Guest Contributor | Jul 3, 2019 | 0
Goju follows the way of Bushido
Goju-Ryu Karate Namibia confirmed its Okinawan roots with a training seminar on the use of traditional Okinawan weapons. 31 of the most senior Goju-Ryu Karate students attended this seminar.
The seminar was presented by Senseini Elias and Lillian Kattan, both 4th Dan Instructors in Okinawa Kobudo Doushi Rensei-kai. They are also 7th Dan Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate practitioners.
The two weapons that were focused on during the seminar at the rokushakubo (six foot staff, known as the “b”) and the sai (dagger-shaped truncheon). Goju-Ryu Karate Namibia teaches traditional Okinawan Karate and the knowledge of weapons is utilised as part of the self-defence system of Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate.
According to Sensei Carl van der Merwe, Okinawan kobud refers to the weapon systems of Okinawan martial arts. These systems can have one to as many as a dozen weapons in their curriculum, among them rokushakubo (six foot staff, known as the “b”), sai (dagger-shaped truncheon), tonfa (handled club), kama (sickle), and nunchaku (chained sticks), but also the tekko (steelknuckle), tinbe-rochin (shield and spear), and surujin (weighted chain). Less common Okinawan weapons include the tambo (short stick), the hanb (middle length staff) and the eku (boat oar of traditional Okinawan design).
He added that the Okinawan kobud should not be confused with the term Kobud, which is described in the article Kory, because the term Kobud refers not to a weapon system but refers to a concept of moral from the feudal Japan.
Meanwhile the Okinawan kobud, okinawa kobud, ryukyu kobud and ryukyu kobujutsu also cover different concepts, and mix system names and geographical names. “It should be noted that Okinawan kobud is strictly the weapon practices of the Okinawa group of islands, with all its diversity in weapons, kata, and technics, not to mention the many federations, masters, and dojos. At the same time, Okinawa kobud was the term coined by Matayoshi Shimpo to describe his own system, while ryukyu kobujutsu similarly designates Taira Shinken’s own system.”
Said Van der Merwe, “likewise, the term ryukyu kobud has been recently (2012) adopted by Shimabukuro Tsuneo to describe the flavour of kobudo developed by Maeshiro Shusei his master. Therefore, all three Okinawa kobud and ryukyu kobujutsu and ryukyu kobud must be understood as subsets of the larger Okinawan kobud family.”
“In fact, below the artificially rigid cover of modern systems and associated names, lies the practical reality of katas, being taught independently, and incorporated into the karateka’s curriculum, through the complex interactions that take place on a small island, among an even smaller group of martial artists,” he added.