SHIMABUKU TATSUO "Creator and Founder of Isshinryu Kara-te" Sept 19, 1908 - May 30, 1975 Shimabuku Tatsuo the "Dragon

Man" of Isshin-ryu was born September 19th, 1908 Being a sumuchi, (Fortune Teller) he studied the oriental star constellations. One constellation, "The East Dragon", was the inspiration for naming his system Isshin-ryu. Tatsuo also took his name from the Dragon of the East. The heart of the dragon and named his system Isshin-ryu. We can see in the picture of the Isshin-ryu Megami that there are three stars in line in the shape of one (***) in kanji ( ). The three stars are the heart of The East dragon. The same three stars are also the heart of Scorpio.

The name Isshin-ryu is found in the symbol of the Megami ??. The three stars on line (***) stand for the kanji or ) one (ichi) or (is). The three stars (***) are the "Heart (Shin)" of the "Dragon" or "Scorpio" Chinese character (

"Ryu" is a homophone or a word having the same sound as another word but differing from it in spelling, origin, and meaning; For example, English "sum" and "some" are homophones. Another example is "night" and "knight". , meaning a way, a style or a mode and "ryu" or , meaning dragon are homophones. In Japanese, "ryu" and "kara" meaning empty are also homophonese. Both are pronounced the same. "Kara" meaning "China"

There are thirteen major features of Isshinryu Karate :

1) Elimination of fancy techniques - once used to hide karate's killing power because it was against the law to practice karate. 2) Combination of the best of Shorin-ryu and Goju-ryu to form a basic, realistic system of self-defense. 3) Use of low kicks (none above the waist) because low kicks allow you to move quickly with power and balance. Such kicks are hard to see, and hard to block. Sport karate can use high kicks. 4) Use of short, natural stances which eliminate wasted motion and major body shifting, giving a split-second time advantage in self-defense situation. Such stances are more adaptable to American physique and temperament because the stances follow natural body movements. 5) Hand and foot techniques are about 50-50 in kata, giving the student a well-rounded system of karate. 6) Close-in techniques which are valuable for street fighting (Bunkai). 7) Snap-punches and snap kicks (punches and kicks come from a limb only 90% extended and immediately retracted), enabling you to move in and out quickly in a self-defense situation and to immediately correct yourself if you miscalculate. The lack of full extension of the limb prevents excessive wear and tear on the hinge joints. 8) Elements of hard blocking (meeting force with force) and soft blocking (deflecting or parrying the blows). 9) Blocks executed with the muscular part and 2 bones of the forearm rather than one bone and all muscle part to prevent breakage of the bones. 10) A fist made with the thumb on top of the fist rather than over the first two fingers. This method locks the wrist, helping to prevent the fist from buckling at the wrist on impact. This method also tightens the fist by allowing you to put tension on the top of the fist (thumb side) and the side of the fist (finger side). 11) Vertical punch, which increases the speed and focus of the punch. 12) Blocks are blocks and blocks are strikes. Basic kata teaches that blocks are blocks or kamae. Advanced Bunkai shows that blocks are strikes. (Ask Sensei for explanation.) 13) Kotekitai (arm conditioning exercises) - all Okinawan styles do arm conditioning.

Why the vertical fist?

One of the most distinguishing characteristics of Isshinryu is the vertical fist. Most new practitioners and disciples of other arts wonder why we make a fist in this manner, and why don't we twist or "corkscrew" our punches like most other styles. The answers are really fairly simple and quite well thought out. For the answers, let's examine the dynamics of the Isshinryu punch. The properly executed Isshinryu punch is launched from the side of the obi, keeping the fist vertical the entire time. The elbow is kept close to the side and the shoulder is mostly quiet. The punch is targeted at the solar plexus, - not higher at the face or head. Striking with the first two knuckles of the hand and then snapped back - much like cracking a whip. At the completion of the punch the hand and arm are left in a position ready to punch or block again immediately with no wind up. When timed it is possible to land 34 of these punches in the time it takes to land one corkscrew punch, and if one believes the laws of physics i.e. Power=Speed x Mass it is easy to see that this punch is not only faster but more powerful that a twisting punch as well, as we are moving the same mass as in a twisting punch but with much more speed. Bio-mechanically the punch/fist is also much more sound. Beginning at the fist and moving up the arm: The fist is made by holding the hand open and then slowly curling the fingers from the most distal knuckle until a fist tight enough to completely hide the fingernails is made. Then the thumb is pressed down on the second knuckle of the index finger. This makes an extremely hard and tight fist and keeps the hand much less prone to injury, and a much more effective weapon. Now, moving on to the wrist. Holding the fist vertically during the punch has the effect of distributing the impact to both the radius and ulna. Try a twisting punch and notice the position of the radius - especially when your target is on the center line of your opponent- like the face or solar plexus. You will see that much more of the impact must be absorbed by the radius side of the joint where the joint is much "softer". Softer meaning that the joint on this side is comprised of small bones, cartilage and ligaments. Not to mention that the radius itself is by far the smaller, more fragile bone. The forearm is also left in a stronger blocking position. Blocking across the wide, muscular side of the arm instead of a single, exposed bone has obvious advantages. Moving up the arm. In a twisting punch the elbow is turned outward, away from the body leaving it in probably it's most vulnerable position. When the joint is turned this direction and locked (as would happen if the punch was trapped, or slipped and countered) it takes little more than 20 pounds of pressure to dislocate or break the joint. Twisting the arm outward like this also has the effect of exposing the floating rib and in the case of a punch to the face or head also adducts the shoulder leaving it vulnerable to anterior dislocation and exposing a nice large vital/pressure point in the pit of the arm.

History-Chotoku Kyan Chotoku Kyan was born in Shuri, Okinawa in December 1870 and was the first son of Chofu Kyan. Chofu Kyan had been a descendant of the fourth Ryukyuan king, Shoshi. Kyan (also sometimes pronounced Kiyuabu) was born a frail child, but through his martial arts training he developed into a strong adult and his health improved much. He had begun his training in karate-do at the age of five years old. Kyan was known in Okinawa as 'Chan mig-wa' or 'small-eyed Kyan', and was known by this nickname because his eyes were small and weak. Despite this handicap, he went on to become a great master. In fact, he was one of the most knowledgeable masters of his time, as he studied both the Shuri-te and the Tomari-te styles of karate. He studied Shuri-te from Sokon Matsumura and Anko Itosu and studied Tomari-te from Oyadomari Pechin, Maeda Pechin and Kosaku Matsumora. Kyan's teaching combined the elements of both of these styles of karate, with his students originally calling his system 'migwa-te', but later it became known as 'Sukunaihayashiryu'.

Chotoku Kyan Kyan was known in Okinawa as 'Chan mig-wa' or 'small-eyed Kyan', and was known by this nickname because his eyes were small and weak. Despite this handicap, he went on to become a great master. In fact, he was one of the most knowledgeable masters of his time, as he studied both the Shuri-te and the Tomari-te styles of karate. He studied Shuri-te from Sokon Matsumura and Anko Itosu and studied Tomari-te from Oyadomari Pechin, Maeda Pechin and Kosaku Matsumora. Kyan's teaching combined the elements of both of these styles of karate, with his students originally calling his system 'migwa-te', but later it became known as 'Sukunaihayashi-ryu'. Kyan enjoyed traveling a good deal. During his martial arts career he journeyed to Taiwan, where he brought back the kata Ananku to Okinawa. He also visited one of Okinawa's off-lying islands and learned Tokumine no Kun (bo kata) there. Tokumine Pechin had been a lord in Okinawan, but had been banished to the Yaeyama Islands after having being involved in a fight with 30 constables in the red-light district. Chotoku Kyan lived in Shuri until he was about thirty years old and then he moved to Kadena, where he opened his own dojo. He lived in the village of Yomitan, where a karate man called Yara taught him the Kusanku kata. In addition to Kusanku kata (which became his favorite), he learned other kata; from Sokon Matsumura he learned Naihanchi and Gojushiho, from Kosaku Matsumura he learned Seisan, Oyadomari taught him Passai and Maeda Pechin taught him Wanshu. Kyan later developed his own versions of the katas Chinto and Passai, and he even learned tree fighting which is linked to the Okinawan monkey dance 'saru mari'. Because of his reputation, Kyan was often challenged. It is alleged that he fought many actual fights but was never defeated. Kyan was highly adept at body shifting. Since he was a small man, he used this type of body movement (known as tai sabaki) to defeat his opponent. His technique was to never back up, but rather to move forward rapidly and strike, or block and counter attack immediately. Two of Chotoku Kyan's top students were Ankichi Arakaki and Shimabuku and it is said that they accompanied their teacher almost everywhere and were inseparable from him. Kyan enjoyed rooster fighting very much, in fact he often entered his own roosters in these fights. One anecdote reveals something of Kyan's abilities as a martial artist, by telling that on this particular occasion he attended one of these rooster fights and had his own rooster in a firm grip under his arm. His students, Arakaki and Shimabuku, decided to test their masters skill and started a fight with a couple of the local men. Once the fight got started they left and hide in some nearby bushes. When Kyan came over to see what was happening, and to see where Arakaki and Shimabuku were, the enraged men attacked him. Kyan is said to have fought with the men and defeated them all. What was so unique about this occasion was that during the entire fight, Kyan had kept a firm hold on his rooster - he fought them all with only one hand and his feet. Arakaki and Shimabuku watched the whole fight from their hiding place and were amazed by his skill and composure. Kyan felt strongly about the ancient code of Bushido and felt that every martial artist should follow it totally. He was both a perfectionist and a disciplinarian, in both his own training and also his teaching. He believed that selfdiscipline and social order and justice went hand in hand. He was also quoted as saying "superior conditioning can only be built on relentless effort. The size of one's body is irrelevant". Master Chotoku Kyan died Ishikawa City, Okinawa, on 20th September 1945 - he was 76 years old.

