Takayuki Kubota (窪田 孝行, Kubota Takayuki, born September 20,
1934) is a Japanese American master of karate. He founded the
Gosoku-ryu style of karate, and is the founder and president of the
Karate Association. Kubota holds the title of
his development of the Gosoku-ryū style of karate. He is also the
inventor and holder of the trademark of the
Kubotan self-defense key
Kubota was a self-defense instructor for the Tokyo Police department
in the 1950s, where he was noted for his expertise in practical
karate. He has devoted his life to learning, creating, and teaching
the application of self-defense techniques to military, law
enforcement, and civilian personnel. He has earned black belt degrees
in karate, judo, aikido, kendo, and iaido.
1 Early life
2 Instructing career
5 Media appearances
6 Celebrity students
8 External links
Kubota was born on September 20, 1934, in Kumamoto, Japan, into the
family of Denjiro (father) and Semo (mother) Kubota. He had four
brothers, of which one became a kendo master, one a jujitsu master,
and one the Japanese Olympic volleyball coach. In 1939, at the age of
four, Kubota began studying martial arts under the direction of his
father, who was a master of jujitsu and jukendo. The training included
bamboo yadi, judo, keibo-jutsu (baton), and makiwara practice.
During World War II, Kubota learned karate under the guidance of two
Okinawans—Terada and Tokunaga—stationed in his village. They were
teaching local people with basics in the martial art of te; there was
no name "karate" at that time in Okinawa.
At the age of 13, Kubota went to Tokyo to seek his fortune—against
his father's will. Upon arrival, he discovered that there was no work
and no place to stay. While in a queue for food, however, Kubota
helped the police to capture some criminals using his skill in taiho
jutsu (arresting technique). One of the officers, Detective Karino,
gave Kubota a place to stay and helped him finish his education.
Karino brought him to the dojo (training hall) of Chinese master
Cai and, in return, he taught Karino the art of taiho jutsu. Until
he earned enough money for classes, Kubota watched techniques at one
of the top karate schools from outside at night. When he earned enough
money, he continued his formal training inside a dojo.
In 1947, at age of 14, he was noticed by Tokyo Police and was soon
teaching hand-to-hand and baton combat to officers of Kamata Police
Department; he did this for 10 years. He tested his martial arts
skills by working as an agent in dangerous districts of Tokyo and
being used as a one-man riot control by police. It was in this era
Gosoku-ryu techniques were refined. He has complemented his
martial arts training with studies in meditation, history, and other
non-combative aspects of the arts.
Kubota opened his first karate dojo at the age of 17.
From 1950–1959, he was an instructor for the US Army, Air Force, and
Marines in kendo, karate, judo, and giyokute-jitsu. Between 1960
and 1963, he taught pro-wrestling techniques at Haneda dojo.[citation
As he became more well known, the US military and government personnel
at the American military bases stationed there invited him to teach
self-defense and show demonstrations. From 1958 to 1960, he taught the
US Military Police and other personnel at Camp Zama, Kanagawa, Japan.
In addition, from 1959 to 1964, he taught self-defense to the US Army
personnel at Kishine Barracks in Yokohama. At the same, during 1961 to
1963, he was teaching the American personnel at Grand Heights Air
Force Base in Tokyo and US Air Force Police at Fuchu Air Force Base.
He also worked as a bodyguard to the US Ambassador to Japan. Through
1964, Kubota taught self-defense to other government personnel,
CIA agents at the US military bases throughout
On August 2, 1964, Kubota was invited by
Ed Parker to give a
demonstration at Parker's First Annual International
in Long Beach, California. In late 1964, he permanently relocated to
America. Kubota taught self-defense at the Los Angeles Police
Department Academy for several years. Kubota developed his own
style of karate, naming it
Gosoku-ryu ("hard-fast style"), and he
consequently holds the title Sōke, meaning founder or creator.
Kubota became an American citizen in 1974.
In 1990, Kubota was inducted into the Black Belt magazine's Hall of
Fame as 'Weapons Instructor of the Year.'
In October 2010, Kubota performed at the Koyamada Foundation's United
States Martial Arts Festival at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts
Center in Redondo Beach, California.
Kubotan key chain
The five and a half inch plastic
Kubotan key chain is Kubota's most
important invention. It was designed as a tool for female Los Angeles
Police Department officers, and registered as trademark in 1978.
Kubota also developed the Kubotai, another self-defense weapon, which
was patented in 1991. The Kubotai is used to employ wrist locks
and immobilize the opponent.
Kubota also has written several books on the martial arts:
Kubota, Takayuki; McCaul, Paul (1972). Baton techniques and training
(illustrated ed.). Thomas. ISBN 0-398-02338-7.
Kubota, Takayuki; Miller, Mark (1977). The art of karate (1 ed.).
Haddington House. ISBN 0-672-52331-0.
Kubota, Takayuki (1980). Fighting
Karate Gosoku Ryu Hard Fast Style.
Unique Publications (Subs. of CFW Enterprises, Inc).
Kubota, Takayuki (1980). Gosoku ryu karate: kumite 1. Unique.
Peters, John; Kubota, Takayuki; Defensive Tactics Institute, Inc
(1981). Realistic defensive tactics (illustrated ed.). Reliapon Police
Products. ISBN 0-935878-02-5.
