My Sensei says: <<There's no needs to create amazing things for others ... those who want to know the truth will know how to look and if they have kokoro they will find it!>>


KOJO-RYU KARATE

the famous ghost style of Okinawa


Kojoryu is the encoded karate system probably the oldest existing one, it has influenced several other traditional Okinawan karate lines. With ancient roots of at least 300 years in Chinese chuan-fa (old Shinzanryu), according to the still active masters, it was passed down secretly until the beginning of the 70s through members of the famous clan Kojo​ (becoming Kojoryu).

Although Kojoryu is an ancient style of karate, it is considered by the few masters who really studied it as a fighting system in its own right, which goes beyond karate itself, so much its uniqueness and technical completeness.

Kojoryu is a very combative martial art and includes empty hand kata and kobujutsu kata. If considered as a system it is very complex containing many kata derived from the ancient Chinese chuan-fa and the Okinawan methods after known as Shuri-te, Tomari-te and Naha-te. It is also considered as Kuninda-di, since the Kojo family lived in the Kume village.

While as a proper karate style it's said to be composed of 6 kata that have been transmitted within the only family clan and are unique in the world of karate, as no other karate style has any similarity. These kata are: Tenkan, Kukan, Chikan, Hakko, Hakuryu and Hakkaku. The first 3 kata include 12 kamae-te typical of the style that represent the twelve animals of the zodiac and have particular kyusho applications.
The rich repertoire of atemi-waza, kansetsu-waza, shime-waza and nage-waza, comes from the combination of various techniques roots, in fact it is a fusion of experiences from multiple methods such as Xingyi-quan, Luohan-quan, Hakutsuru-ken, Uchina-di and also Japanese Jujutsu.​

Kojoryu is a style that is still practiced and taught according to the principles of an old family karate, it aims exclusively to the study of the most direct and effective self-defense.



Historical Pills


CAI ZHAO GONG (1656 - 1737) founder of family system
had roots in the 36 Chinese families that lived at Kume village (Kuninda). He was a Wekata of the Ryukyu kingdom, warrior and officier of almanacs. He learned martial arts at the royal palace of the 3rd Kang-Xi Empiror in Beijin (reign 1661 - 1722); after he formulated the first draft of the family tudi system

KOJO SHINUNJO (c. 1780) 1st generation
was a pechin of the Ryukyu kingdom. He was nephew of Kojo Wekata and he learned his tudi system starting to structure the family system; Okinawan people called his system as Kojo-no-Kuninda-Di

KOJO SHOI (1816 - 1906) 2nd generation
learned empty hand, stick and knife techniques and kata in Fujian, especially White Crane Fist style and taught them to the family members enriching the family system, he introduced the 3 high-level kata (Hakko, Hakuryu, Hakkaku)


KOJO TAITEI (1837 - 1917) & ISEI (1832 - 1891) 3rd generation
learned chuan-fa respectively under Waishinzan and Iwah in China, introducing many Hakutsuru-ken kata (as Babulian) and started to call the family system as Shinzanryu; Taitei also introduced the secret Bubishi to Okinawa

KOJO KAHO (1849 - 1925) 4th generation
created the family jo-jutsu kata plus the 3 middle-level empty hand kata (Tenkan, Kukan, Chikan) and started to fuse the family Shinzanryu with the Okinawa-Te

KOJO SAIKYO (1873 - 1941) & SHUREN (1883 - 1945) 5th generation
learned other ryu-ha under Okinawan masters and became experts in Okinawan sumo-jutsu and sai-jutsu, introducting them into the family system

KAFU KOJO (1910 - 1996) 6th generation
also known as Yoshitomi Kojo (1910 - 1996) was the last head master of the Kojoryu karate.
He learned the family system under his grandfather Kaho, his father Saikyo and his uncle Shuren. He learned Sekiguchiryu jujutsu, jukendo and he also was expert in Shorinryu, that learned under his friend Choshin Chibana and Chomo Hanashiro. Around 60s he decided to teach publicly his karate, so he opened his dojo called Shodokan; so he initially changed the name of the system from Shinzanryu 振山流 to Shinzanryu • Shorinryu, but in the '67 he changed the name finally into Kojoryu 湖城流. He accepted about ten of external members including Shingo Hayashi and Seiji Irimaji; his son Shigeru (1934 - 1993) would have been his heir but unfortunately he died prematurely.