History-Chojun Miyagi Chojun Miyagi (1888-1953) is the founder of today's Goju-Ryu karatedo; he was responsible for taking Naha-te and formulating it into a system. Miyagi was Kanryo Higaonna's most talented and chosen pupil. Miyagi came from a rich family of high esteem, ship-owners who imported amongst others- medicines from China and supplied these to the royal family, the government and business houses. To prepare him for his future task to lead the family, when only eleven years old Chojun was brought to Ryuko Aragaki (1875-1961), who on his terms sent him at the age of fourteen to Kanryo Higaonna. Here Chojun Miyagi, together with Juhatsu Kyoda (1887-1967), was tutored thoroughly in Higaonna's Naha-te.

Chojun Miyagi After the death of Higaonna the well-off Miyagi, who occupied himself full-time with the study of martial arts, planned a trip to Fuzhou, the Mecca of South-Chinese fighting arts (Nan Quan), to visit the birthplace of Kanryo Higaonna's Naha-te and to pay his respects to Ryu Ryu Ko's grave. For two months Chojun Miyagi together with Aisho Nakamoto (1881-1945) stayed in Fuzhou to train and they also visited the Julianshan Fujian Shaolin Temple. Back on Okinawa he became friends with two tea-merchants from Fuzhou Wu Xianhui (Jap. Go Kenki) and Tang Daiji (Jap. To Daiki, both of them where famous martial arts teachers. Wu Xianhui (1886-1940) came to Naha in 1912 to teach White Crane boxing and made friends with amongst others Juhatsu Kiyoda, Chojun Miyagi and Kenwa Mabuni (1889-1952). Together with Wu Xianhui, Chojun Miyagi left to visit Fuzhou again at the end of the twenties. Apart from Wu Xianhui who emigrated from Fuzhou to Naha in 1912, Miyagi had as already stated a good relationship with Tang Daiji (1887-1937) a Tiger Boxing (Hu Quan) master who also emigrated from Fuzhou to Naha. Introduced by Wu Xianshui, Miyagi met in February 1936 in Shanghai the famous Monk Fist (Luohan Quan) master Miao Xing (18811939). Miyagi is said to have trained for some time diligently with Miao Xing and other Chinese masters associated with the Jingwu Athletic Association. He also visited the national martial arts championships. Miyagi dedicated his whole life to the development of what was called 'toudijutsu' (China hand art) or simply 'te' on Okinawa. In 1921 crown-prince Hirohito visited Okinawa before traveling to Europe. Due to his visit Shuri-te as well as Naha-te (by Chojun Miyagi) was demonstrated. In 1925 Miyagi demonstrated for prince Chichibu-Nomiya and shortly after, in 1926, he founded the Okinawa Karate Kenkyu-Kai (Okinawa Karate Research Club) together with Chomo Hanashiro (Shuri-te), Choyu Motobu (Tomari-te) and Kenwa Mabuni. One year later, Chojun Miyagi demonstrated to Jigoro Kano, grappling, locking and throwing techniques and the correct use of breathing. Kano was very impressed by this toudijutsu and introduced Miyagi, accompanied by his friend Mabuni in Japan. At the end of the twenties and the beginning of the thirties, Miyagi, together with his -at that time- top student Jinan Shinzato (1901-1945), gave seminars and demonstrations at Japanese universities, Budo-tournaments and at the crowning festivities of crown-prince Hirohito. In 1933 Chojun Miyagi registered 'toudi' officially as Goju-Ryu at the Japanese regulating Budo-institution, the prestigious Dai Nippon Butokukai, the All Japan Martial Arts Association. Later on Miyagi was distinguished by the Ministry of Physical Education, receiving the highest honour of the Dai Nippon Butokukai and was appointed representative of the Butokukai department for Okinawa. Thus Goju-Ryu karate-do -the name derived from the Bubishi- was the first and eldest karate-tradition recognized by the Dai Nippon Butokukai; its founder, Chojun Miyagi, acquired an outstanding position in karate-do. May 1934, Chojun Miyagi traveled on invitation to Hawaii where he taught and gave demonstrations until February 1935. His teachings for that matter were referred to as kempo karate. On the 25th of October 1936 the most outstanding Okinawa-masters (Chomo Hanashiro , Chotoku Kyan, Choki Motobu, Chosin Chibana, Juhatsu Kiyoda and Chojun Miyagi) assembled and changed the name toudijutsu into


History-Choki Motobu In Japan there is a phrase, Jissen, which is used to distinguish real martial arts from what has been referred to as 'garden party' Karate. Jissen literally means real fighting. It is many times used in conjunction with Karate to establish the difference between combat effective martial arts and what might best be called tournament Karate. Jissen Karate is many times attributed to Choki Motobu, who was considered by many the greatest Karate master to have ever lived. During his whole life he is known only to have been beaten in combat by two individuals, one being Kentsu Yabu, a veteran of the Pacific War (World War II). It is believed that it was his war time combat experience that allowed Yabu to defeat Motobu. The other was his brother, Choyu Motobu, who had been trained in the family art of Gotente, and had the advantage of superior training.

Choki Motobu After the incident, however, Choki became a devoted student of his older brother's art. It is also known that at one time he and a friend were attacked by a gang of twenty five and in his desire to protect his untrained friend, Choki Motobu dived into battle against all twenty five, and after hurting and knocking down many of the number, the others ran rather than face the fighting fury of this great martial artist. In his youth Choki Motobu, having been born in an aristocratic family, was constantly getting in trouble, and fights, more from the expectation of being treated with respect, that was not forthcoming, than from any inherent meanness. There are those who say that Choki was crazy, mean spirited, and a belligerent fighter, and yet among those who knew him well, he was a refined gentleman, with good manners, and a quiet but humorous nature. Yasuhiro Konishi, Choki Motobu's main interpreter on Japan, said that those who ran afoul of the man usually did so because they started to treat him with disrespect, acting like he was a country bumpkin from Okinawa. While Konishi said that Motobu was basically a man of peace, who had to live down the reputation of his wildness in youth, he was not one to suffer insult well and this lead to many confrontations, in which the wise apologized and sought recompense, and the foolish ended up knocked out or demonstratively beaten. Choki Motobu referred to his art as Kempo and was very much a specialist in the use of unusual fists associated with Okinawan Karate. His favorite technique was the Ippon Ken Zuki, forefinger knuckle fist thrust, which he had developed to a very powerful level. It was said that he could actually strike a Makiwara full power with this weapon. In his famous battle with the European heavyweight boxing champion, it is believed that this was the punch which knocked the opponent out. The Jissen Kempo of Choki Motobu could be thought of to consist of certain concepts which constitute the nature of real combat. First of all, real fighting martial arts, are to be only used when your life is on the line. It is to be used to defend yourself or another, from serious injury or death. Thus the basic attitude is one of don't fight if it is not necessary. It is said that it took Choki Motobu a long time to realize this principle, but that once he did, he held to it quite well. The main two reason not to fight frivolously are simply, you may hurt your opponent and two you may get hurt yourself. It is said that after his battle with the European boxer, the man was placed on board a ship to be sent home, but died before he made it there. And in his battle with Kentsu Yabu, both men were banged up badly after the fight. It may have been these two events which turned Motobu away from fighting and towards a more peaceful lifestyle. One other important aspect of Jissen Kempo is that it included all the techniques of combat. From his Karate instructors; Kosaku Matsumora and Yasutsune Itosu; Choki Motobu learned the most important aspects of blocking, punching, striking, and kicking. From his brother Choyu; Choki learned how to throw, joint lock, and grapple in the Okinawan fashion. In comparison, Shiai Karate, or contest martial arts, develops a 'be aggressive' attitude, which may be fine in regard to a sporting match, but can be dangerous on the street. The idea of contest martial arts is to win and not lose. It is to score points without allowing the other person to score as many. All sports, including the most rugged