Kubota, Takayuki (1982). Action
Kubotan Keychain an Aid in Self
Defense. Beckett Pubns. ISBN 0-86568-101-5.
Kubota, Takayuki; Peters, John (1983). Official
Kubota, Takayuki (1983). T-Hold Kubotan. Unique Publications.
Kubota, Takayuki (1983). Weapons Kumite: Fighting With Traditional
Weapons. Unique Publications. ISBN 0-86568-042-6.
Kubota, Takayuki (1985).
Kubotan keychain: instrument of attitude
adjustment (reprinted ed.). Dragon Books.
Kubota, Takayuki (1985). Ninja Shuriken Manual (reprinted ed.). I
& I Sports Supply Co. ISBN 0-934489-00-9.
Kubota, Takayuki (1987). Close encounters: the arresting art of
taiho-jutsu (illustrated ed.). Dragon Books.
Kubota, Takayuki (2003). Fighting
Karate (illustrated ed.). Unique
Publications. ISBN 0-86568-205-4.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (January
Kubota has been featured in more than 280 movies and TV shows, and
over 180 commercials.
Yamoto aka Killer of Killers
The Killer Elite
Focus on Fishko
Power Rangers Time Force: Photo Finish
Over the years Kubota taught martial arts to many actors Chuck Barris,
Dick Martin, Ron Ely, Bo Hopkins, Randolph Mantooth, Tim McIntire, the
Bay City Rollers, Sam Peckinpah, Gary Owens, Stirling
Silliphant, David Jensen, Sy Weintraub, Peter Frampton, Robert
Conrad, George Kennedy, Tammy Lauren, Nancy McKeon, Hilary
James Caan remains his most loyal student from the show biz, training
constantly since 1975.
^ a b
Kubotan trademark registration (uspto.gov)
^ a b "Takayuki Kubota". Complete Martial Arts.com. 1934-09-20.
^ Hamilton, Hank (April 2001). "Rapid Response". Black Belt. 39 (4):
52. ISSN 0277-3066. Retrieved 2 January 2010.
^ a b c "Account Suspended". Ika-gosoku.sumy.ua. Retrieved
^ a b "karate masters". Karate.com.pl. Retrieved 2012-05-15.
^ Caballa, Ernie (2004). Who is Soke?. USA.
Karate Association: Takayuki Kubota". Retrieved
^ Black Belt Magazine: Weapons Instructor of the Year Archived March
9, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
^ "@The Filme Files SHIN KOYAMADA'S INAUGURAL UNITED STATES MARTIAL
ARTS FESTIVAL by Dr. Craig Reid".
^ US Patent 5066013 - Kubotai restraint device having two batons bound
together by a cord at points spaced from the ends of the batons.
Retrieved 22 January 2010
^ Focus on Fishko on IMDb
^ Power Rangers Time Force: Photo Finish on IMDb
^ Interview with Tak Kubota in: Fighting stars magazine, Feb. 1981,
^ Morris Chapnick, Top disc jokey gets a kick out of the Martial arts,
in:Fighting stars magazine, Feb. 1975, page 12
Stirling Silliphant memoirs, in: Jack Vaughn and Mike Lee, The
legendary Bruce Lee, page 133
^ Rick Shiverly, East meets West in the movies, in: Fighting stars
magazine, June 1974, page 40
^ Nancy Frizzelle, The amazing master Kubota, in: Fighting stars
magazine, Sept. 1978, page 32-33
^ Salvador Herraiz, Legends of karate-do: Tak Kubota, in: Budo
International, Jan. 2003, page 52
^ An unconquerable spirit, Jose Fraguas in: Inside Kung-fu Magazine
Jan 2005, page 98
Fraguas, Jose (Spring 2009). "Against the Grain". Masters Magazine:
Mather, Jim (June 1990). "A Sensei's Story Karate's Takayuki Kubota".
Black Belt. Active Interest Media. 28 (6): 40–44.
ISSN 0277-3066. Retrieved January 4, 2010.
Mather, Jim (March 1991). "The
Karate Training of James Caan". Black
Belt. Active Interest Media. 29 (3): 24–29, 101.
ISSN 0277-3066. Retrieved January 4, 2010.
Clary, David (August 1991). "Weapons Instructor of the Year Takayuki
Kubota". Black Belt. Active Interest Media. 29 (8): 66.
ISSN 0277-3066. Retrieved January 4, 2010.
Hamilton, Hank (April 2001). "Rapid Response". Black Belt. Active
Interest Media. 39 (4): 48–53. ISSN 0277-3066. Retrieved
January 4, 2010.
Лозовой, Анатолий (May 2004). "Живая
Легенда Каратэ Такаюки Кубота и его
стиль Gosoku Ryu" [Living Legend of
Takayuki Kubota and
his style Gosoku Ryu]. World of Martial Arts (in Russian). Kiev,
Ukraine: АТ "Книга". 39 (3): 18–21. Retrieved January 6,
2010. [dead link]
Лозовой, Анатолий. Уроки жизни от
весёлого кузнеца [Life Lessons from merry blacksmith].
Боевые Искусства (in Russian). Charkov, Ukraine: ИПК
Друкарня Шульца: 44–50. Retrieved January 6,
Takayuki Kubota on IMDb