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 of the great master of shuri-te, Anko Itosu]]. [[Anko Itosu was the top student of Matsumura Sōkon was a renowned warrior of his time; bodyguard to three kings of Okinawa, he has been called the Miyamoto Musashi of Okinawa and was dubbed bushi, or warrior, by his king. However, while he is often referred to as the "founder" of Shuri-te, he did not invent all the components of the style. He synthesized his knowledge of Okinawan arts with Chinese martial arts that he learned on his travels and taught it as a coherent system to some eager students, who subsequently refined it, and passed it on. In 1933, Chosin Chibana chose to call his style Shorin-ryu in honor of the Chinese Shaolin roots, and to differentiate it from others styles that were being modified from the original teachings of Anko Itosu. Prior to this time, there were no names for styles in Okinawa (though common in Japan for Japanese martial arts).
Shorin (少林 English: small woods) is the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese Shaolin and ryu means "Association". Therefore, Shōrin-ryū reflects the Chinese influences intrinsic to the art. Though it reflects the Chinese influence, it was also meant to signify that it was a distinct and different martial art from the Shorin Chuanfa. Shorin karate developed and mastered linear movements and striking (i.e. oi tsuki) making it much more effective and powerful than the Shaolin of the time. This was evidenced by the domination over visiting Chuan fa masters, tori te masters, and everyone else in one on one challenges by Matsumura and his Karateka contemporaries.