Ryukyu Kempo Tode-jitsu


ryukyu kempoThe martial art of the Ryukyu Islands (Okinawa) developed in private and in secret, and was not available to the public. Then, in the early part of the 20th century, karate (as it later came to be called) was presented in a sanitized and watered-down version by teachers who were accustomed to keeping things secret, and not at all inclined to share much of what they knew.

As a result, what was once a fearsome fighting art, is today largely a children’s pursuit. Eight year old “black belts” proudly pose beside trophies taller than they, while parents watch and applaud. But, the karate these children learn is little different than the jazz/tap/ballet taught in the dance school down the street. Meanwhile, the old masters continued to guard their secrets, while time threatened the old knowledge with extinction.

However, to protect their secrets from being lost, a very few masters choose to share more openly what had been for so long guarded jealously. What they shared was the old fighting art, the original martial art of Okinawa. Known as Ryukyu kempo (an almost generic name), this art might be referred to as “Karate from when karate was still karate.”

Though it outwardly resembles the martial endeavor practiced by so many in the world today, Ryukyu kempo is a powerful and effective self-defense system, that uses familiar karate movements in surprising and devastating ways.

At the heart of Ryukyu kempo pratice is the thorough understanding of kata. Kata are patterns of solo movement which contain fighting secrets passed down from the past. By analyzing the kata, once-hidden pressure point fighting techniques are brought to light. These secrets are then practiced in partner training to ensure that that ancient knowledge becomes modern reflex.

 

 

Ryukyu kempo has no sporting or competitive aspect. Practitioners do not care about trophies and do not train for tournaments. Instead, they train ancient warrior disciplines in order to become warriors for a modern world. This includes, not only having skills that can be used to defend oneself and others, but, acquiring through hard training, the inner steel to face all of life’s challenges.

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Chris Thomas is highly regarded not only as a martial arts expert but also as an expert teacher. Widely known for his thorough instruction, Thomas is recognized as one who does not hold back but provides as much knowledge as possible. However, gaining direct access to Chris Thomas and his teaching has always been difficult, and those who have managed consider themselves fortunate. But now, you can have unprecedented access to one of the martial arts’ truly great teachers by subscribing to Masterclass.

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