Guardians of Ryukyu Motobu Ryu 2019
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In 1429, the three kingdoms in Okinawa were unified to form the Kingdom of Ryukyu. Fifty years later, when King Shō Shin came into power in 1477, the practice of any kind of martial arts was banned. From that moment on, Tō-te and Ryukyu kobudō (weaponry) had to be taught in secret amongst the Ryukyuan people.
The guardians of the King however, continued to be trained in the various aspects of the modern martial arts we know to date (Karate Jutsu, Aikijujutsu, Kyusho Jutsu, …) and many other special techniques that were only conveyed to them in the confines of the palace, as was the case for the Motobu Udun Ti style. As a secret bujutsu of the Ryukyu royal family, Motobu Udun Ti was handed down through the generations of the Motobu family, transmitted in secret from father to eldest son. These techniques were kept utmostly secret and even family members were not permitted to observe the training. For that reason, the very existence of the art, not to mention its technical curriculum, has been little known to the world.
Hubert Sensei says about this style: “In Motobu Ryu there are many principles that are based on natural movements. Let’s start with the fact that Motobu Ryu in general does not have a blocking technique. The well-known basic movement (“one-two”) does not exist and the attacks are quick and simple. The warriors are in constant motion. They breathe normally as in daily life. They do not use special breathing techniques.
After years of experience, the warriors reach such a level that it is no longer necessary to think. During a fight there is no room for emotions and feelings. Because when you think about something and feel anger or other emotions, you make a decision with your heart. If you reflect then the movements stop because you think first and then move, so you get the movement (“one-two”).
The Motobu Ryu warriors do not show any style, no “telegraphic” movements, the absence of Kamae. They just move, come and go, the opponents find it very difficult to recognize a concrete form because it just does not exist. In the majority of martial arts, the usual situations are one-on-one combat. The warriors of Motobu Ryu always imagine that they are against 3-4-5 opponents, and that’s how they train.”
Hubert Laenen Sensei has the honor to train for more than 15 years directly in the Honbu Dojo of the Motobu Ryukyu Kobujutsu Moidi – Shiroma Ha in Okinawa, now led by the super talented Yagi Kansho (9th Dan), and was for several years Uchi Desi (inliving student in the house of Shiroma Sensei).
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