Master Shimabuku, Founder of Isshin-Ryu
Isshin-Ryu (one heart/one mind) was introduced by Tatsuo Shimabuku. Master Shimabuku studied both the Shorin-Ryu (mother of Isshin-Ryu meaning "first-way") and Goju-Ryu (father of Isshin-Ryu meaning "hard/soft way") systems. Later he studied kobudo (weapons—the Bo, Sai and Tonfa) under Okinawa's most noted instructors. Isshinryu is a combination of the best of these styles and weapons techniques and epitomizes the powerful, lightning-fast techniques that enabled the weaponless Okinawans to endure the rein of the Chinese empire and to defeat the sword-wielding Samurai of Japan.
1. What is karate?
Karate is self-defense made up of blocks, punches, grabs and kicks to provide protection against attackers. There are many styles that have their own philosophy and techniques.
2. Isshin-ryu: (which means: Whole Heart Way) was developed from Shorin-ryu (mother; translation: First Way) and Goju-ryu (father; translation: Hard-Soft Way). Officially named on January 15, 1956 by Master Tatsuo Shimabuku (founder).
3. Master Tatsuo Shimabuku: Founder of Isshin-ryu. Born on September 19, 1908 in the Okinawan village of Chan (now Kinaka). Died on May 30, 1975.
Master Shimabuku began his martial arts training at the age of 13 from his uncle Ganeku, who also taught him to be a "sanjinsoo" or fortune teller. He later studies with Chotku Kyan, Chojun Miyagi, Choki Motobu. He incorporates what he learns from these masters into his karate style.
At first he calls his karate Chan migwa karate after Chotoku Kyan's nickname, the later Sun nu su karate after his own nickname (given to him by the mayor of Chan when Tatsuo was a tax collector). In 1956, he officially names it "Isshin-ryu" karate he says, "because all things start with one."
At 51 years old, he begins to learn Shinken Taira kobudo and incorporates it into Isshin-ryu as well.
In 1971 he retires from teaching and his first born son, Kichior takes over the dojo.
Master Tatsuo Shimabuku took Seisan, Naihanchi, Wansu, Chinto, and Kusanku Katas from Shorin-Ryu Karake
Master Tatsuo Shimabuku took the Seiunchin and Sanchin Katas from Goju-Ryu Karate.
Sunsu (originally Sun nu su or "son of old man" from one of Tatsuo's nicknames given to him when he was a tax collector) is only true Isshin-ryu kata.
4. Blocking: Grip inward
5. Striking: Grip outward
Isshin-ryu Patch: Shape
of a fist with thumb on top.
Dragon: fighting spirit of Isshin-ryu. The dragon is also symbolic of Master Shimabuku as Tatsuo means Dragon Man.
Night: peace and serenity
Wind and Water: violence of typhoon surrounding goddess through which she remains calm
Goddess: Megami: (woman-god) half woman, half dragon
Right hand clenched in sign of power
Left hand open in sign of peace
Goddess shows gentle humility and fighting fury
Calm illustrates self-control in face of adversity
There are eight cardinal directions (basic directions
8. The only true Isshin-ryu kata is Sunsu.
9. What is master rank? Fifth.
What does Seisan and Seunchin katas Teach?
What does Naihanchin and Wansu teach?
12. What does Chinto kata teach? Attacking from a non-standing position and pivots.
13. What does Kusan-Ku kata teach? Night fighting.
What makes Isshin-Ryu different from other styles of martial arts?
There are no deep, lunging stances