Okinawan Kobudo Styles

This list of Okinawan Kobudo styles comprises of dojos that were founded in the Ryukyu’s. It does not include branch systems and styles formulated outside of Okinawa.

Just like karate, Okinawan kobudo styles didn’t strictly emerge on the island until the wake of WWII. Prior to this period a number of ‘family traditions’ existed, though they most likely weren’t labeled as such until more recent times.

The Okinawan Kobudo commonly seen in dojos and performances developed during the early to mid eighteenth century and corresponds with a time when the kazuza (warrior nobility) were encouraged to migrate from the capital of Shuri. Many returned to their ancestral domains or to become frontier landowners in the outer islands where they engaged in cash-crop production such as sugarcane and sweet potatoes.

In an attempt to enrich and bond with the farm and village communities in their wards many kazuza introduced aspects of their ancestral ‘Ti’, blended with the more fashionable Chinese styled weapons of the time, into the choreography of several weapon dances.

Although a number of karate dojo teach aspects of kobudo in their curriculum, as too do a few Okinawan kobudo styles incorporate some karate training into theirs, this list comprises dojo where weaponry is the predominant practice.

List of Okinawan Kobudo Styles

Style Name Kanji Founder
Honshu ryu 本心流 (?) Miyagi Masakazu
Yamane ryu 山根流 Chinen Masami
Uhuchiku kobudo ryu ??古武道流 Kanagusuku Sanda
Ryukyu kobudo 琉球古武道 Yabibu Moden
Matayoshi kobudo 又吉古武道 Matayoshi Shinko