With more than thirty years of teaching experience and having been the chief representative for Takeda Ryu Nakamura Ha as well as Soke Nakamura’s deputy in Europe, Kobilza Sensei is a guarantor for budo practice that is lively while remaining true to tradition. His training methods are highly developed and extremely efficient. His way of teaching Takeda Ryu Aiki no Jutsu with all its disciplines is fascinatingly simple and clear, always revealing the art’s underlying principles and yet remaining practical. It reflects his deep understanding of the art and his extraordinary creative and innovative abilities.
One of Kobilza’s former dojos in
As a young student, he trained budo at the University Institute of Sports in Vienna, Austria (Karate, Judo and modern Aikido [Ueshiba Style]).
He soon founded his first club, made contacts with various budo organizations inside and outside Austria and participated in many of their seminars.
In the seventies, he founded the Austrian Jujitsu Association with the objective of forging contacts to Japan and promoting authentic styles of Nihon Jujitsu.
Kobilza began to study the history of budo intensively, and as a result introduced Jujitsu training in his dojo that was partly connected to the use of weapons. This in turn made it necessary to intensify the study of weapon disciplines, so he began to search for a budo school where Sobudo practice (the comprehensive training of all of a school’s martial disciplines) was still alive.
Kobilza, teaching at
In the eighties, Kobilza was a Jujitsu (Aikijujitsu) teacher at the University Institute of Sports in Salzburg, Austria, and, as such, he came in contact with Sensei Kurt Schöffmann, an outstanding master in the Austrian budo scene, instructor for Nihon Jujitsu (Goshin Ryu) at the University in Klagenfurt, Austria, and at that time, also branch director of IMAF Austria (the Austrian branch of the International Martial Arts Federation with its world headquarters in Japan). Schöffmann invited Kobilza to affiliate his group with IMAF and to become an IMAF representative. Kobilza, honored by this invitation, entered into the IMAF without hesitating.
IMAF dan examination: in front two candidates,
behind (l. to r.). S. Kobilza (instructor at Salzburg university)
K. Schöffmann (IMAF Austria branch director and instructor at the University of Klagenfurt)
and W. Somitsch (president of the First Carinthian Judo and Jujitsu Association)
Meeting in Torino, Italy, 1989
Grandmaster Mochizuki (Founder of Yoseikan Budo)
Kobilza and Sugiyama Sensei (BIF/Italy)
IMAF Renshi certificate for Kobilza
(Nihon Jujitsu 4th Dan)
Being an IMAF representative, Kobilza met renowned Japanese masters such as Kai Sensei (Goju Ryu Karate, Okinawa Kobudo and Tanbojutsu), Yamaguchi Sensei (Seitei Iai), Sugino Sensei (Katori Shinto Ryu Ken, Bo, Naginata and Kama) and the great Mochizuki Sensei (founder of Yoseikan Budo), to name but a few. Years later, Mochizuki even invited him to act as a representative for BIF (Budo International Federation) in Europe. To a great extent Kobilza’s profound knowledge of traditional budo is based on that fruitful time with those masters who inspired and encouraged him to continue and even intensify his practical and theoretical studies.
In those days, Kobilza also learned that one of the IMAF’s directors was Nakamura Hisashi, founder and head (Soke) of Takeda Ryu Nakamura Ha, and began to correspond with him in 1986. In 1988, they arranged a personal meeting in Luxembourg, at the opening of the dojo of Monika Werhahn-Mees, who had lived in Tokyo for some years and who had practiced Aikido and Iaido before she returned to Europe. Her dojo was actually the first of the Nakamura branch in Europe. Nakamura then invited Kobilza to join his school and become his representative in Europe. Kobilza accepted and started his new task right away.
First meeting with Soke Nakamura:
ín front (l. to r.) S. Kobilza (IMAF Renshi 4th dan),
Shihan Sofue, Soke Nakamura, Shihan Morita, Sensei Werhahn-Mees
and SENSEI K. SCHÖFFMANN (Kyoshi 6th dan and branch director of IMAF Austria)
This document authorizes Kobilza to teach and represent
the budo of Takeda Ryu Nakamura Ha in Europe.
In October 1989, Kobilza received the official confirmation of his position as an instructor and representative for Takeda Ryu Nakamura Ha in Europe.
Soke Nakamura and Kobilza
Nakamura left IMAF Japan in that time and founded the Budo International Federation (BIF) together with Sugino and Mochizuki and a number of other masters. Kobilza followed his Sensei, Nakamura. So with regret he resigned from the IMAF and had to leave his comrade and mentor, Schöffmann Sensei.
First Int. Congress for Takeda Budo in Vienna, 1992 – ISTB foundation
meeting (l. to r.): Shihan Matsushita and Morita,
Soke Nakamura, Shihan Sofue, Kobilza and Toyoshima.
In 1990, Kobilza became vice-president of European Sobukai Takedaryu (EST) but it soon became apparent that his vision for the future of Takeda Ryu in Europe was quite different from that of the EST’s president.
In 1992, Kobilza became Shihan, and in 1993, with twenty-three black belt degrees, the highest-ranked master of Takeda Ryu Nakamura Ha outside of Japan. With Nakamura’s approval, he created the International Society for Takeda Budo (ISTB) and spent the following years travelling extensively to promote Takeda Budo in Europe.
In the nineties, Kobilza also travelled regularly to Japan and regularly invited Soke Nakamura to teach at the yearly ISTB congress in Europe.
He provided teaching materials and published several videos, including the first training video ever for Takeda Ryu Aikido. He also began introducing the various forms of competition as practiced in Takeda Budo.
Kobilza, practicing Battogiri
in Nakamura`s dojo, 1991
In 1997, Kobilza received the Okuden Menkyo for Takeda Ryu Nakamura Ha (license for a Shihan of the internal or secret level).
In 1998, he was appointed Soke Nakamura’s exclusive representative for Europe and thus he was the only person entitled to teach and to authorize others to teach Takeda Budo. Under his leadership, the ISTB became the only legitimized organization for the Takeda School outside of Japan.
In 2001, Kobilza was confirmed as the exclusive representative and Soke Nakamura’s deputy in Europe. The proclamation document contains the most comprehensive rights ever granted by the Nakamura School to one of its Shihan.
In 2001, Kobilza published his book “Takeda Ryu Sobudo – The Comprehensive Martial Arts of Takeda Ryu,” a manual for the complete Takeda martial arts, the first and still the only one of its kind in the world. In 2005, the ISTB also published the French edition of this manual.
Takeda Ryu manual
by S. Kobilza
Nakamura and Kobilza at a
promotion ceremony in Vienna, 1997
To this day, it is thanks to Siegfried Kobilza that Takeda Ryu Nakamura Ha has spread so extensively throughout Europe. He is the pioneer for Takeda Ryu Nakamura Ha outside of Japan, and it is he who trained the great majority of today’s European instructors (except those who were trained by Maroteaux in the EST).
Hundreds of dan certificates have been awarded by Kobilza on behalf of the Nakamura School, as well as a remarkable number of teaching licenses.
In 2006, Kobilza and the International Society for Takeda Budo (ISTB) became independent from the Nakamura branch. Today, under his leadership, the ISTB represents an autonomous branch of Takeda Ryu that embodies Kobilza’s specific method of teaching the Takeda martial arts and is designated as Takeda Ryu Kobilza Ha in order to distinguish it from other branches of Takeda Budo.
(Takeda Ryu Kobilza Ha)