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Matayoshi Kobudo

Yamashita Matayoshi Kobudo

Okinawan Kobudo is the study of “Traditional Weapons.” These weapons were actually once common tools that were used everyday by the people of Okinawa, an island between China and Japan. For 300 years the Okinawan people were not allowed to possess edged weapons, leading to the most refined arts for using common tools for self-defense in the history of the world.

The principles used to master these kobudo “weapons” can be equally applied to use today’s everyday objects for self-defense, as well as teaching one to use common everyday circumstances, situations, and objects in creative, beneficial, productive, non-violent ways to accomplish one’s goals in life--all while being great exercise.

Budo offers two traditions of kobudo: Matayoshi Kobudo and Zen Okinawan Kobudo from the lineage of the head of our style, Master Tadashi Yamashita, as well as several other weapon traditions which are not of Okinawan origin.

Matayoshi Kobudo forms the basis of Budo’s Weapon Arts program. It is an elite Okinawan kobudo style with its own belt ranking progression separate from ones empty-hand rank. It was originally only taught to practitioners with at least a sixth-degree black belt in an empty-hand art.

Matayoshi kobudo was created by Shinko Matayoshi, an Okinawan who grew up with the Okinwawan weapon (kobudo) traditions in the early 1900s, and then spent a large amount of his life being successful pirate in the China Sea and later a Manchurian mounted bandit. During this time, he learned a great deal about practical weapon arts and a large variety of weapons. He later returned to Okinawan and became a prominent member of society and applied his broad and practical weapons knowledge to the traditional Okinawan kobudo weapon to form the elite Matayoshi Kobudo style.

The style is noted for its practical fighting application, and its comprehensiveness (11 weapons are taught in the style – listed below). It is also the only martial arts style authorized to use the Chrysanthemum, the symbol of the emperor of Japan, as its symbol.

The weapons of Matayoshi Kobudo are:
Bo Sai Tonfa
Nunchacku Ieku (Boat Oar) Kama (Sickle)
Kuwa (Hoe) Nunti-Bo
(Fisherman’s Pole)
Timbei (Short Sword and Shield)
Suruchin (Weighted Cord) San Setsu Kun
(3-sectional staff)

All Weapon Arts (Kobudo) at Budo