Grand Master Natan, Jon David
Jon David (D'veed) Natan, Shuseki Shihan (納騰 徳維,首席 師範)10th Dan (十段 - Judan) Red Belt in Ryukyu Kenpo Kobujutsu was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. He started his martial arts training while attending Missouri Military Academy in Mexico, Missouri, in 1959, when he was eleven years old. Later, as part of the United States Armed Forces (Army) stationed in Seoul, Korea, Kyo Seng Chou was his instructor in Tang Soo Do (唐手道), Soo Bahk Do, Moo Duk Kwan with the Korean Taekwondo Association (KTA). The training was three hours a day, six days a week for eighteen months. In 1966, now 18, he received his Shodan (初段) in Shin Shin Jujutsu from Grandmaster Wilson; and Shodan (初段) from the KTA. In 1967, at age 19, he received his 2nd Dan (二段) Black Belts and a license to teach from the KTA.
Grand Master Odo, Seikichi
While a science major (Geology/Biology) attending the University of Missouri Kansas City, J.D. Natan began learning and teaching 'Chinese' Kenpo Karate. Soon, he was employed full time as manager for Traco International, a large international chain of Kenpo schools. In 1975, he opened his own full time professional dojo. In 1976, he was appointed chairman of region 5 for AAU Karate and received a Shodan (初段) in the Okinawan Kenpo weapons system of Seikichi Odo from Master Bill Marron
Grand Master Oyata, Seiyu
In 1976, Oyata, Sensei came to the United States. Jon David was waiting for him when he arrived from the airport. Master Oyata gave Jon David's Dojo the name, Ryukenkan, or Academy of Ryukyu Kempo*. J.D. became Master Oyata's first 'transfer' student. Having successfully made the jump from one system to a radically different one, earlier; J.D. had no trouble adjusting to the instruction of Oyata, Sensei. For ten years, Jon David, daily, learned and practiced Master Oyata's Ryukyu Kempo*. From three times a week to almost daily, he was in contact with Oyata-san. Not a week passed that he didn't learn, personally, from Oyata, Sensei; private lessons, in small group classes, or in personal conversations. In 1977, Master Oyata conferred upon him a Shihan Menjo (師範 免状). J.D. Natan had been participating in open 'point' competitions since 1969; but, he withdrew from 'point' kumite and concentrated, instead, on bogu kumite, which he had been practicing since 1972.
Grand Master Nakamura, Shigeru
* Ironically, Master Oyata's instructor, Saikou Shihan(最高 師範) Shigeru Nakamura, spelled Kenpo correctly in his English transliterations. An early film taken in 1968, shows Master Oyata doing Kata in Kansas. A makeshift title spells Kenpo correctly at this time. Later, Master Oyata's students spelled the name as it is pronounced; due, to lack of familiarity with Japanese grammar. Master Oyata didn't care to correct it and, instead, changed the name to a personal one, when others started using and abusing it.
By 1979, J.D. Natan's style had changed so much that it no longer bore any resemblance to his teachings of just a few years earlier. In August 1979 he captured the Heavyweight Championship in bogu kumite, defending his title until his retirement in 1981. Before retiring, he spent five months teaching in Israel, introducing Ryukyu Kenpo there. Oyata, Sensei promoted J.D. to Renshi and 6th Dan Black Belt in 1984. At this time, he started traveling with Master Oyata across the United States, giving seminars and interviews with him. He represented Master Oyata in Europe and the middle east.
Keeping with the tradition of Karate masters before him, when circumstances made it impossible to continue training with their teachers, J.D. struck out on his own. In 1987 he moved to Israel. There, he combined and modified (over a fifteen year period) what he knew into Ryukyu (Liuqiu)(琉球) Kenpo (Quanfa)(拳法) Kobujutsu (古武術). Saikou Shihan Seikichi Uehara's, ideas and principles, as taught to J.D. through Master Oyata, transformed the old 'Chinese' Kenpo Karate techniques (and understanding of their kata) into something new and totally different. His knowledge of kata breakdown and practical application is unsurpassed in Israel; elevating it from "kindergarten" to "university" and post doc levels.
Jon David Natan, Hanshi received his 10th Dan (十段 - Judan) Red Belt in Ryukyu Kenpo Kobujutsu from the Ryukyu Kenpo Karate Kobudo Rengokai in 2006, an 8th Dan (八段 - Hachidan) Red Belt in Ryukyu Kenpo from Midori Yama Budokai in 1996, a 6th Dan (六段 - Rokudan) Black Belt in Shin Shin Jujutsu (新進 柔術) from Grandmaster Leo D. Wilson in 1996, 6th Dan (六段 - Rokudan) Black Belt in Ryukyu Kempo and Kobudo from Taika Seiyu Oyata in 1984; 5th Dan (五段 - Godan) Black Belt in Okinawan Kobudo from 8th Dan Master Bill Marron in 1996; 5th Dan (五段 - Godan) Black Belt in Hapkido from 8th Dan Grandmaster Gunter Bauer. In addition, he is the retired undefeated heavyweight champion of the United States, and former #1 world rated heavyweight fighter in bogu kumite. He is the Shuseki Shihan (首席 師範) of the Ryukyu Kenpo Kobujutsu Kai (琉球 拳法 古武術 会); and, the Chief Technical Officer of the Ryukyu Kenpo Karate Kobudo Rengokai (琉球 拳法 唐手 古武道 連合会) [www.ryukyu-kenpo.org], both internationally recognized organizations with branches in Israel, Bulgaria, England, and the United States. He currently teaches Hóngxiāng (Red Village) Qūanfa (紅鄉 拳法) in Private and Semi-private classes (054-686-9228). J.D. Natan attended the Coach's Course (Course Mei'amen) at the Israeli Sports College, Wingate Institute, and is a licensed martial arts instructor [dated 1967] with the Ministry of Education in Israel.
While this section details the qualifications and training received by J.D. Natan regarding the formation of Ryukyu Kenpo Kobujutsu and Hóngxiāng Red Village Qūanfa; it totally neglects the military science and tactics training he received throughout his 12 years of service in the US Army. This section concerns the civilian side occupation he practiced. "I have never been a "Karate" teacher; or learned "Karate". (Tang Soo Do) Su Bahk Do, Moo Duk Kwan; Chinese Kenpo; and Ryukyu Kenpo are not Karate. I am a PMC [Profesional Military Contractor] Master Instructor in Individual Tactical Training - Hand to Hand. "Karate" does not teach, small arms training (rifles, shotguns, and pistols), improvised and bladed weapons. I do!"