of contests, have to have limited techniques. In actual combat, self defense, the eyes, throat, and groin, are the most targeted points. Yet in contests, in order for the competitors to survive and have a certain level of safety, these are off limits, with the exception of the groin. But even the groin is not targeted as in a self defense situation. In contests, cups are worn, and while strikes may be allowed, in actual self defense, women have reported the most effective groin technique, is to grab the testicles and squeeze until the assailant is unconscious or helpless. Choki Motobu passed his realistic methods of developing Jissen skills to many different individuals. While he did not create a particular Ryu that has a direct lineage from him and is considered his own particular method, his Kempo actually influenced the development of many different systems and in particular the Kihon Kumite, basic sparring, drills of many styles. There are three styles that reportedly were created by Choki Motobu and in some cases are suppose to have been passed on to certain individuals. According to Robert Trias, Choki Motobu created the Shorei Ryu style and this was passed on to him through a Chinese master after World War II. Trias modified the system by adding certain Goju Ryu Kata to the curriculum, thus creating his own style of Shorei Goju Ryu Karate. Shuri Ryu was also attributed to Choki Motobu by Yasuhiro Konishi who eventually passed the system on to Robert Trias, as the man most preserving Motobu's art. In Japan itself, the late Tatsuo Yamada called Choki Motobu's system Motobu Ryu in his teachings of Karate history. In Okinawa the term Motobu Ryu is applied to the family art of Gotente which was passed to Seikichi Uehara. Thus in discussing Motobu Ryu it is important to know whether the term is used in the Japanese manner referring to Choki Motobu's art, or in the Okinawan manner referring to Choyu Motobu's art. There is a great deal of difference, with the main one being that Choyu Motobu's art is taught in the most ancient manner without prearranged Kata. Choki Motobu taught many students during his long lifetime of seventy three years. Among his students were; James Masayoshi Mitose, Yasuhiro Konishi, Tatsuo Yamada, Shoshin Nagamine, Shinsuke Kaneshima, Yukimori Kuniba, Shinyei Kaneshima, Katsuya Miyahira, Chozo Nakama, Tsuyoshi Chitose, Tatsuo Shimabuku. Eizo Shimabuku, and Shigeru Nakamura. Among the many styles which are directly influenced by what Choki Motobu taught, especially in regard to Kihon Kumite and an intelligent application of techniques in Jissen, real fighting, are; Shorei Goju Ryu, Shuri Ryu, (Koga Ha) Kosho Shorei Ryu, Yamada Ryu, Isshin Ryu, Tozan Ryu, Shobayashi Shorin Ryu, Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu, Kobayashi Shorin Ryu, Chito Ryu, Nakamura's Okinawan Kempo, Ishimine Ryu, Shinto Shizen Ryu, Motobu Ha Shito Ryu, and Kenshinkan Ryu. Then are many modern systems which have been derived from these previously mentioned ones which owe much of the reality of their training, and the practice of Kumite, to Choki Motobu. Shoshin Nagamine admits that in his training he teaches his students the skills of Kumite as taught to him by Choki Motobu. Motobu taught that distancing was the most important factor to delivering a punch, Seiken Zuki, with fatal force. He explained that too far away, and not enough power would be in the technique at contact, but to be too close will keep the technique from developing full power. Thus it was important to master distancing. And for those situations where one was too close it was important to be able to strike properly with Uraken and Ippon Ken Zuki. In the Kumite of Shodai Soke Shoshin Nagamine's Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu are the lessons and skills as taught by Choki Motobu. There are several systems today which are very involved in the fighting sports which have been developed from the art of Karate. Each of these Shiai Karate styles, feel that they represent the best of true fighting skills, with some of them being the systems listed above which were influenced heavily by Choki Motobu. It is a shame that those of these contest styles never grew in the same manner that Motobu did. In his youth, and due to the fact that he was royalty in a time when it no longer held any meaning, Choki Motobu engaged in many battles, to uphold his honor. And many of these styles insist on hard fighting contests, some with bare knuckles, others with gloves and equipment, but all thinking they are teaching Jissen the way that Motobu did. Yet according to those who knew him best, Shoshin Nagamine and Yasuhiro Konishi, Choki Motobu grew spiritually and matured in his later years. His goal was to teach and train in Karate as it should be, as a form of Jissen Kempo, real fighting martial arts. In time he realized that he did not have to fight others to reach the true depths of the martial arts, but rather he had to practice his skills in Kata and in his own unique Kihon Kumite to open his spirit to the highest levels of development. In the end, he finally conquered his greatest enemy, his own insecurity, which kept him fighting in his youth to uphold an honor which was never tarnished.

History-Taira Shinken Taira Shinken was born Maezato Shinken on the 12th June 1897, in the village of Nakazato'on the island of Kumejima. Officially recorded as Maezato Shinken, he often used his mother's maiden name 'Taira'. He graduated from Nakazato Elementary school and later worked at a mine in Minami Jima. It was during his days working in the mine that Taira Shinken life was dramatically changed. During one of his shifts he was caught in a cave-in and buried alive. Although badly wounded he managed to dig his way to safety. He returned to Kumejima after the accident to rest and recuperate. Because of the accident he was left with a limp which he was to carry for the rest of his life.

Taira Shinken When he recovered he continued to work as a miner, but his co-workers were merciless in there taunts to him because of the injury to his right leg. At first he felt embarrassed and ashamed, but resolved to make himself stronger and decided that Bujutsu was the best means to attain his goal. At 25 he left his work and traveled to Japan intent on studying Judo. Whilst in Tokyo he had a chance meeting with Funakoshi Gichin who, at that time, was working towards popularizing karate on the Japanese mainland. Taira was so impressed with what Funakoshi said to him, he reconsidered his plans of studying Judo. He entered Funakoshi's dojo as a live-in student in 1922 and studied there for the next eight years, becoming his assistant instructor and one of his closest students. Taira's interest in Budo did not stop at karate, in 1929, with Funakoshi's recommendation, he entered Yabiku Moden's dojo to study Ryukyu Kobudo. Mabiku like his colleague Funakosi, was also working to promote karate as well as kobudo in Japan.During his study under Mabiku, Taira mastered the use of such weapons as the Bo, Sai, Tuifa, Nunchaku, and Eku. After completing his training in 1932, he was granted permission to open a dojo, where he taught karate and kobudo. In 1933 he received his formal teaching license in Ryukyu Kobudo from Yabiku Sensei. In 1934,Taira Shinken invited Mabuni Kenwa,an acquaintance of Funakoshi, from Osaka to receive instruction in Karate and Kobudo. He graciously accepted the invitation and taught Taira until his return to Okinawa in 1940. During those six years, Taira housed and paid Mabuni for his instruction. Taira expanded his knowledge of Kata and techniques of the Bo and Sai under the close scrutiny of Mabuni Sensei. Whilst teaching in Gunma Prefecture, Taira began to experiment with the idea of full contact weapon sparring. The armor he was trying to develop has to be flexible and strong, so as not to hinder any movement, but also be able to resist the strike of a Bo. He also developed an over size striking post for the Bo, to help improve the accuracy and build power. Taira's early attempts at developing full contact weapon sparring was later abandoned possibly to a shortage of material due to Japans increasing involvement in WW2. After Taira's death his most senior student Akamine Eisuke continued Taira's early attempts. It was during his time teaching in Gunma Prefecture that Taira allegedly developed the Mariji sai and ifs accompanying kata. The mariji sai has had a long history in China and Okinawa, and Taira's inspiration for the weapon apparently came after visiting a Buddhist temple to pray for success of his newly opened dojo. It was there that he saw a large manji which in Taira's eyes resembled a Kobudo weapon. Almost straight away Taira was inspired as how to create a weapon from its shape. After he returned to his dojo, he formulated his ideas for the construction of the mariji sai and the kata Jigan no sai. The kata takes advantage of the manji sai, unique shape and employs many double handed thrusting techniques. The kanji that Taira selected for his new kata, can be translated as the foundation of love/compassion .This maybe due to the source of his inspiration; a Buddhist symbol. In 1940 he returned to Okinawa and after the death of Yabiku Sensei in 1941, established the Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinko-Kai, the association for the promotion and preservation of Ryukyu Kobudo in Naha. It is based on the organization of Yabiku Sensei's Ryukyu Kobujutsu Kenkyu Kai. Taira's Hozon Shinkokai included instruction in the use of nine different weapons and their respective kata's that he had learned during his years of instruction or those that he had created himself. He continued to make visits to the Kansai and Kanto areas to teach and promote Kobudo in Japan. In the early 1960's he published the first book on Ryukyu Kobudo in Japanese entitled "Ryukyu Kobudo Taiken" which helped greatly to popularize the art in Okinawa. Later in the 1960's he formalized and strengthened his association by appointing his students to different positions in the Shinko Kai and established testing and licensing standards for his students. In 1963, to further the growth of Karate and Kobudo at an international level. the Kokusai Karate-do Kobudo Renmei was formed with Higa Seiko as

