Okinawa Kenpo Karate Renmei of America
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Okinawa Kenpo Karate Renmei of America
The Okinawa Kenpo Karate Renmei of America is an organization of empty handed martial artists that practice the style known as Okinawa Kenpo as taught by Master Sigeru Nakamura and brought to the United States of America by Master Hideka Nakayama.
Membership of the Renmei shall consist of any and all, Okinawa Kenpo Karate practitioners, known or unknown, who have attained the rank or grade of Sho-dan or above by any authority that has Master Hideka Nakayama in their lineage.
Kyu level students shall not be eligible for membership in the Okinawa Kenpo Karate Renmei of America though upon attaining the rank or grade of Sho-dan they should be encouraged to join the ranks of the honored membership.
The purpose of the Okinawa Kenpo Karate Renmei of America is to ensure the promulgation of Okinawa Kenpo Karate as it was taught by Master Hideka Nakayama in its purest form.
This shall be done by establishing a registry for the purpose of recording qualified students and Sensei thereby creating a pool of knowledge, which can be tapped for the benefit of all.
This shall be done by endeavoring to standardize certain minimum criteria for a particular rank or grade. This shall in no way detract from a Sensei’s autonomy over his school, class or students. The intent here is to provide that Okinawa Kenpo Karate is taught, in it’s purest form as taught by Master Hideka Nakayama. Any instruction supplemental to the minimum standards is within the scope of authority of any Sensei and is encouraged.
This shall be done by endeavoring to standardize the terminology and customs used within the style of Okinawa Kenpo Karate. It is understood that Sensei of different schools have developed different customs and traditions and that some of these customs and traditions have evolved over several generations. In order to accommodate these time-honored customs a minimalist approach should be taken to standardize these customs. The emphasis will be placed upon a showing of respect and not the manner of which respect is shown.
This shall be done by endeavoring to standardize certification for all ranks or grades Sho-dan or above. Master Hideka Nakayama’s format of certification shall be used. This shall be the traditional Okinawa Kenpo Karate certificate bearing the Hanko of the past Masters and Master Sigeru Nakamura’s Okinawa Kenpo Karate Renmei, from which we get our authority. The certificate shall have on the left half of the certificate, in English, the following. “This is to certify that on this (blank space for the day of the month) day of (blank space for the month of the year) in the year (blank space for the year), by the authority of the Okinawa Kenpo Karate Renmei of America and the other listed Masters and associations by which the Renmei receives its authority by traditional transfer from generation to generation through their seniors due to most worthy work and study. (Blank space for name of promoted student) has successfully completed the course of study, accepts the responsibility for and is entitled to the rights, privileges and honor associated with (blank space for rank or grade)-dan. This person has earned the honor and may display their accomplishment with a Black Belt, (blank space for number) degree. By Authority of (blank space for signature of promoting Sensei).” At the bottom of the certificate the Hanshi’s Hanko shall appear next to the words “Hanshi, Okinawa Kenpo Karate Renmei of America” as an endorsement of the promotion and the authority of the promoting Sensei.
Certification shall be provided by the Hanshi to the Sensei that has authority to promote. Upon a students completion of the prescribed course of study the Sensei shall submit the students registration information needed for registering as a member of the Okinawa Kenpo Karate Renmei of America and affirmation that the student is to be promoted. The Sensei shall provide the exact date of the promotion, the full legal name of the student, and the rank or grade the student is to be promoted to. The format of the certificate will be completed excepting the signature of the promoting authority. This is to ensure that the integrity of the certification process remains unblemished. The promoting authority retains responsibility over the process and is also responsible for the cost of certification.
This shall be done by the creation of a standard insignia and by creating standards by which it shall be displayed. This shall not preclude a Sensei from having and displaying a school insignia for his particular school. However generic patches and insignia shall be discouraged. The students school patch should be displayed on the left chest and the style patch shall be displayed on the right chest. Other incentive patches are not prohibited but should be discouraged outside youth and junior programs. Again, generic patches are discouraged as we are a martial arts style not a patch factory.
Hanshi Jeffrey L. Riggs receives his authority from Master James Lloyd. Master James Lloyd received his authority from Master Hideka Nakayama who brought Okinawa Kenpo Karate to the United States of America. Master Hideka Nakayama received his authority from Master Sigeru Nakamura, his Sensei, the founder and first Hanshi of the Okinawa Kenpo Karate Renmei. Master Sigeru Nakamura established the Okinawa Kenpo Karate Renmei receiving his authority from a long line of Okinawa Kenpo Masters. We each receive our knowledge and authority of declaration from our Sensei. But our authority over our students come from the students. Each student learns because he wants to. His participation is voluntary. Honor, commitment and obligation not withstanding a student is not bound to his Sensei nor is any Sensei bound to a student. Each enters into the relationship voluntarily and each should remember this.
