Sensei Andrea Guarelli, Chairman & Founder IMKA
Shinpo Matayoshi, 1921 - 1997
Shinko Matayoshi, 1888 - 1947
Shinjo Gima Oyakata, 1557 - 1664
Shinpo Matayoshi and Andrea Guarelli
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August 17, 2016

On June 4, 2016, a perfidious letter appeared on the homepage of the Matayoshi Kobudo Kodokan website.

This untruthful letter was an egregious assault on my character, and called into question my honor, my comportment within the Martial Arts community, my loyalty to Matayoshi Shinpo (during our relationship) and my training integrity.

This letter was presented as having been written by Matayoshi Yasushi, and distributed worldwide through the Kodokan website, Facebook, blogs, and word of mouth. 

I immediately received vicious and vulgar emails and comments that were sophomoric at best and litigious at worst. The damage to my reputation was swift and harsh.  I made no public comments regarding this letter, choosing instead to wait for my scheduled August visit to Okinawa, where I hoped to have a proper meeting with Matayoshi Yasushi, face to face as is the appropriate way to handle such important matters.

Shimabukuro Zenpo, the president of the Okinawa Ken Karatedo Rengokai (Okinawa Prefecture Karatedo Association) and highly respected Shorin Ryu teacher, arranged this meeting with Matayoshi Yasushi. For this I am grateful.  Shimabukuro Zenpo provided excellent translation so that Yasushi Matayoshi would fully understand what had taken place within the Kodokan. 

At 3:00pm on August 6, we had a two-hour meeting at the Hotel Royal Orion Naha in which I presented all of the facts backed up by screen shots taken from the Kodokan website, emails, and Facebook posts and comments. 

Matayoshi Yasushi had the opportunity to discuss, digest and fully understand the facts (with Zenpo Sensei translating.)  He told me that he had not written the letter himself, and that it was written by a non-Okinawan member of the Kodokan.

At the conclusion of the meeting, he stated the the letter would be removed from the Kodokan website, and that he would issue a formal letter of apology to me.

On August 9, the letter was removed from the home page of the Kodokan website. However, the letter itself was still live on the site and available via URL links that had been previously shared and that were also readily visible in a Google search. This fact necessitated a second meeting with Matayoshi Yasushi on August 10. The URL was removed on August 15. 

Thank you for your time.

Andrea Guarelli – IMKA President
(Open Letter Page)




The purpose of I.M.K.A. is to further the art of Okinawan Matayoshi Kobudō
as taught by the Matayoshi family, and promote the growth and development of its members by providing
programs and events that  teach
Okinawan culture, history, and perfection of technique.

New Book Available Now!
The History, Tools and Techniques of The Ancient Martial Art
Okinwan Kobudo
By Sensei Andrea Guarelli

from Skyhorse Publishing, New York, NY


Japan’s Ryukyu archipelago was the birthplace of two methods of self-defense now practiced worldwide: Okinawan Karate and Ryukyu Kobujutsu, known as Okinawan Kobudo. Kobudo is the study of weapons adapted from the tools of farming and fishing.Okinawan Kobudo reveals, for the first time through print and photographs, the rich history and techniques of this most prestigious martial art known worldwide as Matayoshi.Andrea Guarelli traces the history of Matayoshi Kobudo, explores the background of each weapon, and demonstrates the form and technique of practice through rare photos, many of which the author took while a student of Shinpo Matayoshi Sensei (1921–1997).

Guarelli Book Cover