KobudoKobudo is the indigenous Okinawan art of weaponry. Okinawans have a unique tradition of sophisticated fighting techniques using common household and agricultural objects. Though people have been hitting each other with things since the dawn of time, cultured Kobudo really began around 1507 when King Sho Shin banned weapons. Thereafter, in 1609 when the Japanese invaded Okinawa and enslaved the nation,"makeshift" weapons became a priority.
The Okinawan Kobudo practiced at Sho-Rei-Shobu-Kan is Matayoshi Kobudo created by Master Matayoshi Shinko in the early 20th century and continued by his family in Naha, Okinawa. Since the 1920's, the Matayoshi system has had a strong relationship with the Goju-Ryu system, as both systems compliment each other. This system has a strong Chinese influence, which came about from Master Matayoshi's travels, formal weapons training and through his participation in actual combat. Overall, the movements in the Matayoshi system are more relaxed and flowing, with both linear and circular strikes forming a smooth, fluid application with stances designed for very quick and light movements. The system incorporated 13 different weapons with great emphasis placed on the bo (6' staff). The founding Masters' principles are based upon a thorough knowledge of the purpose and origin of each weapon, with a specific ordering of the learning of each weapon to facilitate growth and application.
Kobudo fits very well with the empty-hand arts and can round out a student's martial training. One of the traditional Okinawan principles is that Kobudo should be viewed not only as an art of self defense, but also serve as a means of obtaining and maintaining inner peace.