(301) 335-3370

For information regarding our kobudo program, please send an e-mail to Rik. Feel free to include a phone contact number as well. Thank you.

What is kobudo? Kobudo is the study of traditional weapons associated with ancient combat on Okinawa and elsewhere in Asia.  The traditional weapons we study include the bo (staff), eku (oar), sai (3 pronged metal truncheon), nunchaku (2 sticks connected with rope or chain), tonfa (asymentric t-shaped baton), jiffa (modified hair-pick), and more.  

How do kobudo and karate relate to one another? One the surface, it may appear that they do not relate much at all.  After all, karate literally means “empty hand”; and once you put a weapon in your hand everything changes, right?  Not so.

On a more fundamental level, the concurrent study of karate and kobudo mutually enhance each other.  This is because any error of misalignment off center; or of the spine in any dimension (leaning, bending, twisting, etc.) is magnified by the extension of the weapon.  Thus, weapons practice helps the student become more aware of and sensitive to such errors in their body (and eventually in that of others).  

In Kobudo, the weapon naturally does most of the work; so the body is more easily relaxed and seen as a device to deliver action through itself to the weapon. The study of kobudo helps the karate student learn to be more relaxed and aware of the extended consequences of their structure and motion.  

In karate on the other hand, the body serves as the sole structure and action device.  The karate practitioner must learn to balance force, action, and structure using the body alone.  The study of karate forces the kobudo student focus on body power alone.  This awareness helps to integrate weapon-and-body; resulting in a magnified effect of the weapon.  

When these two fields of study are combined, the student more rapidly learns to develop relaxed power, better structure, and smoother action; not to mention complimentary skill sets.


What is your kobudo program like? All students start with the same first three kata for bo, sai, and jiffa.  From there, the student can focus more on weapons of their choice. In our dojo, the kobudo program is open to actively enrolled karate students.  Practice takes the form primarily of kata.  Kobudo weapons are potentially dangerous.  Under carefully controlled conditions, bunkai (applications) will be demonstrated with Sensei as your control, capability, and understanding permit.  High power contact (such as weapon to weapon) is irresponsible and is absolutely prohibited in our dojo.

What is your Kobudo background? Sensei Lostritto studies Kobudo under Master Shinyu Gushi. Currently, Rik has the rank of 3rd dan (Sandan) and title of Shidoin (Instructor) in Gushi Sensei’s Ryukokaku (Dragon-Tiger-Crane) Karate and Kobudo organization.

Shinyu Gushi started his training in Uechi-Ryu over 50 years ago with Saburo Uehara (a direct student of Kanbun Uechi).  He also studied Uechi-Ryu with Seiyu Shinjo (also a direct student of Kanbun Uechi) and Seiko Itokazu.  He studied Kobudo (weapons) with Akamine Shoichi and Seiko Itokazu (Kobudo style mainly Matayoshi based). Uechi-Ryu has no formal Kobudo training as part of the curriculum.  Interested students are free to work with the Kobudo Sensei they prefer.