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Shinpo Matayoshi

Shimpo Matayoshi 1921 - 1997

Modern Kobudo was founded by Shinko Matayoshi (1888-1947), born in the Naha region from a wealthy family. His kobudo training began in his early teens and included kobujutsu, kamajutsu, ekujutsu, tonfajutsu and nunchakujutsu.

At the age of 22, he ventured into Machuria by way of northern Japan. There he joined a team of mounted bandits and learned several other weapon arts, including the bow and arrow, all from horseback, baking them unique from other Okinawan Kobujutsu styles. Later, after returning to Okinawa, he traveled to Fuchow and Shanghai, where he learned even more weapons arts in addition to acupuncture and herbal medicine.

Shinpo Matayoshi (1922-1997), Hanshi 10th Dan, son of Shinko, started his martial arts training at the age of eight under Chotoku Kyan. Upon his father's return in 1934, began to train in karate and kobudo under his father's tutelage. In 1935, he began studying with Gokenki, learning the same Hakutsuru (White Crane Chaun' fa) that his father had been taught. Upon his father's death, he continued the legacy and assumed the teaching responsibilities. In 1970, he formed the All Okinawa Kobudo Federation (Zen Okinawa Kobudo Renmei) and until his untimely death in 1997 was the technical adviser for all Okinawan Kobudo styles. He was also one of the last surviving students to learn rare Hakutsuru directly from an authentic Chinese master. In his travels demonstrating his unique style of Kobudo, he was constantly besieged to deminstrate Hakutsuru, which he never taught openly to anyone. His knowledge of the elusive Crane was unparalleled.