the chairman and Taira Shinken as the vice chairman. In 1964 he was recognized as a master teacher of Kobudo by the All Japan Kobudo Federation and awarded his Hanshi certification. After Taira Shinken's death, Akamine Eisuke, took over the position as chairman of the Ryukyu Hozon Shinko Kai. In an attempt to expand Ryukyu Kobudo, Akamine Sensie opened his own dojo in 1971, naming it the Shinbu Kan. This was followed by other students of Taira Shinken opening their own respective dojos. With his mastery of Shorin Ryu and Goju Ryu complete, Shimabuku next sought out the Kobu-Jutsu (study of weapons) Weapons Master, Taira Shinken (1902-1970). At the time, he was the world's greatest expert in the bo and sai. Master Shimabuku believed strongly in the learning of weapons, feeling a karate system without weaponry was incomplete. He saw the continuation of weapons training as a way of preserving an important part of Okinawan culture and the Samurai fighting spirit. He also felt weapons offered the practitioner a new challenge once he mastered empty hand karate techniques. Ancient weapons are also effective self-defense instruments that can be used during any time period not matter how sophisticated our culture becomes. Master Shimabuku had a great personal love for weaponry and practiced perfecting the Bo and Sai every day of his life. From Master Shinken, Shimabuku learned the following weapons katas, and like the hand and foot katas of Shorin Ryu and Goju Ryu, later refined and modified them into his Isshin Ryu system. They are: Bo 1, named Tokumine-No-Kun, name means, of the Tokumine family who first developed this kata. Bo 2, named Urashi, Urashi is the name of the village where this Kata originated. Bo 3, named Shishi-No-Kun-No-Dai, means instructor of the big bo because this Kata is the longest Isshin Ryu Bo form. Shimabuku first taught this kata in 1967, after almost 20 years of perfecting it. Sai 1, named Kusanku Sai, means night fighting with Sai. Sai 2, named Chatanyara-No-Sai, name derived from the Chantan village where the Yara family developed it. Bo-Bo Kumite, this form is two Bo practitioners fighting against each other in a set pattern that has ten important techniques inside. Bo-Sai Kumite, similar to Bo-Bo except a Sai is used to fight a Bo attacker. It also contains an important set of ten prearranged movements.

The History Megami
The "Isshinryu No Megami" (Goddess of Isshinryu). The vision of Shimabuku Tatsuo Sensei to represent his Isshinryu Karate system. The patch or crest worn by Isshinryu karateka often raises admiration and curiosity. The patch is based on a day dream Tatsuo Shimabuku had in the fifties while he was creating his karate style. This dream was the missing piece in the puzzle called Isshinryu. The patch is often called Mizu Gami, which means 'water goddess'. Originally the Isshinryu emblem was called 'Isshinryu No Megami', which means 'Goddess of Isshinryu'. However; most Isshinryu karateka incorrectly call it Mizu Gami, or 'Water Goddess'. Master Eiko Kaneshi, Tatsuo's right-hand-man who is a Shinto priest when asked if it was 'Mizu Gami' said it has nothing to do with water. Isshinryu no Megami or Megami for short, is correct. This is collaborated by Marien Jumelet who asked Shinsho Shimabuku and Kensho Tokumura what was the correct name. The goddes is the Goddess of Isshinryu karate and not the goddess of water.

Arcenio J, Advincula, an American student of Sensei, created the Megami-patch in 1961 with Tatsuo Shimabuku's approval. As model he used Tatsuo's picture of the goddess. The shape of the emblem is as the vertical fist of Isshinryu, the trademark of this remarkable karate style.

Advincula with the first Megami - patch he created in the Agena, Okinawa dojo in 1961. Advincula had returned to Okinawa on January 2, 1961 as a civilian after being discharged from the Marines in 1960. Photo was taken by Ed Johnson around February 1961. Notice in the background, Mrs. Shimabuku coming in the front entrance of the dojo.

The Megami crest of the IsshinKai. Designed by Sensei A.J.Advincula as the 1st patch of Isshinryu Karate and authorized by Shimabuku Tatsuo, the crest has recently taken a new look for 2000 (left) in honor of Shimabuku Tatsuo. Unlike other Megami patches in production, the IsshinKai patch has no writing about or within. As Sensei Advincula explains, "Isshinryu" is represented within the symbolism of the crest. Copyright - A.J.Advincula

The original and traditional Megami patch as designed by sensei Advincula. Different organizations make their own emblem designs, but in every emblem you can see the Megami. Not just a nice looking patch for it incorporates the thoughts of our founder and the ideals of our system

Meanings of the Megami Patch

The Isshinryu Megami patch has many meanings. One could easily write a book about it for in it is found the beliefs of our founder, Master Tatsuo Shimabuku and what our style stands for. Here in short are some of the innermost meanings. The gold border stands for the vertical fist which is the primary trait of Isshinryu. The megami is half woman and half dragon. Her left hand is open, the universal symbol of peace or soft. Her right hand is closed in a Isshinryu fist, symbol of hard and is ready to be used in times of need to defend. The dragon ascends from the water into the sky or heaven, and stands for heaven. Tatsu means 'dragon' and our founders name Tatsuo, means 'dragon man'. For the dragon to many followers of Isshinryu is Master Shimabuku, who is the spirit of Isshinryu. The tiger in the headdress of the Megami stands for earth. Both dragon and tiger stands for heaven and earth. The dark background with the three stars shows it is night. Night symbolizes darkness which is the unknown. The three stars stands for all of Shimabuku's teachers who lighten the night bringing knowledge. The three stars are in one line (-), the Chinese and Japanese character for one. Sensei Shimabuku told his students on the introduction of Isshinryu that all things starts with one. The one stands for one in Isshinryu, for Isshinryu means 'One heart way'. The three stars can also mean: mind, body and spirit or any three things. Tatsuo said that Isshinryu was composed of three elements: Shorinryu, Gojuryu and Kobudo. The upper body / woman despicts that karate can be gentle as a woman. Symbolic of soft. The lower body / dragon shows that karate can be fierce as a dragon if needed. Symbolic of hard. The calm face of the goddess in a storm or in times of crises one must be calm, especially in times of danger. The turbulent water and storm or typhoon symbolizes danger which is always present. The kanji (Japanese characters) means : Isshinryu karate.

