Grand Master Yuichi Kuda (1928-1999)
Grand Master Yuichi Kuda was born in Chinen Village on the southern tip of Okinawa in 1928. He was descended from a line of Okinawan samurai. His family genealogy dates back over five hundred years to one of the early Okinawan kings of the Sho Dynasty (1407-1477). He first received instruction in karate from his father. Grand Master Kuda’s father also taught him the family style of bojutsu, the art of using the Okinawan staff. At age ten he also began training in kendo. When he was about twenty years old he began studying karate under a man named Yamashiro while serving in the Japanese Navy. Grand Master Kuda credited this man with teaching him the true spirit of karate. In the 1960s Grand Master Kuda became a student of Shigeru Nakamura and was admitted to Nakamura’s Okinawa Kenpo Association. While in the Okinawa Kenpo group he trained with other well-known masters such as Fusei Kise and Seiyu Oyata. After Nakamura’s death in 1970 Grand Master Kuda began studying Matsumura Seito Shorin Ryu under Grand Master Hohan Soken (1889-1982). He then became a dedicated teacher and a Grand Master of Shorin Ryu karate. Later, after Soken Sesnei’s death Yuichi Kuda founded his own organization called Matsumura Kenpo Shorin Ryu Karate.
Grand Master Kuda was a quiet man and proved himself to be a man of wisdom and serenity. He developed some unique kobudo kata including the Nitan bo kata that features the use of two short sticks. His legacy continues today through the teachings of his student George Alexander and the International Shorin Ryu Karate Kobudo Federation.