Regulations of Credentials in Motobu-ryu


June 25, 2012

July 9, 2015


Motobu Kenpo and Motobu Udundi (collectively known as Motobu-ryu) are ancient martial arts under the ownership of the Motobu family. The only legitimate instructors certified and licensed in Motobu-ryu can be found on the dojo listing page at

If an instructor is legitimate, their name and group will be listed on this page.


All past students of Uehara Seikichi (12th soke) from Okinawa who were legitimately licensed by him, were licensed in Motobu Udundi Kobujutsu Kyokai (governing the art of Motobu Udundi). Motobu Udundi Kobujutsu Kyokai and Motobu-kai (governing the art of Motobu Kenpo of Motobu Choki Soke), are both headed by Motobu Chosei Soke under one organization of Nihon Denryu Heiho Motobu Kenpo and Motobu Udundi. Together, both arts are termed Motobu-ryu.


There were instances throughout history when an instructor was removed from the organization by the soke, having their standing and credentials cancelled, no longer to represent the art. These decisions were exclusively made by the soke, whether in Motobu Udundi by Uehara Seikichi Sensei before he passed the art of Motobu Udundi back to the Motobu Family (in 2003) or by Motobu Chosei Soke.


Outside of Japan and Okinawa, Motobu Chosei Soke conducted several seminars in Brazil, England, Hawaii and Mainland United States, with wonderful support, sharing part of beginner's curriculum of his family art with the participants present. The students there received some of these basics as a gift to be kept in their personal training and exclusively inside their dojo.


The first school of Motobu-ryu outside of Okinawa and Japan exists in Canada where Motobu family visits regularly for years to date as well as privately invites and trains the black belts from there in Japan. Also recently, schools in Ukraine and Colombia have become authorized to teach Motobu-ryu.


At times there are questions from other countries posed as to legitimacy of others claiming to have knowledge and/or rank in Motobu-ryu. There have been cases where someone holding a rank from another martial art or organization, presents himself or herself as a teacher or practitioner of Motobu-ryu, giving the false impression that the rank they advertised themselves with, is a rank from Motobu-ryu.


There have been cases where someone holding a rank from another martial art, pretend that they are a teacher of Motobu-ryu (Motobu Udundi and / or Motobu Kenpo), giving the false impression that their rank is legitimate.


Someone does not automatically become a certified black belt or teacher in Motobu-ryu only because they were visited by Motobu-ryu instructor(s) in the past, even if they have a photograph with Motobu-ryu instructor(s).


There are no qualified instructors of Motobu-ryu who would not be listed on, no matter how creative the reason, explanation or story.


Today, Motobu Chosei Soke is the head of all the martial arts in the Motobu Family. In our organization there is a process of achieving rank.


Shihan master instructors are licensed to issue rank up to 4th Dan to their students (in Motobu Kenpo and/or Motobu Udundi, depending on what art they teach). Above 4th Dan, the granting of rank resides exclusively on the discretion of Motobu Soke, as does the presentation of all titles in the organization.


Jun-Shihan instructors are licensed to grant kyu rank to their students.


Shidoin instructors are licensed to teach Motobu-ryu but not issue rank.


There are no black belts above 4th Dan who legitimately represent Motobu Udundi or Motobu Kenpo, who were not directly presented their credentials ( license, rank or title ) by Motobu Soke.


All Shihans, Jun-Shihans and Shidoin instructors are listed on our web page. List of Motobu-ryu black belts (non-instructors) from individual dojos are kept by the dojo instructors listed on our web page.


Only the instructors of Motobu-ryu can speak and represent our style and organization. The legitimacy, active standing and recognition of every individual black belt is decided by the head instructor of a Motobu-ryu dojo who either recommended their student for promotion or issued the promotion themselves.


Thus if an individual is not listed on our web page, they are not an instructor and certainly would not be allowed to issue any rank in Motobu Udundi and/or Motobu Kenpo or represent our style of Motobu-ryu.


The art of Motobu-ryu has maintained its lineage, standard, quality and unique value for over 350 years, passed in the Motobu family for 14 generations. Our beloved art is not to be diluted or misrepresented.


As decreed in accordance with the rules and regulations of Motobu-ryu.