Master Choki Motobu
1871 to 1944
Master Choki Motobu was born the third son to the Motobu family in Okinawa. The Motobu family was of Samurai class, which meant that the first son of the family was taught the family fighting methods. Choki Motobu, being frustrated by this, tried to sneak in and watch his older brothers training. Master Motobu soon found that this was to slow and frustrating for him, so he began to lift heavy rocks and punch the punching post, Makiwara. After a while he became so strong that he earned the name the “Monkey King” because of his tremendous leaping ability and general agility. In his youth, Master Motobu became known as a brawler and a troublemaker, so when he became the student of Master Itosu, this added to his troubles about being accepted as a student of one of the foremost Master in Okinawa.
Master Motobu challenged many men in Okinawa and was only defeated once. This set the stage for a trip to Japan, and in 1921 he left for that country. Master Motobu challenged many men in Japan. However, the defeat of a Russian boxer may have made him most famous. In 1922 Master Motobu helped Master Funakoshi start the teaching of Karate to the Japanese. Filled with a new outlook on his life, Master Motobu returned to Okinawa in 1936 and began training with Master Kentsu Yabu. Master Yabu was the only man to have ever defeated Master Motobu. Master Motobu instructed many noted Masters, among them are Shoshin Nagamine, Tatsuo Shimabuku and Kose Kuniba – founder of “Seishin Kai”.