Tie your Gi and Obi

Basic Warm-Up Exercises
1) Toe Touch Stretch 2) Standing Leg Stretch 3) Squatting Leg Stretch 4) Front Kick, Slow 5) Kick 45 Degree Angle To Knee 6) Cross Over Stomp Kick 7) Side Kick Edge of Foot 8) Side kick ball of foot 9) Squat kick 10) Back kick 11) Grabbing double hold front heel kick 12) Knee Strike Kick 13) Standing Leg Raises 14) Body Twist 15) Basic Pushups 2 Sets 10 Each 16) 2 sets of 15 Knuckles push ups (Hard Surface) 17) 3 Sets of Uncle Willies 25 sec, 45 sec 65 sec 18) 2 Sets Side Planks 25 sec, 50 sec 19) Lean Back 4 Levels 20) 60 Calf Raises 1 Set 21) Leg raises 2 Sets, Leg Raise Flutter Kicks, 1 Set

Basic Upper Body Exercises
01. 02. 03. 04. 05. 06. 07. 08. 09. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. Seikan Oi Tsuki Middle Punch Jodan Oi Tsuki Uppercut Seikan Gyaku Tsuki Reverse Middle Punch Jodan Gyaku Tsuki Reverse Uppercut Gedan Barrai (Uke)? Low Block Chudan Uke Middle Block Tegata Barrai Nukite Knife Hand Block ~ Fingertip Strike (Throat) Jodan Tagata Uke Block The Sun / Uppercut Jodan Uke Seiken Gyaku Tsuki High Block / Middle Reverse Punch Ura Uchi Chicken Head Block ~ Roll off then back fist to nose (First two knuckles only) Gedan Barai/GoDen Choku Tsuki Low Block 5 Middle Punches (All the way back to your obi each punch) Chudan Uke/GoDen Choku Tsuki Middle Block 5 Middle Punches (All the way back to your obi each punch) Shuto Uchi Low Knife Hand Block, Opp Hand Block Sun, Knife Hand CollarBone/Throat Strike O Uchi (I Uch Punch Pendulum Punch (Big Punch) Big Step - Middle Block-Rib Strike-Kidney Strike Hije No Ato Tsuki Step Back Cat Stance/ Elbow Strike

Kicks (8)
Mae Geri Socuto Geri Shoba Konate Yoko Geri Shoba Geri O-Toshi Geri Mae Konatei Hiza Geri Front Snap Kick Cross Over Kick Front Knee Push Kick (Blade Edge) Side Snap Kick Side Kick (Cat stance) Chambered Roundhouse Kick Heel Push Kick Knee to Groin (Knee Slap)

Bear Hug (Rear) Arms Above Grab Bear Hug (Rear) Arms Under Grab Bear Hug (Front) Arms Under Grab Knife Hand Groin Strike (Scoot Hips) b. Spread legs, bend down grab-exposed knee through your own legs and pull through c. Top of Palm Strikes (Repeated Door knocker) Arm Pop-up (Elbows High & Fingers Pointing Down) b. Spread legs, bend down grab exposed knee through your own legs and pull through c. Hamstring Coil (Heel up to groin) Knee to Groin (Hiza Geri) a. Bite b. Leg Wrap (Standing Guard) c. Head butt Knee to Groin (Hiza Geri) a. Bite b. Leg Wrap (Standing Guard to a head and arm choke or front choke) c. Head butt d. Ear Box (Palms together opp sides of opponents head) e. Eye Poke Low Knife Hand Groin Hand to eyes (guard finger bite) Both Hands on top and press down, then bow under and then stand-up. Both Hands on top and step backwards, duck and push up (going under a rope) Two Finger Throat Strike a. Front Snap Kick (Groin) Both Hands up (Robbed) Step Forward and rotate 180. Step Forward Either arm comes up turn 180 degrees around and traps both attackers arms under one of yours. (Over and Under)

Bear Hug (Front) Arms Above Grab

Head Lock (Side) Hair Grab (Front) Hair Grab (Rear) Front Choke Rear Choke Both Hands up (Robbed)

Step back, Pray, Clap KIAI! b.Step back Knee to Groin, (Hiza Geri) chest or chin Single Hand Grab Make fist of grabbed hand, grab with free hand, step back, pull and KIAI!!! b. Grabbed hand open up (read book) Opposite hand reaches under the hand that is grabbing you, grab the hand, and step away and ram grabbed arm into opp ribs. c. Grabbed hand rotate towards thumb (read book) rotates fingers to vertical and extend hand into face (knuckle strike) One Hand Lapel Grab (Front) Step away opposite hand comes over and grabs top outside of opponents grabbing hand, turn over grab with both hands and bend hand downward. Two Hand Lapel Grab (Front) Snake (Over and Under)

Two Hand Grab

IsshinRyu Kata
Kata are pre-determined defense, attack and counter-attack exercises. Kata develops speed, coordination, technique, and breath control. There are eight empty hand kata that teach five stances in Isshinryu Karate. Empty Hand Kata: Seisan: This kata is of Chinese and Shorin Ryu origin. It is one of the original kata from the ancient Pangia-Noon style. Its name is derived from Master Seshan. The kata teaches the student how to fight several opponents directly in front of him and how to turn and face opponents coming from different directions. The kata teaches a vertical punch with the thumb on top, instead of the twist punch. It emphasizes the "Seisan Stance" of fighting.; Seiuchin: This kata is of Goju Ryu origin. It is a horse stance (as if riding a horse) position in which the feet are about shoulder width with toes pointed out at a 45 degrees angle. The back and head are straight and the shoulders in line with the hips. This stance is most effective when the opponent is close and directly to the side of the karate-ka; Naihanchin: This kata is from the Shorin Ryu origin. It teaches the Naihanchin stance. It is an erect position in which the toes are pointing straight and the legs and hips are locked. Movements in the kata are lateral. This kata trains the karate-ka to tighten the legs and to defend against opponents on both sides.; Wansu: This kata is of Shorin Ryu origin. It combines moves from the first three kata. The karate-ka is taught to fight opponents forward, backward, and on both sides.; Chinto: This kata is of Shorin Ryu origin. It emphasizes pivots and fighting on angles. This kata emphasizes techniques to be used against attackers on somewhat of a 45 degrees angle. In addition, it introduces the karate-ka to jump kick techniques and the use of the cross block and cross stances. There is a legend tied to this kata.; Sanchin: This kata is of Goju Ryu origin. It emphasizes strong techniques and breath control. The name means "three battles", and refers to the control of mind, body, and breathing during the performance of the kata. The control of mind, body, and breathing are the sources of chi (vital energy). This energy is generated in the tanden which is an area two to three inches below the navel.; Kusan-Ku: Of Shorin Ryu origin, this kata comes from Chinese Master Kusanku. This kata is usually referred to as a night kata, silhouetting the enemy against the horizon and then attacking. It emphasizes speed movements for a man surrounded by eight attackers. The techniques in this kata are aimed at improving the karate-ka's speed in blocking high and low, and in maneuvering within the surrounding attacking individuals.; Sunsu: Sunsu, Master Shimabuku's nickname, means "strong man". This kata is an original. It was totally created by Master Shimabuku. It consists of movements from the first six kata. Sunsu is very difficult to perform with any degree of strength, speed and accuracy;

Stances (Dachi)
Seisan-dachi Sanchin-dachi Seiunchin-dachi Naihanchin-dachi Chinto-dachi Cat stance Reverse Cat "T" stance Wansu-dachi Diagonal Seisan Zenkutsu-dachi

Weapons Kata:
Bo kata - The bo is a round staff. The bo was used as a walking aid and comes from the hoe handle, shovel handle, etc. The people converted the bo into a weapon. The bo is normally as long as the karate-ka is tall. Traditionally, the bo was handled from the left side. Master Shimabuku brought the fight side into focus. Tokomeni No Kun (Bo #1); This kata is named after Master Tokumeni who virtually created the bo as it is known in modern karate. Urashi (Bo #2); In this kata, the student is taught to draw the opponent's attention by the front of the bo until he is hit with the rear end of the bo which has been brought around with a vertical butt stroke.

Shishi No Kun (Bo #3); The kata contains 130 movements combined from the first two bo kata. It also brings in the foot movements along with the use of both ends of the bo. Sai kata - The sai is a three-pronged weapon used for defense and attack (similar to a sword) and for throwing (similar to a spear). The sai is effective against the samurai sword and the bo (both short and long). Karate masters used to carry three sais. Two were held in the hands, the shaft extending the length of the forearm, knob hidden in the hand. The third sai was hooked in the belt and was used only after one of the hand sais was thrown. Kusan-Ku Sai (Sai #1); The use of the sai is incorporated into the empty hand Kusanku kata. The moves are basically the same in both kata without the kicks. This kata introduces the karate-ka to the sai. In this kata, the sai is fighting the samurai swordsman. Chantan Yara No Sai (Sai #2); The sais in this kata are used to defend against a bo. Among the techniques, the karate-ka learns to hook the bo with the foil (short prong), and to counter attack with the knob and the shaft. Tonfa (Tuifa) Kata: The Tonfa looks much like a police mans night stick. Usually 18 to 21 inches in length with a handle protruding. 90 degrees about 3 inches from one end. The Tuifa is thought to have originally been the handle for a grindstone. Chei fa (also known as Hamahiga No Tuifa); This kata teaches the student to fend off attackers with bos using blocks and strikes with the tonfas.

