Grand Master Odo
In the early twentieth century, karate was a regular program for physical education in the Okinawan school system because it increased the health and vitality of the students. Seikichi Odo (1926-2002) was first introduced to judo while in school. He began to study Okinawa-Te at the age of thirteen, with Sensei Matsuda, at the Hanza district (1939). From the very beginning, Seikichi Odo enjoyed karate, and worked hard to excel.
Three years later, at the age of sixteen, Odo changed schools. He studied Okinawa-Te from Sensei Koho Kuba at Kawasaki for the next four years. Sensei Koho Kuba eventually went to the USA to join his son.
At the age of twenty (1946), Seikichi Odo began his apprenticeship with Mitsuo Kakazu, and Shinpo Matayoshi. Shinko Matayoshi (Shinpo’s father) taught Mitsuo Kakazu and Shinpo Matayoshi. Seikichi Odo began his pursuit of competency in weapons with the guidance of both Senseis, Kakazu, and Shinpo Matayoshi. Sensei Seike Toma, a direct student of Chotoku Kyan, also influenced Seikichi Odo in his development and proficiency with weapons and katas.
After three years, Seikichi Odo switched his study to Naha-Te at the dojo of Sensei Shigeru Nakamura in Nago (1949). Naha-Te was similar to Okinawa-Te and Seikichi Odo continued his pursuit of karate. He continued his studies of Okinawan Kobudo with Sensei Kakazu and Shinpo Matayoshi for six (6) years in Matayoshi’s backyard in Ishikawa before Sensei Matayoshi opened his dojo in Naha.
In 1953, the name of Naha-Te, as taught by Sensei Shigeru Nakamura, was changed to “Okinawa Kenpo Karate”. In 1955, the Okinawa Kenpo Karate Renmei (association) was formed with Sensei Nakamura as president. Sensei Nakamura was sixty years old at that time, Sensei Odo was twenty-eight.
Seikichi Odo began introducing Okinawan Kobudo at Nakamura Sensei’s dojo with the Sensei’s approval, and supervision. Sensei Nakamura died in November of 1969 at the age of seventy-seven, leaving no designate as Master.
After a two-year period, the “Okinawa Kenpo Karate Renmei” appointed Seikichi Odo as Master of Okinawa Kenpo Karate. As master of Okinawa Kenpo, Seikichi Odo was also installed as the president of the All Okinawa Kenpo Karate-do League.
Sensei Odo was one of the first Okinawan masters to incorporate a complete system of Okinawan Kobudo into a traditional karate system, adding the weapons officially to the system soon after his designation as Master. This resulted in the formation of the Okinawa Kenpo Karate Kobudo system in the mid-1970’s, which in turn became the RYUKYU HON KENPO KOBUJUTSU FEDERATION (RHKK) in 1998. The headquarters is in Okinawa, Japan. Daisensei (great sensei) Odo is ranked as JUDAN/ HANSHI (10th Black) in Karate and Kobujutsu, as recognized by his Okinawan peers.
Sensei Odo is recognized as one of the top karate and kobujutsu practitioners alive in the world today. Sensei Odo’s teaches a Ryu (way) known as “Ryukyu Hon Kenpo Kobujutsu” which includes traditional Okinawan style of weapons. Ryukyu Hon Kenpo Kobujutsu system has a direct student/ teacher connection to some of the greatest masters of Okinawan karate and kobudo.
Daisensei Odo has received rank certificates from some of the greatest masters in Okinawan karate and kobudo. Among others these include:
- Shigeru Nakamura (Founder Of Okinawa Kenpo)
- Zenryo Shimabuku (President of the All Japan Karate-do League)
- Shinpo Matayoshi (President of the All Ryukyu Kobudo Renmei)
- Seitoku Higa (President of the Association Of All Okinawa Karate Kobudo)
- Seikichi Uehara (President of the All Okinawa Kenpo Karate-do League)