Shorin Ken Karate-do
Most experts agree that the art of Karate (empty hand) can trace its origins back to the late 12th century, when elements of early Chinese empty handed fighting systems were introduced to Okinawa from Chinese cultural immigrants. The Okinawans developed a common fighting system known as Te (hand), which would continue to be developed and refined through war and private practice over the next 4 centuries. These early forms of Karate were generalized as Shuri-te, Naha-te, and Tomari-te, named after the provinces in which they were developed and prevalent in. Each system was unique in its practice and application of techniques, kata, and philosophy, and was thus easily distinguishable from the others.
Sokon Matsumura (1809-1899) taught a style that was a blend of Shuri-te, Tomari-te, and Chinese Shaolin Kung-fu. His style would later come to be known as Shorin-ryu. One of Matsumura’s most well known students was Anko Itosu (1831-1915). Itosu adapted kata he had learned from Matsumura and created the ping’an forms (also known as Heian or Pinan kata in Japanese), which are a series of simplified kata for beginning students. These kata became known for their effectiveness in teaching fundamental Karate skills to new students and thus have become so widespread that they are now represented and practiced in almost all styles of modern Karate. Itosu’s influence on the martial arts and on Karate in general was far-reaching. Some of his students would go on to become some of the most well-known Karate masters in history. These include Gichin Funakoshi (1868-1957, founder of Shotokan Karate), Kenwa Mebuni (1889-1952, founder of Shito-Ryu Karate), and Choki Motobu (1870-1944, founder of Motobu-Ryu Karate). After training extensively in China, Kanryo Higaonna (1853-1916) returned to Okinawa and began to teach a style of martial arts that would become known as Naha-te. One of Higaonna’s top students was Chojun Miyagi (1888-1953). Miyagi would go on to create the Goju-Ryu style of Karate.
Shorin-Ken Karate-do incorporates the most effective and proven techniques, teachings, and philosophies found in the classical Japanese martial art forms of Aikido, Aiki-jutsu, Judo, Karate-do, Kobudo, and Jiu-jitsu into a single comprehensive, well-rounded, dynamic form of self-defense. The physical benefits of classical martial arts training are obvious: Proper training will lead to improved strength and muscle development, hardening of the body, improved cardiovascular condition, increased focus and awareness, and of course, the development of one’s ability to adequately defend themselves and their loved ones should the need ever arise. However, the less tangible, but much more important benefits from this type of training can be found in the higher development of the spirit, mind, character, and philosophy on life. Through the use of traditional training and teaching methods that have been handed down through the centuries, we focus on building and developing a complete, well rounded martial artist as opposed to concentrating purely on physical development.
Mastery of any system of self defense will take many years of hard work, hard training, mental & spiritual cultivation, perseverance, and major character development. At the Bushin Martial Arts Academy, we strive to help students advance in all of these aspects of classical martial arts training while maintaining the purity and fidelity of these martial systems as they have been passed down to us through the years.
Whether you are an experienced martial artist who is looking to expand your knowledge base, are a casual practitioner who wishes to stay active and in shape, or are a complete beginner with no prior martial arts training, we are confident that training in Shorin-Ken Karate-do will be a positively life-changing experience for you.