What is Ryukyu Kempo?
Ryukyu Kempo is a unique style of Okinawa-te created by Master Shigeru Nakamura. Master Nakamura studied variations of three main Okinawan styles of life protection (Shuri-te, Tomari-te, and Naha-te) from several Okinawan masters throughout his life.
The name “Ryukyu Kempo” was first used by Gishen Funikoshi in 1922 to describe Okinawa te. In 1974 three senior students of Master Seiyu Oyata (student of Shigeru Nakamura); Bill Wiswell (RIP), Jim Logue (RIP), and Albert Geraldi adopted the name Ryukyu Kempo to set up and establish this system in the United States.
Today Ryukyu Kempo has proliferated world wide, unfortunately there are multiple variations that have spun off of the original (authentic) version of the style.
Atemi Jitsu. These techniques when executed correctly, are disarming strikes applied with speed against an assailant. The purpose is to stun and temporarily disorient one's opponent with the intent to set up a more disabling technique to eliminate further attack.
Kyoshu Jitsu. These strikes are used against specific anatomic points with the intent to incapacitate or disable an opponent beyond the ability to continue their attack. Kyoshu techniques should not be confused as pressure point fighting.
Tuite jitsu. Advanced grappling techniques used with the intent to control or disable an attacker with crippling force if necessary. Tuite techniques leverage the weakness found in all human bodies by applying pressure on various nerves, tendons, and ligaments.
Kobudo. "The old way". Kobudo is the weapon art of the Ryukyu Kingdom. The most common weapons were developed throughout the nineteenth century during the repressive feudal times when the Okinawan kingdom was disarmed by the Japanese occupation. Bo, jo, tonbo, nunte bo, eiku, sai, manji sai, chizikunbo, nunchuku, and tonfa. However, there are some historical references pointing to the study of the sword throughout the our lineage up to and including Oyata Sensei.
Bogu Kumite is unique to Ryukyu Kempo. Developed by Shigeru Nakamura in 1960 and introduced to the Okinawa-te federation as a tournament sparring event. Bogu was created for the purpose of full contact sparring using special protective gear that forces the practitioner to utilize proper technique. As a training tool it will challenge one's will and character in a stressed induced, safe, and controlled environment which prepares Ryukyu Kempo practitioners for real life protection.
*Additional References and resources:
- Kerr, George H. Okinawa, the History of an Island People. Charles E. Tuttle Company. (1965). p. 40.
- Wieger, L. Chinese Characters. Dover Publications, Inc. (1965). pp. 441, 288.
- Nishiyama, Hidetaka & Brown, Richard C. Karate: The Art of Empty Hand Fighting. Charles E. Tuttle Company. (1959). p.16
- Funakoshi, Gichin. Karate-Do My Way of Life. Kodansha International. Ltd. (1975). p. 36.
- Funakoshi, Gichin. Karate-Do Kyohan. Kodansha International Ltd. (1973). p. 7.
- Motobu, Choki. Okinawa Kempo: Karate-Jutsu on Kumite. Choki Motobu/Ryukyu Imports, Inc. (1926/1977). p. 15.
- So, Doshin. Shorinji Kempo – Philosophy and Techniques. Japan Publications Trading Co. (1974). p. 22.
- Higa, Teruyuki. Master Shigeru Nakamura and the History of Okinawa Kenpo Karate. http://www.okinawakenpokarate.com/history.asp.(2015).
- Geraldi, Albert O. The Timeline of Documented Events of the Development of Ryukyu Kempo. www.ryukyu-kempo.org/#!time-line/c1yql. (2014).
- Oyata, Seiyu. Ryu-te Renmei. http://www.ryute.com. (2015).
- Miyagi, Chojun. Historical Outline of Karate-Do, Martial Arts of Ryukyu