Seikichi Odo

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Seikichi Odo
Born (1926-07-26)July 26, 1926
Okinawa, Japan
Died March 24, 2002(2002-03-24) (aged 75)
Okinawa, Japan
Residence Okinawa Prefecture Japan
Style Okinawan Kenpō Karate, Kobudo
Teacher(s) Koho Kuba, Mitsuo Kakazu, Kenko Nakaima, Shimpo Matayoshi, Seiki Toma, Nakamura Shigeru
Rank      10th degree red belt in Okinawan Kenpō Karate

Seikichi Odo (July 26, 1926 - March 24, 2002), whose name means "world walker" in Japanese, was born in Okinawa. He combined kobudō and karate techniques to found the Ryūkyū Hon Kenpo Kobujutsu Federation. His teacher, Nakamura Shigeru introduced the use of bōgu (protective equipment) for full contact sparring.


Of samurai descent, he was small in stature and introverted as a youth. At age 9 Odo began his martial arts training in judo. At age 13 Odo met Koho Kuba of Kawasaki, Okinawa. Kuba taught Odo the art of Okinawa-te. At the age of 20, Odo began to study Okinawan kobudō. He studied weapons arts diligently to ensure the preservation of the old ways. Odo's kobudō instructors included many of the leading practitioners of Okinawa, such as Mitsuo Kakazu, Kenko Nakaima, Shimpo Matayoshi and Seiki Toma. At 23 Odo began to study karate under Shigeru Nakamura.[1] Odo studied both kobudō (with Mitsuo Kakazu) as well as karate and kobudō with Seiki Toma, who was a student of Zenpo Shimabukuro who was taught by Chōtoku Kyan (1870–1945). Odo considered Nakamura as his primary instructor as well as mentor.

Okinawan kenpo is a term that dates back to the beginning of the 20th century. It is often used as a generic term to describe all of the Okinawan karate styles. During the early 1950s this term came into use to describe a particular style, the karate being taught by Shigeru Nakamura.[1]

Shigeru Nakamura[edit]

Nakamura was born on Jan. 20, 1894. His karate training started whilst in attendance of Icchu Middle School in Shuri. It was here that both Kanryo Higashionna (1845–1915) and Chomo Hanashiro (1830–1945) were the karate instructors. Yasutune Itosu (1830–1915) as well as Kentsu Yabu (1863–1937) also made visits to the school. After middle school, Nakamura returned to Nago city where he trained under Shinkichi Kuniyoshi. In 1953, Nakamura opened his own dojo in Nago city and called his form of karate "Okinawa kenpo".

Odo took over teaching in the dojo as Nakamura aged. Nakamura asked Odo to incorporate the kobudō with karate teachings. Odo incorporated these in the mid 1970s. In July 1983, Odo restructured the Okinawa Kenpo Karate-Kobudō Association, renaming it the Okinawa Kenpo Karate Kobudō Federation. In 1998 to ease derisiveness, Odo changed the federation name to the Ryūkyū Hon Kenpo Kobujutsu Federation. Odo's Ryūkyū Hon Kenpo Kobujutsu Federation teaches a total of 50 kata; 20 open hand forms and 30 weapons kata.

As Odo said, "You keep, keep my kata straight".

Bogu Kumite[edit]

Bogu Kumite (防具組手) is a form of armored training used in some Okinawan kempo styles of karate. The origin of this unique training approach is credited to Shigeru Nakamura. Shorin-ryu, Chito-ryu, Isshin-ryu, Shorinji-ryu and Nippon Kempo also employ this training method.

Bogu Kumite is a rough, full contact training method in which the participants are discouraged from using feints and jabs and are expected to throw full-power blows. Rules vary between practitioners, but a generally accepted norm is to only count strikes that would incapacitate the opponent, had they not been wearing the gear. Hits must land on the gear and on the steel cage of the mask.


Bogu gear is made of pieces analogous to those of kendo bogu.

Men- steel cage mask (or heavy clear plastic) that covers the anterior and lateral head, with an opening in back. It extends to the neck to provide a degree of control during heavy impacts. Kumite men usually have shorter neck pieces since they do not usually need to stop the heavy blows to the clavicle as with kendo armor.

Kote- padded gloves, often of the Kempo variety with finger articulations.

Do- semi-rigid chest protector made with several padded plates of various materials such as heavy plastic or light metals sewn into it.

Participants also usually wear a groin protector, elbow pads and shin protectors as with other karate training methods.

Kenpo Kata[edit]

  • naihanchi shodan
  • naihanchi nidan
  • naihanchi sandan
  • pinan shodan
  • pinan nidan
  • pinan sandan
  • pinan yondan
  • pinan godan
  • wansu
  • seisan
  • ananku
  • niseishi
  • passai
  • kusanku
  • Chintō
  • Gojūshiho ichi (koryū Gojūshiho)
  • Gojūshiho ni (Gojūshiho chu)
  • sanchin
  • hakutsuru ichi (kenirotsuru)
  • hakutsuru ni (hakutsuru)

Bo Kata[edit]

  • shihonuke
  • choun no kun
  • suiyoshi no kun ichi
  • suiyoshi no kun ni
  • tsuken akacho no nunte bo
  • tsuken akacho no eiku bo
  • shima igiri bo ichi
  • shima igiri bo ni
  • sakagawa no kun ichi
  • sakagawa no kun ni
  • tokumine no kun ichi
  • tokumine no kun ni
  • ko bo

Other Weapon Kata[edit]

  • Matayoshi notonfa ichi
  • Matayoshi no tonfa ni
  • Nakamura no sai
  • Kyan no sai
  • Matayoshi no sai ichi
  • Matayoshi no sai ni
  • Chatan yara sai
  • Matayoshi no nunchaku
  • Matayoshino kama ichi
  • Matayoshino kama ni
  • Miyazato no tekko
  • Kakazu no tekko

Bo Kumite[edit]

  • Kinjo no Bo tai Bo kumite
  • Nakamura no Bo tai Sai kumite
  • Kakazu no Bo tai Tonfa kumite
  • Kakazu no Bo tai Kama kumite
  • Kinjo no Bo tai timbe kumite


  • Mae
  • Ushiro
  • Uke nagashi
  • Tsuke ate
  • Kesa giri
  • Morote zuki
  • Sampo giri
  • Gammen ate
  • Soete tsuki
  • Shiho giri


  1. ^ a b Bishop, Mark (1999). Okinawan Karate. p. 114. ISBN 978-0-8048-3205-2.