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Kotaro Iha

Kotaro Iha is president of RyuKonKai Kobudo Association, Kodan (9th degree black belt). He was born on February 12. 1939 and first started training in Shorin Ryu Karate in May 1958 under Chibana Chosin.
  • February 1961, he began training under Higa Yochuku
  • May 1961, he began bo under Tamai Shigenobu
  • May 1968, he began training nunchaku, sai and kama under Ishikawa Iloei
  • January 1970, he began training bo and sai under Toma Shiko
  • March 1971, he began training bo under Izumikawa Kantoku
  • March 1972, he began training eku under Kinjo Takasha and in July, bo under Tawata Shinchin
He trained under several great masters and is an expert on many weapons, particularly the bo. In 1974 he opened his first dojo at his house in Gushikawa City, Okinawa. In June 1981, he founded the Ryukonkai, the Ryukyu Kobudo association and was appointed the President of the Association.

Encounters with Karate

Iha Sensei was interested in combative sports when he was small, and when he was in high school, he joined the Judo club at school and also started practicing Judo at a private dojo in town. Iha Sensei, however, had to suffer a lot in his efforts to win because there was no classification according to weight and he was rather small in physique. After graduation from high school, he decided to take up karate because he thought that karate would give him a fair chance of winning despite his physique. He soon found out, however, that even in karate one with finer and bigger physique could have an advantage over a smaller opponent. The further thinking made him decide to take up kobudo, as kobudo (Especially the bo) could really give anyone a fair chance of winning irregardless of his/her physical condition through the use of weapons. Iha Sensei has been fascinated by the bo ever since then.