Master Kentsu Yabu was born in Okinawa in Shuri City in 1866. He began his training in the art of tode under Master Sokon Matsumura and then under his main disciple Master Anko Itosu .
He joined the Japanese Imperial Army where he served in Manchuria in 1891. He returned with the status of hero in Okinawa. Although he attained the rank of lieutenant, he will always be known as “Sergeant Yabu” by his students. Upon his return, he became a teacher at the Normal School. He was one of the first karate practitioner to show this art outside of the island at that time. He also traveled to the United States to Hawaii and and to California where his eldest son settled.
Like his friend and karate classmate Master Chomo Hanachiro, Master Kentsu Yabu has left a deep imprint in the formation of the Masters that will influence the spread of karate in Japan and around the world in the 2oth century. He died in 1937 in Shuri City.