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Taketo Okuda

  Taketo Okuda, was the founder of the Butoku-kan karate academy and one of the best karatekas in the world, he is the greatest guardian of the tradition of this ancient martial art in Brazil. Disciple of Masatoshi Nakayama (who in turn was a student of Gichin Funakoshi), Okuda is a fervent defender of the spiritual aspects of this type of martial art, which is often perceived (and practiced) only as a fighting technique and not as a process. evolution of the practitioner's spirit.

Gichin Funakoshi - fundador do Karatê Shotokan

Gichin Funakoshi - founder of Shotokan Karate

Sensei Masatoshi Nakayama e Sensei Taketo Okuda

Sensei Masatoshi Nakayama and Sensei Taketo Okuda

  The Zen philosophy of karate taught by master Taketo Okuda, former professor of several universities in Japan, takes into account that fighting, competition, and the desire to defeat another person are details that end diverting attention from the main purpose of daily training: the eternal battle of human beings with themselves and the discovery of a vigorous spirit, close to the sublime.

Sensei Taketo Okuda em campeonato

Sensei Taketo Okuda in Championship

  "The philosophy of karate is true and profound. Karate is not just about winning or losing a fight. Seen from this angle, practice becomes futile and empty", explains Master Okuda. "We aim at the invisible, that which has no time or space limit", he adds. Little by little, the students at his academy are realizing what this means in their day-to-day life: in addition to attacking and defending sequences and countless repetitions done in class, they learn good manners, sincerity and courage, teachings that are difficult to learn. will be found in other types of training.

  In Japan, master Okuda's life is linked to the practice of martial arts since childhood. At the age of 5, influenced by his father, he began to practice kendo (or "the way of the sword") almost every day, always at 6 am.

  This routine continued until he was 9 years old, when he started training judo with a group of older athletes who studied at a nearby college. At 13, with the help of a friend who already practiced karate, he discovered the art that would influence and accompany him for the rest of his life. "At that time, I looked at karate with curious eyes, because I saw that kata training was like a dance. In my mind, neither judo nor kendo offered something similar, so complete, and even more like dancing", he says.

  When he moved to Tokyo to continue his studies, Master Okuda joined an academy linked to the Japan Karate Association (JKA) and quickly rose through the ranks, earning his black belt at the 19 years old. When he was 22 years old, Master Nakayama gave Okuda an invitation that would change his life: to become a karate professional and, from then on, become one of the best teachers the JKA has ever trained in his rigorous school.

Sensei Taketo Okuda treinando

Sensei Taketo Okuda training

to Brazil

  Fulfilling the policy of spreading the art of karate around the world, master Nakayama made plans for one of his best students. "He told me I should go to Australia," says Okuda. "But already at that time I had Brazil as my goal; it was a destination that had been in my imagination for years".

Sensei Taketo Okuda em sua primeira Academia no Ipiranga

Sensei Taketo Okuda at his first Academy in Ipiranga

  And the dream ended up being fulfilled when, in the early 1970s, Mestre Okuda set up the first headquarters of the academy, on Rua Vergueiro. Since then, Butoku-kan karate, increasingly pure and close to that of its ancestors, has evolved along with Master Okuda's philosophy, which has gained more sophisticated forms, opening up a potential source of inner strength in all of his students. . "Why was this karate born? What would be the origin? This is an endless search", philosophies sensei Okuda. "That's why I train daily. It's because of this endless pursuit of perfection.

  My challenge is to one day show what is the truth of karate. It's my job, my mission."


Ricardo Lombardi (Journalist and student)

ashes overboard

  After a long training journey, where retreating was never an option, Master Taketo Okuda  fell ill at the end of 2020. “At first he did not accept visitors. He said 'no, samurai cannot show weakness'”, says Seiji Kaduoka. The current in charge of Butoku-kan.

  After two complicated years of battle, there was no way sensei Okuda could not resist and died on January 31, 2022.

  At the Master's request, his ashes were thrown into the sea on a beach in São Paulo called Juquehy, Okuda asked that he be thrown next to a rock where the ashes of his son Tetsuo were released.

Report by Veja São Paulo - The Samurai Dies

Sensei Taketo Okuda  e Sensei Tetsuo Okuda (filho)

Taketo Okuda Sensei  and Tetsuo Okuda Sensei (son)

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