Okinawan Karate Academy
© 2007-2014 All Rights Reserved Robert Tellers Okinawan Karate Academy Pottstown PA


The Ryukyu Islands spread like stepping-stones from the tip of Southern Japan to China. Okinawa, the largest and most influential of these islands, is strategically located between these two great nations. As a result, the culture, history, and life-style of the Ryukyu Islands have been greatly influenced by both Chinese and Japanese cultures.  As cultural exchanges were made with China, ideas concerning China’s self-defense were merged with Okinawa’s indigenous fighting art leading to the development of a unique martial art known today as karate. The term Karate, originally used by the Japanese to describe the kicking and striking art they observed in Okinawa, is now widely used when referring to almost all kicking and striking arts regardless of origin. Ryushinkan is a form of karate encompassing a great deal more than just kicking and punching. Ryushinkan includes grappling techniques, or Tuite; vital point strikes, or Kysho Jitsu; and weapons techniques, or Kobudo. These are not separate arts or additions to karate, but are contained in the original art. Bogu Kumite, which uses protective body armor, allows full power blows in the sporting aspect of Ryushinkan. Today there are many different styles of karate. These Styles, although related, differ in philosophy and interpretation of concepts. As such, karate is classed in three categories. Modern, Traditional, and Classical. After 1945, emphasis was placed upon karate as a sport, hence, Modern karate developed. This is seen in many eclectic styles that develop new techniques only for use in sport.   Traditional karate developed after the Meiji restoration in 1868. A shift from the warrior philosophy was dictated by the Japanese government; therefore, emphasis was placed upon the spiritual and physical development. This is gained by practicing “the way” of karate rather than actual combat applications. Classical karate, developed before 1868, uses actual fighting philosophy developed by the warrior class. Classical karate is real karate technique used to stop opponents in actual combat, not the controlled conditions of tournament play. Ryushinkan is a classical system of karate reflecting the original concepts of the fighting arts of Okinawa. The techniques are those used by the ancient warriors of the Ryukyu Islands. It is these ideals that separate Ryushinkan from modern and traditional forms of karate.


Kyoshi Robert Teller began his karate training in 1965, while stationed in the Orient, with the U.S. Air force. He remained in Okinawa for 14 years, studying under a veritable "Who's Who" of reowned karate masters. Married into an Okinawan martial arts family, Kyoshi Teller was exposed to styles and techniques seldom shown to outsiders. Today he is a major representative of Taika Seiyu Oyata's RyuTu system in the United Staes. Kyoshi Teller is also among the nation's leading authorities on the art of Okinawan weaponry, or kobudo. his articles on karate, both technical and biographical, have been featured in the nation's premier Karate publications. Among Mr. Teller's instructors were Shoshin Nagamine of Matsubayashi Shorin-ryu, Shuguro Nakazato of Kobayashi Shorin-ryu, the late Shosei Kina and Masanbu Kina of Rengeikan, Shian Toma of of Seidokan and Taika Seiyu Oyata of Ryu te.


Renshi Jimmy Teller was born into a Martial art family and began training in Karate at the age of three. Renshi Teller's grandfather Chinen, was one of the original students of Tatsuo Shimabuku before the art was known as Isshinryu. He accompanied his father, Kyoshi Robert Teller, to most of the Okinawan Karate schools he attended and studied with many of the same Okinawan masters. By the age of fifteen, Renshi Teller had become a member of the USA Karate team and was ranked in Karate Illustrated magazine as one of the top fighters on the East Coast. Among Jimmy Teller's teachers were Shuguro Nakazato of Kobayashi Shorin-ryu, Sensei Isa of Shorin-ryu, Masanobu Kina of Rengeikan, and Shian Toma of Seidokan, Renshi teller has continued to train and teach throughout the years under the teachings of Taika Seiyu Oyato. He has been awarded by Grand Master Oyato the title of 6th Dan and is a member of th Oyato Shin Shu Ho Ryu family art.


Okinawan dance has a long and dignified history, going back many centuries. It has passed down with little change over time from master to student.  The training of dancers is difficult and exacting, much like training in "Martial Arts." These dances are part of Okinawan folklore and tell stories that are tragic, funny, or mythical. During certian periods of Okinawan history, especially when the country was occupied by a foreign power, Karate Masters practiced these dances and included martial art techniques hidden in their movements. Mrs. teller began her training as a dancer when she was 5 years old under "Higa Ryotoko" of Miyagi Ryu. Later she was a disciple of "Hamamoto," a woman then in her sixties who into into her nineties. Addionally, Mrs. Teller has extensive training in the “Martial Arts.” She has danced professionally for many years in Okinawan and Japan, once with "Hohan Sokan," Mrs. Teller has been fortunate to have received instruction from "Taika Oyata" who has helped her immensely with her techniques and has polished her Naginata skills. We in America are fortunate to have an artist like Miko Teller touching our lives.
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