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Shorin-Ryu Karate

A martial art that originated in Okinawa in 1820.

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Starting at the Beginning in a Fun Style

  • May 5, 2010
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.

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May 10, 2010
I just read this review and your Shotokan one -- wow, you do so many cool things what with toast masters and all!  Where do you ever find time to read? :P  Thanks for sharing!  It's very interesting to read about all these different forms of martial arts.
May 11, 2010
Thanks Devora and welcome the the Everything Martial Arts community. Please feel free to post some of your interesting work. I have a long daily commute to and from work every day and most of that time I read. One of the nice things about using public transportation.
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I first got on this blog to discuss my first passion which is books. Since I have gotten on I find that books are only a piece of this blog and I can discuss just about anything that comes to mind. It … more
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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 ...

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