We are thrilled to announce that Okinawan kobudo is officially on the schedule! We will hold class on Saturdays from noon to 1:00 P.M. starting on June 8th.

The word kobudo translates to “ancient martial way,” and Okinawan kobudo includes the use of weapons such as the bo, sai, and nunchaku. Culturally and historically, karate and kobudo are considered sister arts, and are learned side-by-side in many traditional dojo. Kobudo weapons are treated as an extension of one’s hands, and training in kobudo is a great way to round out a karate student’s training. Working with these weapons improves coordination and is a lot of fun.

In our karate style, Shuri-ryu, students are required to be proficient with the bo (staff) and the sai (truncheon) before they can be promoted to shodan, or first-degree black belt. We ask students to start with one of those weapons, but we also have the flexibility to allow students to dabble with other weapons as they become more experienced.

Sensei Oliveri working sai kata at home

Sensei Oliveri also practices tonfa (similar to a police nightstick), nunchaku (often referred to as “nunchucks”), eiku (a paddle or oar), kama (sickles), and nunti (a type of spear). Our kata lineage is primarily from the Taira and Matayoshi styles.

As we work on growing our program and space, this will be an outdoor program, weather permitting. Our facility has a beautiful front lawn where we can spread out, get a great workout in fresh air, and even practice throwing our sai! Water and sunscreen are encouraged.

Stay tuned this Summer and Fall for more class announcements as our dojo grows!

Sensei Mike Oliveri is currently a sandan, or 3rd-degree black belt, in Shuri-ryu Karate-do. He started training with the Academy of Okinawan Karate in 2007, and he served as Sensei of their Eureka location from January 2015 through March of 2019. He opened the Heartland Dojo in Roanoke, Illinois, in April of 2019.