Okinawan Martial Arts
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Okinawan Martial Arts
Karate training with Shinpan Gusukuma sensei at Shuri Castle c.1938, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan.

Okinawan martial arts refers to the martial arts, such as karate, tegumi and Okinawan kobud?, which originated among the indigenous people of Okinawa Island. Due to its central location, Okinawa was influenced by various cultures with a long history of trade and cultural exchange, including Japan, China and Southeast Asia, that greatly influenced the development of martial arts on Okinawa.


In 1429, the three kingdoms on Okinawa unified to form the Kingdom of Ryukyu. When King Sh? Shin came into power in 1477, he banned the practice of martial arts. T?-te and Ryukyu kobud? (weaponry) continued to be taught in secret.[1] The ban was continued in 1609 after Okinawa was invaded by the Satsuma Domain of Japan. The bans contributed to the development of kobud? which uses common household and farming implements as weaponry. The Okinawans combined Chinese martial arts with the existing local variants to form T?de (, Tuudii, Tang hand, China hand), sometimes called Okinawa-te (, Uchinaa-dii).[2]

By the 18th century, different types of Te had developed in three different villages - Shuri, Naha and Tomari. The styles were named Shuri-te, Naha-te, and Tomari-te, respectively.

Well into the 20th century, the martial arts of Okinawa were generally referred to as te and tii ? in Japanese and Okinawan for "hand". Te often varied from one town to another, so to distinguish among the various types of te, the word was often prefaced with its area of origin; for example, Naha-te, Shuri-te, or Tomari-te.

Shuri-te, Naha-te and Tomari-te belong to a family of martial arts that were collectively defined as Tode-jutsu or To-de.[3][4]

Karate (Okinawa-te or Karate-jutsu) was systematically taught in Japan after the Taish? era (after 1926).[5]


The genealogy of Shuri-te
Ank? Itosu, often called the "Father of modern karate."

Shuri-te (, Okinawan: Suidii) is a pre-World War II term for a type of indigenous martial art to the area around Shuri, the old capital city of the Ryukyu Kingdom.

Important Okinawan masters of Shuri-te:

Important kata:

The successor styles to Shuri-te include Shotokan, Shit?-ry?, Sh?rin-ry?, Shudokan, Sh?rinji-ry?, Gensei-ryu and Motobu-ry?.


The genealogy of Tomari-te

Tomari-te (, Okinawan: Tumai-dii) refers to a tradition of martial arts originating from the village of Tomari, Okinawa.

Important Okinawan masters of Tomari-te:

Important kata:

The successor styles to Tomari-te include Wado-ryu, Motobu-ry?, Matsubayashi-ryu and Sh?rinji-ry?


The genealogy of Naha-te[]

Naha-te (, Okinawan: Naafa-dii) is a pre-World War II term for a type of martial art indigenous to the area around Naha, the old commercial city of the Ryukyu Kingdom and now the capital city of Okinawa Prefecture.

Important Okinawan masters of Naha-te:

Important kata:

The successor styles to Naha-te include G?j?-ry?, Uechi-ry?, Ry?ei-ry?, Shito-ryu and T?on-ry?.

See also


  1. ^ Okinawan Masters. Retrieved on 2011-06-20.
  2. ^ Higaonna, Morio (1985). Traditional Karatedo Vol. 1 Fundamental Techniques. pp. 18-19. ISBN 0-87040-595-0.
  3. ^ "Tomari-Te: The Place of the Old To-De". Retrieved 2005.
  4. ^ "Koshinrin School of Karate: Katas". Archived from the original on May 17, 2005. Retrieved 2005.
  5. ^ Donn F. Draeger (1974). Modern Bujutsu & Budo. Weatherhill, New York & Tokyo. Page 125.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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