Last edited:05/01/2011


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Background Information


Unlike many sports, karate, as it should be practiced, is not a competitive or violent sport where men are pitted against one another. Nor is it physical training merely for the sake of training, where the goal is merely that of smashing boards or bricks. Karate is a training of both mind and body, and leads to better understanding of both self and the world. It is a self-training in perfection, self-reliance and helps develop self-control.

Karate is a martial art, yet was developed by the Okinawans as a weaponless method of self-defense. The Okinawans lived a life without weapons. They had to learn to defend themselves by using hands, feet or other parts of the body. The peculiar culture of the Okinawan, a peace loving people desirous of living without weapons, caused them to rise up the instinct of self-preservation to its highest form - the art of Karate-do.


Budo is as much a part of the Martial Arts as Karate itself. “Bu” in Japanese means classical warrior from a special class of social and intellectual elites. “Do” means the way, as Taoist philosophy says, a path of discipline used to get spiritual enlightenment. Thus, the techniques and practice of the Budo is ultimately suppose to lead to a person’s maturity, mentally, and spiritually. The following pamphlet was designed to help you study and understand some of the basics of our training.



(Also used by Shotokan Karate)

Seek perfection of character
Be faithful
Respect others
Refrain from violent Behavior


The Okinawa Kenpo Karate Dharma-Ryu Dojo has several active dojos in Hawaii and the mainland. 

  • Sensei John Jeffery, 6th Dan in the Valdosta, GA dojo

  • Sensei Rodney Kelley, 4th Dan in the San Diego, CA dojo


Karate is an ancient oriental art of self-defense in which only bare hands, arms and feet are used. In some ways, it is similar to that of Judo and wrestling. However, it emphasizes the kick, open and hand-strike and closed fist strike rather than the take-down, and the hold down.

It’s origins date back to 525 AD, to an obscure Buddhist monk named Bodhidharma who traveled from India to the Shaolin Temple in China. It was there that this man, known to many as “spiritual father of Zen Buddhism” shared his knowledge of physical fitness and self-defense.

This form of physical and mental discipline practiced by the monks became known as Shaolin-szu (Chaun-Fa) or, as we know it today, “Kenpo” which when translated means “way of the fist”.

But it was in Okinawa that Kenpo emerged as a specific form of Martial Arts. These Chinese methods called Tode (or T’ang hand) blended with what was called Okinawa-Te and later became refined and was called Kara-Te (empty hand). In 1429, Okinawa became a unified kingdom under the dynamic leadership of a man named Hashi. To ensure his rule, Hashi demanded for all weapons to be seized. In order to protect themselves, the people then developed “Kobudo”, an art form in which the Okinawans used their farm implements as well as empty hands for self-protection. About 200 years later, Okinawa came under control of the Japanese, who again imposed a ban on weapons. In 1917, Okinawan master Gichin Funakoshi introduced Karate to Japan where it became formalized with the modern day belt system. 







The Okinawa Kenpo Karate Kobudo Federation was founded by the late Grand Master Seikichi Odo (10th degree Black Belt). Shihan Odo was the top disciple of the Former Shigeru Nakamura, the founder of the modern day Okinawa Kenpo. He also studied under Master Koho Kuba (Odo Sensei’s first instructor). Mitsuo Kakazu, Seike Toma, Kinjo Seiko, as well as under Shinpo Matayoshi (weapon’s master). Master Odo added weapons to the traditional Okinawan Kenpo, and so formed the O.K.K.K.F.


The O.K.D.R. was founded by Sensei Paul Ortino Jr., in January 1983. It was then, as a student of Master Richard Gonzalez, that Sensei Ortino combined the Traditional Kata and Kobudo of Hanshi Odo with the self-defense and fighting techniques of seven other forms of Martial Arts. Sensei Ortino is assisted in Hawaii by these fine black belts: Luis Gonzalez (5th Dan), Keiv Dumlao (3rd Dan), and Michael Quezada (3rd Dan). Assistant black belts include Stevie Hutchinson (2nd Dan), Daisy Ortino (2nd Dan), Brad Andersohn (2nd Dan), Cheryl Cruz, Mary Anne Fife, Robert Charette, Lee Collins, Luis Gomez Jr, Haymon Parker (shodans), Matt McKendry and Chris Del Rosario, junior black belt.

(Tim Everson)

As I wrap this obi around my waist, 
I bow my head with no disgrace. 
It is a symbol of knowledge which I have learned, 
Its color shows the degree which I have earned. 
All this knowledge I hold to this day, 
I owe to no one but my Sensei, 
In my heart where no one can see, 
I will always respect and protect my obi. 

Your obi represents your time in training. It symbolizes the blood, sweat and tears that you experienced through rigorous karate training. The obi is not to be worshipped but is expected to be respected and never to be found on the floor played with. The obi should not be washed. The traditional belt system was white, green, brown and black. White symbolizes purity, the absence of all color and willingness to learn. The green symbolizes growth. Training over the years, the obi is tarnished by grass stains from training outside, giving its green color and eventually turning brown from dirt and mud. Then, completely into black, the accumulation of all colors. Now, you’ve earned your shodan, meaning the first step. As it continues to be worn over the years of training, it will begin to shed and underneath all the knowledge and wisdom, is the color of white. The white represents purity and willingness to learn as the true master is always humble, honorable and faithful in and outside of the dojo.


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