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

          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.  


Early History of Okinawa Kenpo