A Rich Heritage Continues…


2 senseis

Yoshiaki Gakiya and Neil Stolsmark. Nago, Okinawa 2013

Gakiya Yoshiaki Sensei was a student of  Matayoshi Shinpo-sensei.  He was named successor to the Matayoshi lineage of Okinawa Kobudo at the time of Matayoshi-sensei’s passing in September of 1997.  

Gakiya-sensei retired as Kancho from the Matayoshi Kodokan dojo and in January of 2002 founded the Okinawa Kobudo Doushi Rensei-kai®.  He worked unselfishly for ten years developing the OKDR®, attracting many interested martial artists from around the world. 

Gakiya-sensei was forced to retire from the OKDR® in 2011 due to an unexpected illness.  He appointed Neil Stolsmark as the President of the association.  Stolsmark-sensei continues the tradition of the Okinawa Kobudo Doushi Rensei-kai®  world-wide.  Proudly, the organization continues to grow…

The Okinawa Kobudo Doushi Rensei-kai®  is an organization of people who pursue maturity of one’s personality through learning Okinawa Kobudo.

Doushi: People who have the same will, comrades.

Rensei: Train your body and soul.

The Meaning of the Crest


The symbol in the center is called “Hidari Mitsu-Domoe, which symbolizes three souls circling clockwise.  This is the crest of Ryukyu (Okinawa) royal families, around which are decorated nine crowns.  Our crest expresses the hope that Okinawa Kobudo, the traditional Okinawa martial art, will expand and develop through out the world by Kushu-Rengyou and Kugyou-Kyukyoku of our comrades.  Nine crowns express Kushu-Rengyou and Kugyou-Kyukyoku  by using the same beginning sounds of each of the words. (Nine is pronounced “Ku” in Japanese).

  • Kushu-Rengyou:  Be skilled in martial arts through many years of training.
  • Kugyou-Kyukyoku:  Master the true martial arts through unbearable practice.