SHINGO HAYASHI (1934) is the moral heir of Kojoryu as he was the last student of Kafu. He learned the family system when he worked in Okinawa as dentist starting around 1963. He studied also other martial arts as judo and kendo.  ​He lives in Japan (mainland) and invited many times Kafu Kojo at his home to continue to learn karate. He received authorization by Kafu to open a school there as branch of the Kojo's Kobukan dojo, so Hayashi Sensei opened the Okinawa-den Kojoryu Karate Shodokai and started to teach publicly, but he never had interest in using karate to do business as well as his master, and being very busy with his job he closed the school after a few years. Now he has only 4 students in Japan and teaches to them every week; he currently teaches as Kojoryu the following kata: Naihanchi (sho, ni, san), Paisai (sho, dai), Chinto, Jion, Sesan, Kushanku, Tenkan, Kukan, Chikan, Hakko, Hakuryu and Hakkaku. He never wanted to enter in any organization and he wants to teach in the old way; he is known as kakuri bushi or "hidden warrior" thanks to his humble and gentle charcter, and unattractive to business and vantage.

ANGELO BONANNO (1978)
is currently the only Italian person to have studied under Yabiku Sensei and Hayashi Sensei both original lines of the system, and he continues to deepen, going to Japan every year. On 2015 he was already authorized by Yabiku Sensei through an official letter to teach the system (see below) under the name of his own school Taigishin-kan™.
He now calls his school as Okinawa-den Koyamaryu
™® 沖縄伝 湖山流 (from double nomenclature Kojoryu • Shinzanryu ™®), and he is devoted almost exclusively to following the teachings of Hayashi Sensei, in order to deepen the Kojoryu, and accepting his idea of not releasing ranks and titles in karate as it was in the past, so that the practice is guided only by the desire to constantly improve.


NOTE

TAKAYA YABIKU (1944)is the heir of Shinzanryu Koshinkan as he was the oldest student of Seiji Irimaji. Irimaji Sensei was direct student and senpai of Kafu Kojo and in the 70s founded his dojo named Koshinkan. On 1965 Yabiku met Tatasumi Kojo (son of Kafu) in the same taxi station where he worked, and he was introduced briefly into the family Hakutsuru-ken system. After he went to train under Shigeru Kojo (son of Kafu), starting to practice the family Kuninda-di system, he trained under him for one year until he met Irimaji Sensei and start training under him in Kojoryu. He trained under Irimaji Sensei for twenty-four years, and received the Kyoshi certificate following an examination under the supervision of Kafu Kojo Sensei. Yabiku Sensei also studied others karate styles as Matsumura Seito Shorinryu and Uechiryu receiving teaching licenses; in the early 70s Yabiku Sensei undertook a personal search on the roots of karate and the Hakutsuru-ken method, also going to China. He lives in Okinawa, he received the Ni-Daime certificate (teaching license as second generation) of Shinzanryu Koshinkan by his teacher Irimaji; now he teaches in his own homemade dojo having very few students as tradition. He currently teaches as Shinzanryu the following kata: Pinan (sho, ni), Naifanchi (sho, ni), Paisai (sho, dai), Gojushiho, Chinto, Rohai, Kushanku, Tenkan, Kukan, Chikan, Hakko, Hakkaku, Hakuryu, plus many Hakutsuru-ken forms.


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Taigishin-kan hasn't link with the USA and Australia associations that claim in their names "Kojoryu Koshinkan" (read below) and no with the Italy branch.
Taigishin-kan hasn't link with the Philippines branch of the Okinawa Matsusokan Traditional Karate Association that claims to practice the orignal Shinzanryu.


It is noted that some schools claim to practice Kojoryu as transmitted by Takaya Yabiku Sensei, as their teachers are in possession of teaching license issued by the master himself. As verifiable by historical facts and technical details confirmed by Yabiku Sensei to Prof Bonanno, during his trips to Okinawa and by correspondence took place between the two persons in possession of Bonanno, these teachers have teaching license in Koshinryu* and not Kojoryu.


*The Koshinryu is the style taught at first by Seiji Irimaji Sensei (student of Kafu Kojo), when he opened his own dojo Koshinkan after the closure of the Kojo's dojo; Irimaji Sensei modified the kata of Kojoryu in order to teach publicly. After a short time Irimaji Sensei closed his dojo for personal reasons and he decided to abandon the idea of ​​Koshinryu leaving the school in the hands of his most trusted student, ie Yabiku Sensei, and ordered to him to teach the original Kojoryu kata, using the old Shinzanryu nomenclature, only to people he trust in order to preserve it in time. So the Koshinryu is not the original style of Kojo clan, it is not similar or comparable to Kojoryu, and these teachers can be considered boastful if they declare to practice the original style, and even more that are in possession of Kojoryu diplomas.