Memorial Wall of Friends that have gone before:
Taika Seiyu Oyata
Taika Seiyu Oyata was born October 19, 1930, and passed away on June 18, 2012 after an illness with cancer and an unexpected stroke.
Taika Seiyu Oyata (親田清勇) was a highly skilled Life Protection artist who became famous for his skills in Tuite and Kyusho jutsu as well as his insightful knowledge of the human body and how to manipulate it. He lived 81 years, with 35 in the Ryukyu Islands of Japan and 35 in the Kansas City Metropolitan area of Missouri, the United States of America. Taika Oyata brought 14 open hand kata and at least 57 weapons kata with him to the United States with his immigration and that is a core part of the art of OyataTe.
Taika Seiyu Oyata was both Lee Richards and Tony Skeen direct instructor.
Matthew Tyner was born April 28, 1970, and passed away on July 24, 2012 in the line of duty as a Colorado Springs, CO Police Officer.
Matt had been a long time student in the martial arts and studied Ryukyu Kempo initially under the Verlanders in Raytown, MO, then transferring to Northland Ryukyu Kempo Budokai in Gladstone, MO under Shihan Michael Waddell. He then transferred to Kenshukai under Lee Richards and Tony Skeen when Michael Waddell retired. Though he eventually moved to Colorado Springs, Matt continued to train when in town and also trained with Lee as a Police Training with NLETC.
Michael G. Waddell
Michael G. Waddell was born September 5, 1957, and passed away after a five-year battle with cancer on November 10, 2018.
Shihan Waddell originally ran Northland Ryukyu Kempo Budokai of Gladstone, MO which was eventually taken over by Tony K. Skeen and Lee Richards when he retired. He studied martial arts for many years, running a Shito-Ryu school for years before discovering Taika Seiyu Oyata. He converted to Ryukyu Kempo in 1978 and had attained his instructors license and fourth dan by 1979. In 1996 he took a brief retirement from teaching, prioritizing his family of three sons and a wife. He returned to Taika's art, training at headquarters by 2010.
Marvin Fankhauser III
Marvin A. Fankhauser III was born May 5, 1957, and passed away peacefully at home on May 25, 2023 after an illness with glioblastoma.
Marvin began training in martial arts many years before we all met him in this art. He studied primarily Tae Kwon Do at Yu's Academy of Martial Arts in St. Joseph, MO. Sometime after obtaining his black belt in that style he ventured further into the arts, seeking something closer to the root of the art and found the style of Ryukyu Kempo about an hour and a half south of his home. There, an original instructor from the Ryukyu Islands had immigrated a little over a decade earlier. Around 1989 he made the conversion to Ryukyu Kempo which of course later changed to RyuTe Ren Mei. He attained rankings in both and later, twice tested into Taika Seiyu Oyata's Shin Shu Ho with a final ranking just shortly before Taika's death of 7th Dan.
Though Marvin was mostly known for his Manji Sai, he was a very skilled open-hand warrior as well. He was proficient with all joint locks as well as vital strikes. He was a very powerful training partner. At the Shihan Dai training sessions, he would usually spend about one hour on open hand and then switch to various weapons. He also ran a small, private home dojo for many years in St. Joseph, MO though the number of students dwindled just prior to his death due to covid.
In addition to being a great martial artist and true representative of Taika Seiyu Oyata's art, Marvin was a great friend. His skill as a warrior, wit and friendship are dearly missed.