Choki Motobu was born in Shuri, the old capital of Okinawa, in 1871. He was born into a high ranking family at a time when education and privilege were reserved for the first born son. Consequently, as a third son, he was rather neglected. Nevertheless he was able to get instruction from several leading experts. Motobu originally studied karate with the famous Ankoh Itosu (1830-1915), the leading master of Shuri-te. He later studied with Tomari-te's Kosaku Matsumora (1829-1898). Motobu went to Japan in 1921, where Yasuhiro Konishi became his chief instructor. Motobu returned to Okinawa in 1940. Some time after he returned home; he met with Tong Gee Hsing and they shared their knowledge. Motobu died in Okinawa in 1944.
Robert Trias never had the opportunity to meet Motobu; however he would learn much about him and his art from Hsing and Konishi.