta Seisaku was the Chief Executive of the Government of the Ryūkyū Islands from October 1959 to November 1964. Tōma Jūgō was Mr. Ōta’s predecessor.