Master Matayoshi went on knight-errantry in Hokkaido. In Saharin, Manchuria, he spent many days with nomadic tribes and learned ba-jitsu (horse riding techniques), shuriken-jitsu, and nagenawa-jitsu (rope throwing). In Shanghai he learned about tinbei-jitsu, Suruchin-jitsu, Nunti-jitsu, and also about Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture from Kinkoroushi (Kingai). In Fujian province, he studied Shorin-Kempo, returning to Okinawa in 1935.
In 1915, there was an Imperial Memorial Budo demonstration festival at Meiji Shrine in Tokyo. Master Funakoshi Gichin demonstrated Karate and Master Matayoshi demonstrated tonkua-jitsu and kama-jitsu. In 1921, the Showa Emperor was Prince and visited Okinawa. At a welcoming party, Gojyu-ryu Master Miyagi Chojun demontrated Karate and Master Matayoshi demonstrated kobudo. After Master Matayoshi's return to Okinawa, he moved to Naha where be studied with other martial arts experts. Master Matayoshi was often called "Kama nu Matehi"(Matayoshi the Kama) and "Senbaru nu Mateshi"and was very popular among people. He passed away in 1947 at the age of 59.
Matayoshi Shinpo who was one of Matayoshi Shinko's highest ranked students and also his real son. He was teaching Kobudo in Kawasaki-City, Kanagawa Prefecture, after World War II. He returned to Okinawa 1960 and taught kobudo mainly at Master Higa's dojo but also at other dojos as well. Master Matayoshi Shinpo felt that karate is becoming more popular but on the other hand kobudo was still a minor art and needed instructors.
He decided to establish his own kobudo Dojo, which he called "Kodokan." He took one Kanji "Ko" (meaning "Light") from the "ko" in Grand Master Matayoshi Shinko's name. After establishing the Kodokan Dojo, he contacted kobudo instructors and students of all over Japan. Together they organized the "Ryukyu Kobudo Assosiation" in 1960. Their purpose was to keep the traditions and spirit that had been passed down from kobudo senseis of early days. The association also intended to train youth to contribute to their society, and to make Kobudo more popular.
Later, in May of 1972, this association became the All Okinawa Kobudo League (Federation). After the birth of All Okinawa Kobudo League (Federation), an annual Kobudo demonstration and festival was held. League representative also visisted several regions and institions and also demonstrated in many national events.
In 1973, Master Matayoshi Shinpo visited Europe and United States in order to popularize kobudo abroad. In 1983, the All Okinawa Kobudo League (Federation) sent groups of instructors to South America, Central America, and the United States. The All Okinawa Kobudo League (Federation) has make great contributions not only to the popularization of kobudo throughout the world, but also to the interchanging of personnel between kobudo and other martial arts. This has contribututed to increased international understanding.
The following text first appeared in the program from
the 23rd Annual Kobudo Karate-Do Demonstration
(November 10th, 1996, Naha City, Okinawa, Japan)
and appears here in a slightly edited form.
Master Matayoshi Shinko was born in Kakinobana-Cho, Naha City, in 1888, third son of Matayoshi Shinchin. He spent his childhood in Senbaru, Chatan Town.
In his younger days, he learned about bo-jitsu, ieku-jitsu, kama-jitsu, and sai jitsu from Master Agena Chokubo (well known as Gushicha Teragua) of Gushikawa Village. He also learned tonkwa-jitsu and nunchaku-jitsu from Master Irei of Nozato, Chatan Town.