Hinode  Karate

North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Telephone: 604 - 340 - 3319 or email: info@hinodekarate.ca


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Kobudo Teachers


Taira Shinken










Taira Shinken with bo

Taira Shinken was born Maezato Shinken on the tiny Island of Kumejima in the Village of Nakazato, in what is now Okinawan Prefecture, on June 12, 1897.  He was the second son of three boys, and as a child, acquired the nickname "mosa" meaning rascal, due to his mischievous nature.

He graduated from Nakazato Jinjo Elementary School and later began work at a mine in Minami Jima.  It was a serious mining accident, which disabled Taira Shinken, leaving him with a limp to his right leg.  Deemed "useless" or "worthless" by his co-workers, Taira Shinken resolved to make his body stronger and decided that Bujutsu (martial arts) was the best means to reach his goal.

Taira Shinken first learned the fundamentals of bo and sai from Funikoshi Gichin before beginning training with Yabiku Moden.  During Taira Shinken's study under Yabiku Sensei, he mastered the use of such weapons as the: Bo (6' staff), Eku (oar), Sai (metal truncheon), Tonfua (right angled hand truncheon), and Nunchaku (wooden flail).

From the example Funakoshi Sensei and Yabiku Sensei demonstrated, Taira worked hard to master what he had learned from both of them.  After his training was completed in 1932, he was granted permission to open a dojo in Ikahononsen City in Gunma prefecture, where he taught Karate-do and Kobudo.  In the following year (1933) Taira received his "Menjo" (formal teaching licence) in Ryukyu Kobudo from Yabiku Sensei.

Taira Shinken founded an organization to preserve the weapons and techniques he had mastered calling it "the Society for the Preservation and Promotion of Ryukyu Kobudo - "Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinko Kai".  Taira Shinken passed away in 1970.  His tradition was carried on by several students, including Minowa Katsuhiko.


Minowa Katsuhiko


Minowa Katsuhiko standing - Taira Shinken seated.

Minowa Sensei began studying Ryukyu Kobudo under Taira Shinken, soon after receiving Shodan in Uechi-ryu Karate-do from Uechi Kanei, at the age of 29.  From Taira Shinken, Minowa became proficient in the use of the bo, sai, tonfa, nunchaku, eku, rochin and tinbe, tikko, niccho-gama and suruchin.  By 1970 he had received his teaching license in Kobudo, and established his own dojo in Matsukawa-cho, in Naha.

In 1977 Minowa turned over his Matsukawa dojo to his most senior student, Kinjo Masakazu, and returned to his place of birth, Amami Oshima.  Here he established his own association (the Shinshukai) and began teaching Uechi-ryu Karate-do and Kobudo until his full retirement from teaching in 1987.

In 1987, Minowa Sensei turned over his Amami dojo to his most senior student there, Yoshimura Hiroshi.

Minowa Katsuhiko passed away in 2003.  He served on the executive of the Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinko Kai while a student of Taira Shinken, and later when Akamine Eisuke took over as second president.  He attained the ranks of 9th dan in Uechi-ryu and 8th dan in Ryukyu Kobudo


Yoshimura Hiroshi - 7th dan Ryukyu Kobudo

Yoshimura Hiroshi

A native of the island of Amami Oshima in Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan.  Yoshimura Hiroshi began his Ryukyu kobudo training under Minowa Katsuhiko upon the later's return to Amami in the mid 1980's.  After Minowa Sensei retired from active teaching, the Amami dojo was turned over to Yoshimura Sensei.  Yoshimura Sensei is currently ranked 7th dan in Ryukyu Kobudo.  We are very fortunate to have him as our chief instructor.



Mario McKenna - 6th dan Ryukyu Kobudo

Mario McKenna

Mr. McKenna received his Master's degree in Sports Psychology from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada.  He moved to Japan in 1994, and while living on the island of Amami Oshima in Kagoshima Prefecture, he trained under Minowa Katsuhiko Sensei, and his student Yoshimura Hiroshi Sensei in Ryukyu Kobudo until his return to Canada in 2002.

Although Mr. McKenna holds a Sandan rank in Gohaku-Kai Karate-do, and Godan in Tou'on-ryu Karate, his main interest seems to be in Ryukyu Kobudo (Okinawan Weapons).  Sensei McKenna holds the rank of Rokudan and has teaching certification in Ryukyu Kobudo Shinko Kai.  Sensei McKenna has also trained under Murakami Katsumi, a teacher of Yamane-ryu Bo-jutsu.

Sensei McKenna currently teaches Kobudo classes at the Hillcrest Community Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia.  Visit Sensei McKenna's website to find more on Ryukyu Kobudo, or to inquire about commencing Kobudo classes at the Hillcrest Community Centre.



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Krister Naab - 4th dan Ryukyu Kobudo

Krister Naab

A native of North Vancouver, British Columbia, Krister Sensei holds the ranks of Godan (5th degree black belt) in Shotokan Karate-do, and Yondan (4th degree black belt) in Ryukyu Kobudo.  He began his Kobudo training in February of 2003 under Sensei Mario McKenna, and successfully graded for his yondan (4th degree black belt) under Sensei Yoshimura Hiroshi on November 30, 2016.

All kobudo instruction at the Hinode dojo is conducted by Sensei Krister.

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