Tokumine no kon ( Bo Kata )
1. Attention. 2. Bow with bo under right arm. 3. Flip bo 180-degrees on right side. 4. Execute a left low block. 5. Step back with the left foot and execute a right hand overhead strike. 6. Step forward with the left foot into a reverse cat stance and snap punch. 7. Step forward with the right foot into a diagonal Seisan stance and snap punch. 8. Step forward with the left foot into a reverse cat stance and snap punch. 9. Step back with the left foot into a diagonal Seisan and small circle block. 10. Step 45-degrees right with the right foot forward and execute a reverse right hand side strike to the head. 11. Step to a point 45-degrees left of the centerline and executes a reverse left-hand side strike to the head. 12. Step to a point 90-degrees to the left of the original centerline and execute a left side block, overhead strike, uppercut, overhead strike, reverse side strike and a side strike. The strikes are done with the bo on the right side of the body. 13. Snap punch and kumai. 14. Reverse your handgrip on the bo and step with the right leg forward 180-degrees, executing a right side block. Execute the same sequence as #12 only on the right side of the body. 15. Snap punch and kumai. 16. Draw your right foot in and face the original centerline at attention with the bo held along the right side of your body, right hand on the bottom and left hand held across the body on top. 17. Step forward into a horse stance and execute a right side block, holding the bo behind the leg and not infront. Stand up sharply by bringing your right foot back to your left. As you do this draw your left hand to your hip and your right hand to your solar plexus. 18. Step forward with the right foot into a diagonal Seisan stance and thrust punch. KIAI: 19. Bring the left foot forward into a reverse cat stance and thrust punch. 20. Step forward with the right foot into a diagonal Seisan stance and thrust punch. 21. Pivot 180-degrees into a left foot forward cat stance with the bo "cocked" on your shoulder. 22. Step forward with the right foot into a diagonal Seisan stance and execute a forward side strike. 23. Swing the body 180-degrees, step back with the left foot and go down on the left knee, executing a straight side strike, left hand forward.

24. While still down on the knee execute reverse side strike with the right hand forward. 25. As you stand up perform a left side low block with the right hand low and the left hand on the right shoulder. 26. Perform the sequence of overhead strike, 2 side strikes, uppercut, overhead strike, snap punch and kumai. 27. Step back with the right foot into a horse stance. You should be facing 90-degrees to the right of the original front centerline. Perform a "flip over" head strike to your left. 28. Step into a horse stance with the right foot so you are now facing the original front centerline and execute a 2 handed push with the bo. 29. Without changing stance or grip on the bo, spin the bo and execute a reverse strike, 3 parries and another reverse strike (the first reverse strike is done in front of you, the second one is carried through the target and ends up 90-degrees to your original front centerline. 30.Spin the bo over your head as you change grip and complete #29 sequence only on the left side of the body. 31. Upon completion on the second reverse strike, bring the left hand behind the head over the right shoulder as if you were doing a big wind up. Step 180-degrees with the left foot, to the rear and execute a left-hand forward reverse strike. 32. Slide your left hand under the bo, in preparation of changing grip. 33. Step again 180-degrees with the right foot, to face the original front centerline, and execute a reverse side strike with the right hand forward. 34. Immediately draw the right hand to the hip. 35. Shuffle forwards and perform a right hand strike, a left hand reverse block, and another right hand strike. It is optional to shuffle once, twice or even three times on this move. It is also optional to shuffle not at all. Either is acceptable. 36. Step back to attention and close.

Kotekitai Drills
Let us begin by looking into our upper body basics and examine the open hand block or redirection in O UCHI O UCHI. A technique added to the upper body basics after Sensei A.J. Advincula discussed it with Master Shimabuku. In most styles, Karate practitioners are taught to block over the lead leg to take advantage of the distancing between the attack and the defense. How much of a block or redirection needed to do the job depends on our body movement in relation to the block. The blocking techniques should be learned and practiced before introducing any body movement. The standard for this block or redirection is one half the distance between the sternum and your shoulder at the height of your solar plexus. The blocking arms elbow is usually one fist away from your floating rib. With the block at shoulder height (fist in line with top of shoulder) the length of your forearm is used fully while not being to close to the body. Isshinryu teaches the basics with the point or reference being the little finger of the closed fist on the hip bone. As Ippon

Kumite is introduced that point of reference is moved to the body's centerline or Seisan Kamae. Seisan Kamae is lead leg hand forward, in a side block position, rear hand in line with the elbow and your center (solar plexus). Kotekitai # 1 Left Seisan stance, left side block on a reverse punch. Block is non preferred as you want to expose the center of your partners body. As you complete the left side block drive your right hand under his extended arm (Chinto style x block). This allows you to tegate barai his arm with your right hand, to your right side, as you fold your left blocking hand on your chest. After you have the arm to the right, your left hand is in a position to shuto, (shuto uchi shuto uchi ) from your chest down to his arm . This is done in a static position to a series of reverse punches from each practitioner. As you become proficient at this drill, you will notice that the redirection will make the block more effective. This is a drill not a competition so work with your partner. Start slow and perform the movements as precisely as possible. As you get better you can speed up. Break the whole movement down into segments and practice getting better at let's say the redirection and side block. Once that is worked out add the reverse punch or the under the block grab. With the slow movements you will notice the development of tension in the Deltoid area, the Latissimus dorsi muscles and the upper back. Drill # 1 From a left Seisan stance, we use the left open hand block from O UCHI O UCHI to redirect the attack to the right halfway between the sternum and the shoulder (blocking over the lead leg). As you complete the redirection step forward to a right Seisan stance and side block under your redirection (blocking over the lead leg). Draw your left hand back to your centerline in a Seiunchin type heart guard, leaving your right side block in position to check your opponents elbow (Seisan Kamae) and reverse punch. This will teach you to counter punch without winding up by changing your point of reference from the hip to the solar plexus. Stepping forward and back on the same leg will help you develop the body mechanics and economy of motion necessary to develop power. Drill # 2 Perform Kotekitai # 2 alone. Seisan stance, open hand redirection, step and side block, cross under side block, chop down with other hand. The chopping hand becomes the redirection, step and side block, cross under side block, chop down with other hand. This will teach you how to perform on both sides of the body which I believe to be one of the principles taught in Naihanchi Kata. Drill # 3 Face your partner and have him straight punch to the chudan area. Redirect the attack and side block over your lead leg (make sure your stances are both right foot forward). As you complete the side block reverse punch to your partner's chudan area. Your partner will block that counter with the pulling back motion taught in Seisan Kata. We refer to this as " The punch and pull back drill." So in short, one person will straight punch and pull back to a side block position and the other person will redirect, side block and counter with a reverse punch.

Isshin Ryu Karate-Do Terminology
The following Japanese and Okinawan terms are used frequently Kara-te: empty-hand. Originally, karate meant Chinese hand, since Karate-Do was derived from various Shaolin kung-fu schools. However, during the occupation of Japan and Okinawa, the character of emptiness was substituted for China, thus giving a new meaning- empty hand. Isshin: one heart. This is a compound word, from ichi (one) and shin (mind or heart). Ryu: style. In a general sense, a particular school s way of performing their martial art. Do: way. During the Tokugawa Shogun era, warriors were forbidden from practicing their fighting abilities so they refined their skills in combination with Buddhist practices. The term do is derived from the Chinese word Tao , meaning way or

