Since its development in the Ryukyu Kingdom (today the Japanese prefecture of Okinawa) to the present day, the martial art that we know as “karate” has undergone major changes.

Originally, it consisted of a complete system of traditions, knowledge, methods and highly effective techniques for hand-to-hand combat for the preservation of the life of its practitioners and the people protected by them.

This system, previously transmitted to very few people in secret, started being taught to large groups of students and introduced to the Japanese school system in the early part of the 20th century, becoming one of the most practiced martial arts in the world.

However, much of the original teachings have been distorted, barely passed on to students and future instructors, or even forgotten. As a result, the modern form of karate taught today in most schools is completely different from ancient karate in almost every aspect of the art.

The actual roots of karate can be traced back to Fujian/Chinese-based ‘quanfa’ practices which found their way to Okinawa during its old Ryukyu kingdom period.

The modern interpretation of karate, in its many variations and styles, has evolved in to something quite unlike that which its original pioneers had in mind when first developed.

Ryukyu karate jutsu kobudo stamp image

Ryukyu Karate Jutsu & Kobudo stamp

We believe that a martial art system should be the foundation for a practical, pragmatic system of defensive tactics. Tradition is not about blindly following in the footsteps of the old masters, or even preserving their art as they created it, but rather keeping their spirit alive, and seeking out what they originally sought.

Influenced heavily by Patrick McCarthy’s HAPV (Habitual Acts of Physical Violence) theory we are one of the many practitioners and researchers trying to make a difference by restoring the essence of the old-ways.

We uphold the values and principles of the original purpose of the martial arts; to empower practitioners with the ability to defend themselves, their families and friends, and to foster the development of steadfastness, courage and integrity.

The principal focus of our attention is helping and empowering enthusiastic practitioners and instructors of karate, understand and develop a deeper understanding of their art.

Choki Motobu logo

Karate master Choki Motobu (left)
A Karate Jutsu pioneer

Ryukyu Karate Jutsu is not a new style in the modern sense. It is our interpretation of what karate should be with the sporting element removed. The name "Ryukyu" is used to represent that our karate is based upon 'old-school' (古流 Koryu) tradition and practices. We also use the kanji '唐手' (Tang/China hand) for "To-te" or "Di" instead of the modern term "empty hand" (空手) to represent the Chinese origins of karate. The term "Jutsu" [術] meaning method or art, is used as another differentiator from the modern sport usage of "karate-do.

Karate in Okinawa prior to the 1900's was taught as a way of protecting oneself from civilian attacks and wasn't governed by style as it is today. The main difference in the way we practice and teach our karate, is the underlying philosophy that all our studies are based around the use and creation of techniques and principles used in actual self-protection, rather than used in any sporting context.

Many karate followers view these changes as natural and unavoidable, for them the ancient pragmatic knowledge was unnecessary in the modern world – and the transformation of karate into competitive sport and modern budo would be an inevitable and even a desirable transformation.

Today many practitioners and instructors, simply do not know (or do not care), that the karate they have learned and teach is vastly different from the ancient martial art of Okinawa.

However, not everyone was satisfied with the abandonment of old karate and the original fighting power of the art. Today, karate masters from Okinawa, as well as scholars from around the world, have begun an effort to rediscover the ancient karate.

Many traveled to the region where karate was born, to study the remaining documents and to learn from the local masters. Several of these masters finally decided to openly teach the information, that until relatively recently, was transmitted to very select few, to ensure that their knowledge will not die, and hopefully to reverse the process of dilution that the art has been through.

For today's person interested in the martial arts then, it means that Ryukyu Karate Jutsu is not sports based. In other words, the training does not primarily focus on preparing for competition or tournaments.

Ryukyu Karate Jutsu utilizes punches, strikes, kicks, throws, joint manipulations, strangles, pressure point strikes and ground fighting, derived from the old fighting arts of Chinese origin as handed down to the old masters in Okinawa.

Therefore, Ryukyu Karate Jutsu offers the advanced practitioner a set of tools designed to help them master their art. The beginner will be guided though a system that will help them grow, teach them how to defend themselves and improve their health.

Royal crest of Ryukyu image

Royal crest of Ryukyu

Our mission is to promote and preserve the true essence of the original art of karate and to preserve its Okinawan cultural heritage.

We do not offer insurance, licence books, or get involved in your classes or parent group politics. Our purpose is to simply unite and inform traditional/classical martial artists and help to build new friends.

温故知新 ("On Ko Chi Shin") - study the old, understand the new.

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