History of Yamanni Chinen-Ryu Bojutsu


Many of the major modern Okinawan-based bojutsu styles have their roots in Yamanni-ryu, with their founders getting at least some training with Yamanni-ryu masters. As such, many kata, or prearranged fighting sets, of various styles share the same names as Yamanni-ryu kata. And though their sequences are similar, the individual techniques and body dynamics are very different and, arguably, much less sophisticated. Unlike other modern Okinawan kobudo styles, which have become mainstream as a result of successful efforts to propagate them, Yamanni-ryu had remained relatively secretive and guarded. Recently, however, through the efforts of the current grandmaster, Chogi Kishaba, and his premiere student, Toshihiro Oshiro, the style has been gaining widespread exposure around the world. In recent times, other traditional Okinawan weapons, such as the sai, tonfa, kama, and nunchaku have been incorporated into the system; the philosophy for manipulating these weapons is very similar to that used for the bo--namely, techniques should almost always be large and flowing.


Yamanni Chinen-ryu takes its name from the Chinen family, which was a prominent aristocratic family in the Ryukyu islands. According to many historians, the legendary martial artist "To-de" Sakugawa brought a staff-fighting art from China to Okinawa sometime in the late 1700s. The Chinen family, which was entrusted with the security of Ryukyu nobles, adopted and further developed this art over the course of a few generations. As such, this style of bojutsu is not a product of the peasant classes. Like most martial arts of the time, the techniques were passed on mainly within the family. Legend has it that Sanda Chinen, the grandmaster of the style, dreamt of a bouncing bo one day. This gave him inspiration for developing bo swings that rapidly recover into kamae or continue on in a rapid succession of strikes, for which Yamanni-ryu is so well-known today. Kishaba-sensei trained under Sanda Chinenís grandson Masami Chinen. His principle students include Oshiro Toshihiro and Shinzato Katsuhiko whom he taught privately throughout the í70s. In 1992, Kishaba-sensei opened a small dojo in Naha, Okinawa, and there has been teaching small classes of students for the very first time. In the United States, Oshiro-sensei, as the leading authority of the style outside of Japan, is "under orders" from Kishaba-sensei to propagate the art around the world. In addition to running a successful dojo near San Francisco, where students from all styles have come to benefit from his knowledge and experience, he has conducted numerous demonstrations and seminars around the United States, and is in demand in Japan, Germany, France, Panama, and elsewhere. Oshiro-sensei has also released a Yamanni-ryu video, which is available from Tsunami Video.


Katas des Yamanni-Ryu

Interview mit Sensei Toshihiro Oshiro: Yamanni Ryu - Bo-Jutsu of Okinawa

Interview mit Sensei Toshihiro Oshiro: The Way of Yamanni-Ryu