path. Bushi: warrior. This term originated with the samurai. It is composed of bu (war) and shi (man). A bushi was a man of war, one who studied the aspects of combat and dedicated his life to it. Bushido: way of the warrior. Composed of three parts bu (war), shi (man), and do (way), bushido described the total way of the samurai, from the fighting aspects, the arts such as ikebana (flower arranging) and haiku (poetry), to the strict moral and ethical code of the samurai. Shihan: Master. This is a term used for artists of high rank and indicates a great deal of respect for that person. Sensei: teacher. In Japanese, sensei is the term used for doctors, lawyers, and teachers. It is a term of respect and not a teacher in the literal sense. It is composed of two characters, sen (before) and sei (born) and means someone who has gone before you on the path. A teacher in the literal sense is a kyoshi. Shiai: contest. This is a competition between martial artists and is usually a fight to prove who is the superior fighter. In IsshinRyu Karate-do, a shiai is often a gathering of the school and a demonstration of skills. A more serious contest is called a kakidameshi or death match and is never used anymore. Rei: bow. The bow is a gesture of respect in Japanese culture and is always performed when entering and leaving the dojo, and to others regardless of rank when offering or receiving assistance. Hajime: begin. This is used to start kumite, or sparring matches. When combined with mashita as in uhajimemashita~ it means welcome- literally, good beginning. Kamae: guard. A kamae is the position or positions in which you execute techniques. There are many guards, each appropriate to the situation. It can take half a lifetime to discover all of the kamae. Kiotsuke: attention. This is a formal position that is used when being addressed by teachers, or when beginning formal routines, such as entering, leaving, or practicing kata. It is the position which you bow from. Yasume: relax, repose. This is an informal position which originated in the Japanese navy. Soldiers would relax by placing, the left leg in front of the right, breaking the rigid posture of attention (kiotsuke). Dojo: training hall. This is composed of two characters, do (way) and jo (place). It literally means a place for following a path of enlightenment- such as karate. It is an old saying in Buddhism that anyplace can be a dojo. Aite: opponent. In Karate-Do you will encounter many situations in which you will be executing techniques against another person. Sometimes it may be a fight on the street or a partner for judo exercises. Regardless, treat all aite with respect since each is helping you grow and learn. Kumite: sparring. This is composed of two characters, kumi (set) and te (hand). Literally, set hand. In IsshinRyu Karatedo, kumite is a way of testing your timing, distancing, and control when executing techniques against an opponent. Often we wear protective gear to prevent or minimize injury. Waza: technique. Techniques are the basis and the heart and soul of Karate-Do. Uke cells in the body, they are the building blocks from which Karate-Do grows. Remember that a few techniques performed well is far superior to many techniques performed poorly. Gi: uniform. The gi is the practice uniform that we wear for Karate-Do. It is composed of the happi (top), zubon (pants), and obi (belt). The gi is actually the type of clothing worn by the peasant class in Okinawa, and the original gi were an odd brown color from the dyes used to strengthen the cloth. Obi: belt. There are many colored belts in IsshinRyu Karate-Do and each is a different color, signifying a different rank. They are: shiro white, kiiro yellow, orenji iro orange, midori iro, green ao, blue murasaki, or purple, chairo brown, kuro black aka red Kiai: shout. Literally, ki (breath) and ai (harmony), the kiai is used to expel air from the body (thus preventing getting the wind knocked out ), to unify the body and mind, and to startle the opponent. Kyu: grade. literally, boy. The kyu grades are the ranks beneath black belt (shodan) and were regarded in Japan as uboys~, hence the term. Kyusho: vital points. Vital points, or pressure points, are inherent weaknesses in the human anatomy. It is these weaknesses which allow a disadvantaged fighter to even the odds or even put the odds of winning a confrontation to his advantage.

Dan: degree. Literally, man. The dan grades are the ten ranks of black belt. In the Japanese arts a practitioner was considered a man when he achieved his first black belt. Shodan: black belt. The shodan is the first black belt rank. It is widely considered to be the second beginning of KarateDo for the practitioner, as there are many new and different aspects of the art that he will have to face. Kata: form. A kata is a collection of continuous techniques which in some fashion tell a story. Kata are not to be taken in the literal sense but are used to develop a sense of rhythm and timing. If a practitioner finds himself in a confrontation he will not stop to think but his body will instead move naturally to defend itself. Arigato: thank you. There are three forms of thank-you s in Japanese. Each is polite in its own context but could be an insult in another. Domo is used to thank subordinates. Arigato is used to thank equals, and arigato gozaimashita is used to thank superiors. Tameshiwari: breaking. Karate is most known to the general public for this aspect- the breaking of bricks, boards, concrete, blocks of ice, etc. However, the true purpose of tameshiwari is not for demonstration or showmanship, but instead is a test. lt takes a great deal of courage to believe that flesh and bone can be stronger than stone or wood, and even greater courage to test oneself against these elements. Uchi: strike. A strike is the use of any part of the body in an offensive manner. A punch is a strike, as is a kick, or a headbutt, or an elbow strike. The term uchi is generally used when a more specific temi does not exist. For example, a punch is a tsuki and thus uchi would not be used. Dachi (Tachi): stance. A stance is the positioning of the legs and lower body. Stances are parts of kamae (guards) and like kamae are not static, but ever changing to fit the situation. Dachi are important for the correct foundation- a house with a weak foundation will surely collapse. Karateka: practitioner of Karate-Do. This is composed of the three parts kara (empty), te (hand), and ka (person). Literally it could mean a person of the empty hand, but generally it means a Karate-Do practitioner. Seiza: formal seated position. This is a position in which the body is seated on the knees. To Westerners, this can be a very uncomfortable position to maintain. Seiza is used for formal occasions and ceremonies or formal bowing (za-rei). Makiwara: striking post. Okinawan farmers, in order to develop strength in their punches, would take a wooden post, bundle up some straw, and tie it together with rope, then punch it. This wore down and callused their knuckles and made their punches very strong the makiwara was a medieval version of a heavy bag. Bunkai: explanation. The techniques of a kata are not just for exercise or show. Each technique has a purpose and a function. The bunkai is what enables a practitioner to fully understand a kata and gain the most out of it. Ma-ai: distancing. Distancing is essential in Karate-Do. Much of the kata relies on the body knowing where it is at all times. A fight is even more reliant on distancing- the proper distance for a kick or a punch, for example. Without distancing, the usefulness of Karate-Do is diminished severely. Ippon (tokuten): point. In contests, points are awarded for performance of techniques. Whether it is in performance of kata or in sparring, scoring is the means of quantitatively determining a winner. Ippon kumite: One step sparring. This could also be translated as one point or one form sparring. Ippon kumite emphasizes single attacks and defenses, where two people continually alternate. Matte: stop. Literally, wait. The polite form is tomete kudasai. Matte is called when ending a sparring match, when calling the class to order, or simply to stop an activity. Students are expected to immediately cease whatever they are doing.

Bo: staff. The staff is one of the oldest weapons. The original staff forms came from China, where the staff was called a kwon . When the forms were brought to Okinawa, the staff was known as a kun and then a bo in Japan. Sai: hand swords. Sai are not swords. In fact, experts are hard-pressed to agree on exactly what a sai is. It is shaped similar to a parrying dagger, but has neither point nor edge. Some theorize that the sai was a farming implement in India, where it originated as a means of planting seeds in hard soil.

Nunchaku: jointed sticks. The nunchaku are perhaps the most famous martial arts weapon because of their flashy appearance and their prominence in martial arts films. The nunchaku originated in Okinawa as farming tools used for pounding beans into paste. Tonfa (tuifa): handle. The tonfa, the precursor to modem police batons, began as a handle which turned large grindstones to separate the rice from the chaff. The farmers used the tonfa as a weapon because of its low profile amidst a pile of farming tools. Kama: sickle. The sickle in Okinawa was a slightly curved blade attached to a stick. It was used heavily as it was the only bladed weapon farmers had. A variant of the kama, called the kusarigama, had a rope with a hoop on the end attached to the sickle, enabling farmers to entrap weapons and then attack the unarmed opponent. Mushin: no mind. Composed of two characters mu (negative particle) and shin (heart or spirit), mushin is the essence of zen. It is the state in which action is not preceded by thought. For example, when you walk, you do not think about each step. You just walk. This is mushin. Yakusoku Kumite: pre-an-anged sparring. Put together by Master Angi Uezu, yakusoku kumite is a series of five routines, which aid in the development of rhythm, distancing (ma-ai), and timing (jikan). Simban: referee. Simban oversee kumite matches and judge whether contestants have scored points. The Simban are also responsible for the safety of the contestants. Simban are generally high ranking practitioners, because in older times if the contestants chose to move into a real fight, the simban would need to be able to break it up. Tatami: straw mat. The tatami was used widely in Japan. These mats were woven out of straw and were used in dojo as a primitive falling mat. They also served as a sort of carpet in Japanese houses. Tatami are very brittle and shoes should never be worn while walking on tatami. Sandals or tabi (type of sock) should be wom. Yame: halt, rest. Yame is similar in use to matte. When in contest, yame means the stop of all action, and to return to ready position. Matte in competition generally means the end of the match. Yudansha: black belt holder. Yudansha is composed of three parts, yu (a positive particle), dan (man), and sha (person). Put together, they mean man having degree or black belt holder. The opposite is mudansha, with mu (negative particle)

Parts of the Body:
Isshin Ryu Karate-Do began as an empty handed art, before the weapons were added. As such, it is vital for practitioners to know the parts of the body, and what they are called in the native Japanese language. Soku-tei: ball. This is the large bone directly beneath the big toe. It is the primary kicking instrument. Kakato: heel. The heel is used for thrusting kicks such as the back kick or front thrust. If the ankle is weak, the heel can also be used in place of the edge for the side blade kick.

