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Chatan Yara

Chatan Yara (1668–1756) is credited with being one of the first to disseminate the art of Te throughout Okinawa. Yara is most noted for teaching Takahara Peichin who would later be the sensei of Sakugawa Kanga, the father of Okinawan karate. Yara was from Chatan Village, on Okinawa Island.

According to most accounts, Yara's parents sent him to China at the age of 12 under the advice of his uncle to study the Chinese language and the martial arts. It was here he mastered the use of the bo staff and twin sais under the guidance of his teacher Wong Chung-Yoh.

Shortly after returning to Shuri around 1700, Yara came to the assistance of a woman being harassed by a samurai. First avoiding the samurai's sword attacks, Yara acquired an oar from a nearby boat and successfully disarmed and killed the samurai. Soon after this rescue, he was recruited by local officials to teach his martial art to the local community for the purpose of self-defense.


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