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By Jikishin Kobudo, Jun 22 2016 11:15AM

The Shodokan dojo of Seiko Higa is one of the most important in the history of Okinawan martial arts. For some this was the spritual centre of the renewal of Okinawan martial arts following the anhilation of Okinawa by America during World War 2. Seiko Higa (1898-1966) became known as the Master of Naha-Te and the list of Masters who trained and taught at the Shodokan is extensive.


One of these is Master Shinpo Matayoshi, who following his return to the island from Japan, lived in the Shodokan for a period whilst he got his family back on their feet. Matayoshi Shinpo was greatly respected because of his father and also because of his own martial arts skill and knowledge. He became an imposing figure seen around the Shodokan through his sheer ability and affable character.


Master Matayoshi made musical instruments as a way of providing his family a living, but he also began to teach martial arts. He taught Kobudo at the Shodokan dojo, but not as many believe under the authority of Higa Sensei. They were family friends and Matayoshi Sensei hired the dojo from Higa in order to deliver instruction.


This image shows Matayoshi Sensei with a young Tetsuhiro Hokama, posing in the Shodokan with Kobudo weapons.



By Jikishin Kobudo, Jul 21 2015 11:21AM

Matayoshi Shinpo wrote no textbooks instructing people in the techniques he taught. However, the organisation that he led during the second half of the twentieth century has. The Zen Okinawa Kobudo Renmei was begun on 15th May 1973 to help expand and develop in 'friendly relationships' the art of Okinawan Kobudo as taught by Matayoshi Shinpo Soke.


The sixteen petal chrysanthemum logo was chosen for the organisation since it is a symbol that represents plentifulness and is a symbol of good luck to the people of Okinawa. This textbook explains the reasons for the formation of the Renmei and explains how it began. Its members are obliged to preserve the techniques of their ancestors and for that reason none of the techniques in this book have been subject to adaptation or change from how they were originally taught. It is good that this book exists, created equally by several masters of Kobudo and under scrutiny of each other.


Though all of Matayoshi Sensei's students had different training experiences and now teach in diverse ways, this book perhaps represents the most reliable consensus of what Matayoshi Sensei communicated and what he wanted the world to learn, remember, protect and promote with pure hearts and diligent souls.


By Jikishin Kobudo, Sep 15 2013 11:00AM

2013 is the 125th anniversary of the birth of the renowned Kobudo master Shinko Matayoshi, father of Shinpo Matayoshi.


Shinko Matayoshi was born in the same year as John Logi Baird (Inventor of the television), Lawrence of Arabia and Irving Berlin (leading 20th century songwriter). For Okinawan martial artists, his influence and legacy are comparable.




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