Each member of the Okinawa Kenpo Karate Renmei of America is responsible for their teaching. The quality and content of instruction is determined by each Sensei and as such that Sensei should take all reasonable steps to ensure the classes are safe, the content accurate, and the knowledge taught is used by the student in a reasonable and responsible manner. Each student is responsible to use Okinawa Kenpo Karate properly and as instructed.
On matters concerning rank or grade, the new or beginning student shall be deemed 7th kyu or White Belt. Upon completion of the appropriate training the student shall be promoted to 6th kyu or yellow Belt. Upon completion of appropriate training the student shall be promoted to 5th kyu or Blue Belt. Upon completion of appropriate training the student shall be promoted to 4th kyu or Green Belt. Upon completion of the appropriate training the student shall be promoted to 3rd kyu or Brown Belt. Upon completion of the appropriate training the student shall be promoted to 2nd kyu and trained to assist the Sensei and trained to teach. 3rd kyu and 2nd kyu training traditionally is done concurrently though not required. By this time the student should be proficient in 10 of the 12 required Okinawa Kenpo Karate Kata. 1st kyu is a student who is ready to test for Sho-dan but has not tested.
Upon completion of the appropriate training, the student is eligible and may at Sensei’s discretion test for Sho-dan. After passing the appropriate written and physical examination the student may be promoted to Sho-dan if the student agrees to accept the responsibility that the position requires. Sensei should take care to promote only worthy students to this level. A Sho-dan may teach and promote kyu level ranks or grades, this should be done with Sensei’s permission and supervision. A Sho-dan shall not promote above kyu level.
Once a student attains the rank or grade of Sho-dan that student assumes an apprenticeship under that student’s Sensei. As such the student learns how to teach what he now knows. The student also studies and learns to be proficient in the remaining two required Okinawa Kenpo Karate Kata. Once the student completes the appropriate training, and has assisted in the teaching of at least one student from 7th Kyu to Sho-dan the student may be promoted to Ni-dan. Sensei should be most careful to promote only those who are able to teach without supervision. This is a very important step in the student’s career as he now has the authority to certify Sho-dan.
There is no place for politics in Okinawa Kenpo Karate. A kyu level student should always defer to the dan level student. If there is a conflict in training between two dan level students they should, in private and with an open mind refer to their manuals and discuss the issue. The junior dan should defer to the senior dan in minor issues, matters that do not effect training or the style and matters of protocol. If they can not resolve the issue a third and more senior dan, preferably the Shihan, should be consulted. This should be done with all three present with the only goal being to find the right answer or to do the right thing. Honor and respect should be paid by all parties to all parties at all times, and advantage should be taken of this learning opportunity. If the question can not be resolved the Shihan shall contact the Hanshi who after appropriate study and research will answer the question or resolve the issue with a decision. At the discretion of the Hanshi the question or issue may be referred to an advisory board comprised of Advisory Members of Okinawa Kenpo Karate Renmei of America. Any member of the Okinawa Kenpo Karate Renmei of America may initiate this process.
It shall be the policy for any student to be tested by that student’s Sensei. If at any time a student requests to change Sensei the request will be referred to the Shihan of the student requesting the change so long as the Shihan is senior to both the student’s Sensei and prospective Sensei. The Shihan will then determine if the reason for the change is for an honorable reason or if there is a problem that needs to be resolved. At the Shihan’s discretion the change may occur with or with out sanctions such as grade reduction or testing. Every effort shall be made to discourage sensei hopping and student snatching but every effort shall be made to match each student with a Sensei that will maximize the student’s potential. If the student is requesting to change Sensei and that change involves the Shihan, then the Shihan’s Sensei would be the one to endorse the change. Regardless, a Sensei’s senior shall endorse the acceptance of a student or a past student if the student’s prior Sensei is available.
An advisory board shall be established from the membership of Okinawa Kenpo Karate Renmei of America. They shall consist of Masters of the rank or grade of Go-dan or greater and shall qualify as Advisory Members. This is to maximize the synergistic principles in decision making allowing the Hanshi to better assist the membership of the Okinawa Kenpo Karate Renmei of America. To avoid political intrigue the number and identity of the Advisory Board shall be known only to the Hanshi. However all issues taken before the board, positions of each member of the board and the Hanshi’s decision should be made known. The Hanshi reserves the right to keep certain issues confidential where required by law, an innocent party would suffer undue emotional hardship or an issue must be referred to Law Enforcement Authorities. In the case of the latter, upon completion of the Law Enforcement investigation any and all facts, relevant to the issue and are a matter of public record, may be made known.
Iwatana-do Okinawa Kenpo Karate' Martial Arts School
1104 Hermosa Dr.
Rockledge, Fl. 32955 Brevard