Okinawa Kenpo Karate and Kobudo
Okinawa Kenpo Grandmasters
1472 - 1522 Naha Bushi Sakiyama
1522- 1574 Wakudano Sakiyama
1574 - 1623 Senkgi Kuniyoshi
1623 - 1676 Kamere Sakiyama
1676 - 1724 Tokishi Migi
1724 - 1778 Shiquro Nakamura
1778 - 1823 Togen Tsuha
1823 - 1871 Totsuki Miagi
1871 - 1925 Toyei Tsuha
1925 - 1969 Shigeru Nakamura
1969 - present Taketo Nakamura
In additon to his family's martial art, Shigeru Nakamura studied karate under Shinkichi Kuniyoshi for ten years and inherited the Sakiyama/Kuniyoshi Tomari-Te system on his death at the age of seventy-five. Kuniyoshi was a student of Kitoku Sakiyama. Sakiyama had studied chinese kenpo under a Chinese Imperial Guard stationed in Okinawa. Because of his aptitude for Chinese martial arts, he was invited to study at the Chinese Royal Military Academy in Fukien Province.
Sakiyama studied for over five years under the tutelage of Lau Loon Kon, the chief martial arts instructor at the Chinese Royal Military Academy. When he returned to Okinawa, Sakiyama settled in Tomari Village and taught Chinese Kenpo. Kuniyoshi trained for many years under Sakiyama and was appointed head of the system at Sakiyama's death.
A foolishly youthful, Shigeru Nakamura challeged the sixty year-old Kuniyoshi to a duel. He knocked out Shigeru with one punch. A humbled Nakamura asked to be accepted as a student. When Shigeru Nakamura inherited Kuniyoshi's Tomari-te system, he synthesized his family martial art with Kuniyoshi's Tomari-Te. This was a natural evolution due to their Chinese martial arts foundations and technical similarities.
Information Source: Okinawa Kenpo Karate and Kobudo, The Legacy of Shigeru Nakamura - Author: Howard Webb
Early History of Okinawa Kenpo
Okinawa Kenpo Karate and Kobudo is the oldest documented form of Okinawan karate. It immigrated from China to Okinawa in the 7th Century; then, known as kempo, it was only taught to members of the Okinawan royal family. In 1472, Naha Bushi Sakiyama decided to teach students outside of the royal family. To ensure that his lineage would stay true to it's roots, Sakiyama created a scroll to document the system's consecutive grandmasters. The scroll exists today in possession of the Nakamura family in Okinawa.
The Sakiyama Scroll is one of a few Okinawan artifacts to survive World War II. In preparation for war, the Japanese government collected all known Okinawan artifacts and stored them in Shuri Castle for safe keeping. During the invasion of Okinawa. Shuri Castle was destroyed and along with it the stored artifacts. Grandmaster Shigeru Nakamura did not trust the Japanese to keep his family's scroll safe. Consequently, he hid the scroll in a cave in northern Okinawa.
Currently, two copies of the Sakiyama scroll exist outside of the Nakamura family's possession. Sensei Nick Flores was awarded a copy of the scroll by the Nakamura family for his dedication to Okinawa Kenpo. Sensei Flores was the primary American student of Sensei Seikichi Odo, Gramdmaster Nakamura's most skilled student. Our Executive Director, Howard Webb, was awarded a copy of the scroll by Sensei Flores for his dedication to the martial art.