Shōrin-ryū (小林流) is one of the major modern Okinawan martial arts. If was founded by Choshin Chibana in 1933, Shōrin-ryū combines elements of the traditional Okinawan fighting styles of Shuri-te. Chosin Chibana was a top student … see full wiki
I have been a Shotokan practitioner for about 33 years (see my story). During the last eight years or so I had not been affiliated with any club and my training has been working alone on my kata once or twice a week. I became a bit bored with this regimen and really needed to drive myself to make sure I wasn't forgetting my kata (I know about 26 of them).
About two months ago I discovered that a Shorin-Ryu club had been formed at my company and was free to all company employees. I decided to check it out. I found that it had many similarities to my own style (they both have Okinawan roots) and the workouts were pretty intense. I decided to give it a shot scrapping my blackbelt and running out to Honda Martial Arts to purchase a pristine "white" belt.
I found a lot of challenges to this art. Mostly, there are many subtle differences from my own art and to do it proper I have to expend a lot of mental energy to move differently and chamber my punching fists at a higher points (Shotokan is more close to the hip). This is not an easy thing having to stifle the muscle memory built through the years.
The workouts themselves are very intense and I found myself sweating like I haven't sweated in many years. The day after each workout my body still feels it. I found the Sensei ( teacher) and the students very welcoming and encouraging and I feel new energy coursing through my body. I started looking forward to the end of the work day and getting into class for the workout.
The other day I took my first Green tip test (rank of Roko Kyu) and enjoyed the experience. About 30 students from the New York Dojo came to our local club for the test. I had to not only perform the first kata (Futa-kata ichi) and basic techniques but had to write a paragraph explaining my Karate experience and then had to answer questions from the five black belt judges. All of them seemed fascinated by my Shotokan experience and made me feel most welcome. I am happy to report that I passed this test and look forward to learning the next kata and continuing my training.
So now I have begun my second Karate journey and hope to be able to continue towards a second black belt. I now have a new group of friends to share martial art experience with and new challenges to face. They are challenges I look forward to conquer.