Grandmaster Taika Seiyu Oyata
10th Degree Black Belt
Taika Seiyu Oyata began his martial arts training at a very early age as he was exposed to the Okinawan form of Sumo through his father, Kana Oyata. During World War II he received instruction in Iaido, Kendo, and Judo. After World War II, he began training with Uhugusku-no-tan-mei, a retired officer of the Okinawan government. The Uhugusku family was noted for their martial art skills and served the Okinawan ruling class for many centuries. Uhugusku was known as a kakurei bushi, hidden warrior, and did not teach outside of family lines or those with no direct connection to the warrior class of Okinawa.
Uhugusku introduced Oyata to Wakinaguni, an elderly gentleman who was a descendent from Chinese emissaries sent to Okinawa when it was a tributary state of China. These two gentlemen began to teach Oyata the ancient ways of Okinawan and Chinese martial arts. During this time, karate was taught openly as a public art; however, what Uhugusku and Wakinaguni taught were family arts handed down through generations. Neither Uhugusku nor Wakinaguni had descendents to whom they could pass down their art; therefore, Oyata became the inheritor of this knowledge.
After Uhugusku and Wakinaguni passed away, Oyata sought other karate masters to continue his training. He joined several research groups, Kenkyu Kai, and trained directly with Shigeru Nakamura founder of Okinawan Kempo. Under Nakamura, Oyata learned the 12 basic empty hand kata that are practiced in RyuTe® today and he helped Nakamura establish Bogu Kumite as the sporting aspect of Okinawan Kempo.
In 1977, several of Taika Oyata’s senior American students, Jim Logue, Greg Lindquist, Bill Wiswell and Albert Geraldi, began to organize within the United States and brought him to Kansas City, Kansas and established the American headquarters. Taika Oyata began to broaden the knowledge of the general martial arts public by introducing the concepts of Tuite and Kyusho Jitsu that have revitalized the way in which karate is taught and studied today.
Initially to give credit to Okinawa, Taika Oyata called his organization, Ryukyu Kempo. (This is a generic term often used to describe all forms of karate from Okinawa.) From 1968 until the late 80’s Taika Oyata used Ryukyu Kempo as the name of his organization. In the early 90’s Taika Oyata renamed his organization, RyuTe®. This is an acronym of sorts, referring to Ryukyu Hand; however, the true meaning of the kanji are “flowing hand.” These kanji were chosen to describe the way in which karate techniques should be performed.
Taika Oyata refers to RyuTe® as a public art that he and his instructors teach openly. He also teaches the family art he inherited to a small group of long time students and refers to it as Taika Oyata Shin Shu Ho®.
Hanshi Peter Ciećwierz Polander was Taika Oyata’s senior student and Oyata Shin Shu Ho® member.