Okichitaw – The Canadian Martial Art

Okichitaw Style

Okichitaw is a very direct martial art. It highlights basic manoeuvres to enact a swift take-down and finish of an opponent. Unlike many other martial arts that promote a calm and patient style of fighting, Okichitaw is far more direct. It places immense focus on the laws of motion.

Bodyweight and speed are utilized to great effect. This combination of mechanics and the direct approach make this art immensely powerful.

Okichitaw is a relatively new martial art that was developed by George Lépine. Prior to creating his own art, Lépine had built an extravagant resume in the martial arts world.

Lépine had acquired experience in traditional wrestling, hankido, judo, taekwondo and tomahawk throwing. By applying all of his knowledge in a wide range of arts; Lépine was able to develop a new art, Okichitaw.

The art was developed in Canada in 1997. Okichitaw wasn’t shown to the world though until 2002. It was at the Chungju World Martial Arts Festival that year, Lépine presented his new art to the world.

It was displayed as the native martial art of Canada. This display was the first time Okichitaw was formally recognized as the official indigenous martial art of Canada.

Principles of Okichitaw

The majority of martial arts teach strict principles. In a way they are another means of schooling. Most arts teach students lessons in life.

Principles of respect and humility are deeply rooted in most martial arts. This not only makes willful learners great students but it also ensures they use the knowledge correctly in life.

This way students know to only use what they are taught in self-defense. It also inspires them to not boast. In Okichitaw seven principles known as the Grandfather teachings are taught to students. These principles are respect, love, humility, bravery, truth, wisdom and honesty.

Anyone with the desire to learn this art is expected to abide by these teachings. It is asked that students take the teachings into their daily lives. By doing this students respect teachers. They choose love instead of violence when confronted.

They are humble although the knowledge makes them dangerous. When a crisis comes they are brave and act accordingly. Lying and dishonesty is never an issue and as they learn more they become wise. This wisdom helps them pass on the teachings maintaining complete honesty.


When students begin training they start using weapons early. This is because okichitaw is a weapons based martial art for the most part. Although it can be used in self-defense in hand-to-hand combat.

Methods of self-defense with this art are also primarily taught using weapons though. Students are often taught how to disarm armed attackers. This is done through several training drills in classes.

The weapons used in okichitaw are primarily the tomahawk and gunstock war club. Although the use of a weapon is almost always assumed in training, hand-to-hand combat is learnt indirectly.

This is because the exercises put in to action with weapons can be enacted without. By doing this the same strategy and techniques can be used when no weapons are in the hand of anybody fighting.

This is great for anyone with the desire to learn this fighting style as it means it can be used in everyday life. However following the Grandfather teachings it should be used humbly and without aggression.

Although as a means of self-defense this martial art can prove to be perfect. It provides a swift way of disarming armed assailant or potential attackers in fights.

Due the the upfront and usage of smothering techniques, a take down of an opponent is simple with okichitaw. From the ground then the fight can easily be one by the individual in the dominant position.