Karate Thoughts Blog

Contents   /   Email  /   Atom  /   RSS  /  

1700+ Posts... and Counting

Yamani-Ryu Bojutsu

In the Hikari Dojo, we practice the Kishaba Juku form of Shorin-Ryu. We also practice Yamani-Ryu Bojutsu.

I learned (and am learning) these arts from Professor Katsuhiko Shinzato, who lives in Yonabaru, Okinawa. Shinzato Sensei teaches in a dojo on the second story of his home. He does not run a commercial dojo or organization.

Shinzato Sensei's primary Shorin-Ryu instructors were Sensei Seigi Nakamura and Sensei Chokei Kishaba. His Yamani-Ryu Bojutsu instructor was Sensei Chogi Kishaba. Sensei Chokei Kishaba also was skilled in the use of the bo, kama, and sai. Chokei and Chogi Kishaba are brothers, Chokei Kishaba being the elder of the two. Chogi Kishaba also studied Karate under Chojun Miyagi. Seigi Nakamura, Chokei Kishaba, and Katsuhiko Shinzato also studied the Matsubayashi-Ryu form of Shorin-Ryu under Sensei Shoshin Nagamine.

Chogi Kishaba taught Bojutsu to many instructors who taught the Matsubayashi-Ryu form of Shorin-Ryu. One of these instructors, Sensei Toshihiro Oshiro, moved to the the United States in the 1980s and has popularized Yamanni Chinen-Ryu Bojutsu. I was fortunate to train under Oshiro Sensei at two seminars sponsored here in Hawaii by Sensei Kiyohisa Hirano. I respect his Karate and Bojutsu skills very much. My good friend, Bill Weiss, who lives in San Francisco, also trained under Oshiro Sensei.

There are also other forms of Yamani-Ryu (or Yamanni-Ryu or Yamane-Ryu) taught by various instructors around the world who trace their lineage to the Chinen family.

While respecting other lines, our dojo follows Shinzato Sensei's form of Yamani-Ryu Bojutsu only. We practice three (3) bo kata: Shuji Nu Kun, Sakugawa Nu Kun, and Shirataru Nu Kun. Our emphasis is on function, not appearance. We do not participate in tournaments and thus are not influenced, restricted, or guided by tournament standards or requirements.

In our dojo, Shorin-Ryu and Bojutsu are intimatley woven. The body dynamics of the arts are complimentary. In fact, at an advanced level it could be said our Bojutsu shapes our Shorin-Ryu more than vice versa. Examples of these influences are shown in our methods of body alignment, body shifting, slanting, protecting the centerline (sechusen), and whipping.

I am very grateful to Shinzato Sensei for teaching us Shorin-Ryu and Bojutsu. We should try our very best to improve ourselves in these arts.


Charles C. Goodin