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Instructor: Sensei Doug Cowan

Class Times
8:30 P.M. Every 2nd Thursday part of regular 7:30 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. karate class.
Tuesdays at 6:30 P.M. to 7:15 P.M.

Bo training for (6th) green belts and up
Current Teen/Adult class member

It is important that your karate basics be in place before beginning bo training. During class, we will be learning bo handling, basic strikes and blocks, and kata. On Tuesdays, we will also learn basic bunkai and kumibo (the kobudo equivalent of kumite).

Three elementary bo kata will be tested at brown belt level:
3rd kyu, Ufugusuku no kon, similar to one of the empty-hand kihons
Ufugusuku no kon.pdf
2nd kyu, Shushi no kon sho
1st kyu, Choun no kon sho, a kata developed specifically for Yamanni-ryu.

History of Yamanni-ryu Bo
Like karate, there are a number of different styles of kobudo. We are learning the Yamanni-ryu style, which is very fluid, fast, and complements our Shorin-ryu style of karate extremely well. One of the leading proponents of the style in North America, Toshihiro Oshiro, believes that bo training deepens one’s study and understanding of both kobudo and karate. Indeed, he considers bo and karate like a bicycle, “the two wheels of Okinawan karate.”

Relatively little is known about the precise history of Yamanni-ryu kobudo, but it is traditionally understood as passing from To-de Sakugawa (1733-1815) to Soken Matsamura (1809-1901), then to Sanryo (Sanda) Chinen, who passed the art to his son, Masami Chinen (1898-1976), who founded the Yamanni-ryu style. Although the style was thought to be lost, it was preserved by Chogi Kishaba Sensei.

Compared to other styles, Yamanni-ryu is regarded by many as a very advanced version of bo handling. Rather than staying locked in place, for example, as they to in other styles, in Yamanni-ryu the hands slide along the bo, changing positions and generating tremendous power. Like Shorin-ryu karate, the power in bo strikes and blocks comes from this fluidity and, as always, from the hips.

Although the Yamanni-ryu style has a very long history in Okinawa, it has only recently been brought to North America. We are very lucky to train at NTS each year with excellent kobudo teachers such as Kaoru Tsumori Sensei and Takafumi Nakayama Sensei. Tsumori Sensei is the head of our kobudo style for Okinawa, while Takafumi Sensei’s father, Nakayama Sensei, is head of the Yamanni-ryu style in Japan. Sensei Roy Paul has the honour to head the style in Canada.

To get a great sense of the Yamanni-ryu style and its possibilities, check out this video of Takafumi sensei (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcO5MZe7xe0). He is performing a free form mixture from a number of the Yamanni-ryu kata.

Why I Enjoy Training with the Bo
I was introduced to the bo shortly after I began training in Shorin-ryu and took to it immediately. I feel that it has definitely helped my karate, mostly because it has forced me to pay closer attention to the basics: foot placement, transition between stances, relaxation between techniques, and generating power from the hips. I like to teach bo because a lot of people seem to think it’s something they can’t do, and I love to see them realize that they can. Realizing possibility is a huge part of the martial arts for me. Sensei Doug Cowan