This is my main karate site. Here I will post the new stuff that is going on and keep tabs on my progress as a karate-ka. I will post tournament information and places I will be and dates for all those interested in attending.
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So, since there are many types of karate styles and martial arts styles out there, you may be wondering what kind of karate I am taking...here's a general overlay of the Ryu-Te karate I take.
Karate, in the ancient days of Okinawa, was simply referred to as "Te", (Ti or Di in Okinawan dialect). The only distinction, is that it was sometimes called "Tode" referring to the Tang Dynasty of China. Te became regionalized when it roughly divided into three distinct forms, Shuri-Te, Naha-Te and Tomari-Te. (These were towns located around Shuri Castle.) These weren't names of styles but rather references to distinguish differences in applications, kata and philosophies. It wasn't until the late 1800's to early 1900's that karate took official names to describe or differentiate styles. RyuTe®, as such, is not a specific style but a return to the ancient ways of Okinawa Te through the influences of Tode, Shuri-Te, Naha-Te and Tomari-Te.
Taika Seiyu Oyata began his martial arts training at a very early age as he was exposed to the Okinawan form of Sumo through his father, Kana Oyata. During World War II he received instruction in Iaido, Kendo, and Judo. After World War II, he began training with Uhugushiku-no-tan-mei, a retired officer of the Okinawan government. The Uhugushiku family was noted for their martial art skills and served the Okinawan ruling class for many centuries. Uhugushiku was known as a kakurei bushi, hidden warrior, and did not teach outside of family lines or those with no direct connection to the warrior class of Okinawa.
Uhugushiku introduced Oyata to Wakinaguri, an elderly gentleman who was a descendent of Chinese emissaries sent to Okinawa when it was a tributary state of China. These two gentlemen began to teach Oyata the ancient ways of Okinawan and Chinese martial arts. During this time, karate was taught openly as a public art; however, what Uhugushiku and Wakinaguri taught were arts handed down through their families for generations. Neither Uhugushiku nor Wakinaguri had descendents to whom they could pass their art; therefore, Oyata became the inheritor of this knowledge.
After Uhugushiku and Wakinaguri passed away, Oyata sought other karate masters to continue his training. He joined several research groups, Kenkyu Kai, and trained directly with Shigeru Nakamura founder of Okinawan Kempo. Under Nakamura, Oyata learned the 12 basic empty hand kata that are practiced in RyuTe® today and he helped Nakamura establish Bogu Kumite as the sporting aspect of Okinawan Kempo.
In 1977, Oyata's senior American students at that time, Albert Geraldi, Jim Logue, Greg Lindquist, and Bill Wiswell began to organize within the United States and brought him to Kansas City, Kansas to established the headquarters in America. In 1980, Oyata began to broaden the knowledge of the general martial arts public by introducing the concepts of Tuite and Kyusho Jitsu that have revitalized the way in which karate is taught and studied today.
Initially, Oyata named his organization, Ryukyu Kempo. (This is a term that has often been used to describe karate in Okinawa.) From 1969 until the early 90's Oyata used Ryukyu Kempo as the name of his organization. In the middle 90's Oyata renamed his organization, RyuTe®. This is sort of an acronym that refers to Ryukyu Hand; however, the literal meaning of the kanji is "flowing hand." These kanji were chosen to describe the way in which karate techniques should be performed and to link the style to the Ryukyu Islands.
Oyata refers to RyuTe® as a public art that he and his instructors teach openly. He also teaches the family art he inherited from Uhugushiku and Wakinaguri to a small group of long time students and refers to it as Oyata Shin Shu Ho®.
Taika Seiyu Oyata, founder and head of RyuTe® Renmei and Oyata Shin Shu Ho Ryu® is responsible for introducing Tuite and Kyusho Jitsu to the United States.
He is a descendent of Zana Oyakata, a high ranking official of the Shuri Government before the Satsuma invasion of Okinawa in the early 1600's. Due to his heritage, Taika Oyata received instruction from a direct descendent of the Okinawan Warrior class, Uhugushuku No-Tan-Mei. The Uhugushuku family were retainers of the Okinawan Monarchy serving as guardians for the Shuri Kingdom, a relationship dating back before the 14th Century. Uhugushuku was known as a "hidden warrior", meaning he did not teach "public" karate and reserved his teachings to warrior class descendents.
Under Uhugushuku's tutelage, Taika Oyata learned the principles of weapons fighting, weapons kata and theory of technique. Uhugushuku introduced Taika Oyata to Wakinaguri a descendent from the ancient Chinese families sent to Okinawa as emissaries. Wakinaguri continued to instruct Taika Oyata in the principles of ancient martial arts. After the deaths of Uhugushuku and Wakinaguri, Taika Oyata trained with Shigeru Nakamura and other famous Okinawan Martial Arts Instructors.
In Okinawa, Taika Oyata's dojo was located in Makiminato, Urasoe where many US servicemen trained. In 1968 his visited the United States for a short period and returned in 1977 where he established his organization in Independence, Mo. There are RyuTe dojo's in 26 states, Japan, Israel and Poland. Taika Oyata is best known for introducing Tuite and Kyusho Jitsu to the United States and travels through the US and the world presenting seminars and clinics.