Haisoku: instep. The instep is used for some roundhouse kicks. It is also a target for stomping kicks. Sokuto: blade. This is the very outside edge of the foot and is used in the side and front blade kicks. Achi: arch. The arch is used for a better fit in knee kicks. It fits the shape of the leg better. Hiza: knee. The knee is used in some of the most powerful driving strikes. Ashiyubi: toe. The toes are rarely used in Karate-Do, except for toe kicks with shoes on. Hand: (te) Arm (ude) Foot (ashi) and lower body Ears: Mimi Kobushi: knuckles. The first and second knuckles are the primary striking points of the hand. Yubi: finger. The fingers are used for thrusting strikes such as the nukite. There are five: hitosashiyubi index finger, nakayubi middle finger, kusuri yubi ring finger, koyubi little finger, oyayubi thumb Shuto: blade hand. This is the very outside edge of the hand and is used in the infamous karate chop , properly called a shuto. Seiken: fist. The fist is the primary punching instrument in Isshin Ryu Karate-Do. In Isshin Ryu Karate-Do, the fist is held vertically (knuckles top to bottom) and the thumb placed on top. This strengthens and quickens the punch and is a distinguishing characteristic of isshin Ryu Karate-Do. Tekubi: wrist. The wrist is often the subject of locks and holds, as it is sensitive and has a limited range of motion. In some styles the wrist is used to block. This can be a dangerous practice. Ude: forearm. The forearm is used primarily in blocking, although strikes do exist. Empi (hiji): elbow. The elbow is the counterpart to the knee and is used in close range fighting, as it is very powerful and compact. Kata: shoulder. The most well known use of the shoulder is for blocking, as football players block. Unfortunately, this also leaves the shoulder vulnerable to dislocation and bone breakage.

The original art of Karate-Do, before it was even named Karate-Do, was called Okinawa-Te, or Okinawan Hand. Thus, learning the traditional names for the techniques practiced will not only make the practitioner more aware of them, but also bring him closer to the essence of Karate-Do. Uraken Uchi: backfist strike. Performed by turning the fist palm up and snapping the wrist, thus striking with the top two knuckles.

Kentsui: hammer fist. This technique strikes with the same edge as the shuto, but a closed fist. It is a blunt but powerful strike. Shuto: knife hand. This is composed of two characters, shu (hand) and to (sword). Some styles do translate this as sword hand which is equally correct. The shuto is known as the karate chop to many outsiders and is a versatile blocking and striking technique. Haito: ridge hand. This technique is also known as the reverse knife hand. It is employed by using the edge of the hand from index finger to the base of the thumb. Nukite: spear hand. The nukite strikes with the same hand position as the shuto, but the striking surface is the tips of the fingers, in a thrusting manner. It is most useful for penetrating soft areas. Empi uchi: elbow strike. This is the most compact strike of the upper body, having a small radius and still generating a tremendous amount of force. Hiraken: fore-knuckle fist. The fingers are not entirely curled into a fist in this strike. Instead, the area of contact is the first joint of each finger. Ude uchi: forearm strike. Similar to the clothesline technique of wrestling, the ude uchi is used when the opponent has passed the range of the other arm weapons, or the opponent is charging by. Oi tsuki: lunge punch. The lunge punch involves leaning into the strike with the whole. The hand and foot of the same side move together. Gyaku tsuki: reverse punch. The reverse punch is simple, striking with one hand and stepping forward with the opposing foot. Jodan oi tsuki: uppercut. The uppercut in Isshin Ryu Karate-Do turns the fist at the hip and then strikes upwards, contacting with the first two knuckles. Then returns to obi.

FOOT TECHNIQUES (ashi-waza):
Foot techniques are among the most powerful in Karate-Do. Some styles rely heavily on the foot, such as Tae Kwon Do. IsshinRyu Karate-Do techniques are derived from Southeast Asian arts and from Hun Gar kung fu. The true techniques never rise above the waist, so as to gain the most power from them.

Mae geri: front kick. The front kick is executed with a snap, as most Isshin Ryu Karate-Do kicks are. The striking surface is the ball of the foot, with the toes curled upwards. Yoko geri: side kick. The side kick also uses the ball of the foot to strike with. Sokuto geri: side foot-blade kick, side blade kick. The side blade kick is used most for stopping opponents by striking into the ribs or knees. It is a very quick kick but not the most powerful. Ushiro geri: back kick. This kick is executed by thrusting the leg backwards and striking into the opponent with the heel, It is not a snap kick. Fumikomi: stomp kick. The fumikomi is also a thrusting kick, striking with the heel onto a very low target, such as foot. Hiza geri: knee kick. The knee kick is executed by bringing the knee upwards and sometimes up and inwards, with targets being the groin or ribs of the opponent. The knee kick is extremely powerful and compact, like the elbow strike.

BLOCKING TECHNIQUES (uke-waza): Karate-Do is an art of self-defense, and as such blocking is essential. Blocking is the first step of a fight; as an axiom goes, It is best to let the opponent initiate the fight and thus take the first step to their downfall. This axiom also

implies that while letting an opponent make the first movement, the movement need not connect with the practitioner. Gedan barai: lower block. Literally, lower body sweep. The gedan baral is often used to block kicks. The arm sweeps across the front of the body. Chudan uke: middle block. The middle block makes a semi-circle in front of the body, clearing a field. The block is not hit specific but covers a broad area. Jodan uke: upper block. Literally, upper rising block. Again, like most IsshinRyu Karate-Do blocks, the upper block is a sweeping block, which covers the entire area in front of the body, ending above the head. Shuto uke: knife hand block. The shuto uke can be applied to any of the three ranges; the area of the body is inserted in the name (i.e. shuto chudan uke). The shuto uke are more specific, targeting the region of the attack with an intent to cause damage.

Counting In Japanese:
In Isshin Ryu Karate-Do schools, counting out the sequences of techniques is done in Japanese, and thus knowing how to count in Japanese is essential. There are two systems, an old (on the right) and the modern (on the left). Also note that in the modem system there are two words for the number four; this is because shi in another context means death, and so many will substitute yon in its place.

Counting New Japanese Old Japanese Zero: One: Two: Three: Four: Five: Six: Seven: Eight: Nine: Ten: Eleven: Twelve: Rei Ichi Ni San Shi Go Roku Shichi Hachi Ku Ju Ju-Ichi Ju-Ni N/A Hitotsu Futatsu Mittsu Yottsu Itsutsu Muttsu Nanatsu Yattsu Kokonotsu To To-Hitotsu To-Futatsu

Isshinryu Translations
Aite Arigato Bo Budo Opponent Thank You Wooden Staff Martial Arts

Bunkai Chudan Dan Dachi Do Dojo Geiko Gedan Geri Gi Goju Hachimaka Hajime Hiji Ippon Jiyu Kumite Jodan Joseki Kamae Kara-te Karate Ka Kata Kiai Kime Kotekitai Kiotsuke Kyu Kyusho Maai Mae Makiwara Matte Mokuso Mudansha Mu Shin Nukite Nunchakus Obi Rei Ryu Sai Sensei Shihan Shiai Shorin Shuto Soke Tamashiari Tatami Te Tegata Tsuki Waza Wazari Uchi Uke Yamae Yoko Yudansha Yusume

Technical Application Middle Grade Stance (the) Way School or Training Hall Practice Downward Kick Uniform Hard and Soft (Type of Karate) Headband Begin Elbow One Point Free Style Sparring Upward Seat of Honor On Guard Position Empty Hand Karate Student Form Spirit Shout Focus Arm Strengthening Exercise Attention Class (as in level) Vital Points Distancing Front Punching Board or Mat Submit (Say Uncle) Meditation Below Black Belt No Mindedness Fingertips Fighting Sticks Belt Bow School or System Hand Swords Teacher Master (Normally 5th Dan and Up) Contest Pine Forest (Style of Karate) Knife Hand First Master Breaking Strawmat Hand Open Hand Punch Technique Half Point Strike Block Halt or Rest Side Black Belt Holder At Ease

Master Shimabuku Tatsuo Sensei

Master Shimabuku Tatsuo Sensei s Resting place In Agena, Japan

Master Shimabuku Tatsuo Sensei s Resting Place in Agena, Okinawa Japan