Bethea's Karate Studio

119 West Sycamore Street
Kokomo, IN 46901



All karate students at Bethea's Kokomo School of Self Defense are required to learn some of the history of karate.  More specifically, it is important to know our "family tree" - who our Sensei learned his karate from, who Sensei's sensei learned his karate from and so on.

A brief summary of our "family tree" follows...

Shugoro Nakazato began his training in Karate in 1935 at the age of 14.  At the same time, he started training in the kobudo weapons bo, nunchaku, tonfa, sai and kama.  His sensei until the start of WWII was Seiro Tonaki.  After the war, Sensei Nakazato returned to Okinawa and resumed kobudo training under Sensei Tonaki's sensei's son - Masami Chinen.  Sensei Tonaki and Sensei Chinen were students of Sanda Chinen (Masami Chinen's father), who was also known as Yamane TANMEI (an honorary Okinawan title).  After Sanda Chinen's death, Masami Chinen named his style Yamane-ryu in honor of his father.  Sanda Chinen in turn learned bojutsu from his father, Chinen
PEICHIN (another honorary Okinawan title).  Chinen PEICHIN was a student of Tode Sakugawa, who was a student of Kusanku and other teachers of Chinese martial arts.  For those already familiar with our karate history, it will be interesting to note that our karate and kobudo can both be traced back to Tode Sakugawa.

A parallel line in our kobudo comes from Kenkou Nakaima who, in 1970, named his "secret" family fighting style Ryuei-ryu and started training non-family members.  The Nakaima family lineage goes back through Sensei Nakaima's father, Kenchu Nakaima, and his father, Norisato Nakaima.  Norisato Nakaima learned his martial arts during his stay in China.