What is Ryukyu Kempo?
The RyuKyu's are a small chain of islands located between Japan and China. The largest and most famous of these islands is Okinawa. Because of their strategic location as trading center for both China and Japan, the Ryukyus were greatly influenced by both the Chinese and Japanese cultures.
RyuKyu Kempo is a system of martial arts that has roots in both; the Okinawan "TE" (HAND) system and the Chinese Kempo (FIST WAY). Thus RyuKyu Kempo is a blend of the old Okinawan and Chinese martial arts. The uniqueness of RyuKyu Kempo can be seen in the "hard style" training with power and emphasis on makiwara training.
What makes RyuKyu Kempo Different?
Tuite Jitsu (grab hand)
Kyusho Jitsu (nerve point manipulation)
Ryukyu Kempo versus today's sport Karate:
RyuKyu Kempo is the study of a real Martial Art. This simply means that a person can study RyuKyu Kempo from the time you are a small child until you have grown old with age. It is a life long study of Kata and Self Defense that will not change with a persons age.
Sport Karate usually teaches specific techniques that will win in most non contact style tournaments. This includes many spinning and flying kicks that will not work against a street wise fighter. These techniques can be useful, but, it should be emphasized that they are not real self defense techniques. Sport Karate also teaches a student to be aggressive in his manner similar to a boxer, because it is needed to win tournaments.
The History of Taika Oyata
Taika Oyata's family lineage dates back to the Zana family, which was a Bushi family in Shuri, Okinawa. His ancestor Zana Oyakata (Oyakata is title) was the King's scholar. When Japan invaded Okinawa around 1609, the Shuri King was captured and the Zana family head resisted and was killed. The Japanese also required the family to change their name to Sinda which means Death. Years later the family name was changed to Ikemiyagusiku and eventually became Oyata.
Taika's father was the middleweight Sumo champion of all Okinawa. When he was young, he and the rest of the Sumo team challenged all comers in Okinawa. Kana Oyata was the strongest man on the team and won the competion for his native island. Taika was the fourth son of Kana Oyata and the youngest. His three brothers Taro, Kiseii and Akio were killed in the second World War, He, also fought during the war and was commissioned a lieutenant in the Japanese Navy. If the war continued a few months longer, Taika Oyata would have joined his brothers in death because he had been selected for a suicide (torpedo) mission, his death certificate had already been sent to his remaining family. As a part of training in the Navy, Taika was required to train in Iado (art of the sword), this is where Taika got his introduction to Martial Arts. When the war ended Taika returned to Okinawa and continued his studies of the martial arts. About this time he started a job working for the US government delivering food to the smaller islands. Food was not readily available and there was much starvation on the islands. Taika Oyata was stationed in the village of Termu where at age 17, He met Uhugusiku No Tan Mei who was from a Bushi Family that resided in Shuri. Uhugusiku No Tan Mei was about 93 years old at the time of their meeting. Because Taika Oyata had royal blood in his ancestry he was allowed to study under Master Uhugusiku. Taika Oyata took extensive weapons training from Master Uhugusiku, learning many aspects of the indigenous weapons of Okinawa.
Taika was also introduced to Master Wakinaguri who as a Chinese Martial Artist and was also a Bushi warrior. Master Wakinaguri was asked to teach Taika the art of vital point striking and pressure point striking, techniques for which Master Wakinaguri was renowned. When Taika Oyata met him he noticed that all the fingers on Master Wakinaguri's hands were the same lenght. This was due to many years of training by thrusting his hands into pumice.
Taika Oyata was Master Uhugusiku's only student, at the time, He considered Taika a family member calling him "Mago" which is Okinawan for grandson and teaching him more than he would have a regular student. After the deaths of his previous instructors, Taika joined an analytical research group along with Master Nakamura and trained with Master Uehara. He was accepted as an instructor/student in Master Nakamura's Dojo becuase he had studied from Uhugusiku No Tan Mei. From Master Nakamura, Taika learned the tweleve empty hand kata he now teaches to his present students. Taika worked with Master Uehara (Motobu Ryu) on weapons and was a training partner.
Through the years, Taika has constantly analyzed the kata and the human body. He developed his own style of tuite that wasn't dependent of strength but of execution of technique.