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Okinawa - where it all began

Scanty Forest, and Pine Waves.

About six years ago I met Sensei Greg Martin, a Shorin Ryu Shorinkan practioner. We both attended a new years Gasshuku hosted by my good friend, Hanshi Richard Mark; a Shorinji Ryu practioner that I have know for almost forty-five years. The following year Greg and I met once again at the same event, but this time we kept in touch. Fast forward to today, and I find that I have been a member of his Shorin Ryu dojo for almost five years. Now normally that would not be unusual, except that I am a Shotokan practitioner, and I have been since 1978.

However, as anyone who has trained for any length of time knows, karate is karate. The rest is just personal preferences, and window dressing, based on which sensei we follow, who taught our sensei, and who they followed, going all the way back to a Founder on Okinawa who developed a style that we practice today. As with all historical legends, and stories, there is always a great deal of truth hidden amongst the myths, rumors, and inconsistencies. If you can find a way to separate those truths from the other bits, and pieces, that is where you will find your real starting point.

For me my starting point was when I found the person who laid the common foundation that is shared by both Shorin Ryu, and Shotokan Ryu. It explains why the similarities outweigh the differences. Especially when it comes to following one "way" or the other. The added bonus for me was learning that not only was Master Anko Itosu the rimary author of both styles of karate, but he also has a link to the my chosen style of Okinawan kobudo, the Tesshinkan.

Below you will find a few links that I hope you will find helpful.

Enjoy the journey, I certainly did.

I alway knew that the Founder of Shotokan karate, Master Gichin Funakoshi, was first, and foremost, a Shorin Ryu martial artist. The question is, after all these years in a very round about way have I finally come home?

Time will tell.

Shorin Ryu: Shōrin-ryū - Wikipedia 

Anko Itosu: Ankō Itosu - Wikipedia 

Choshin Chibana:  Chōshin Chibana - Wikipedia 

Sensei Nakazato Shorin-ryu Shorinkan Karate (karateshorinkan.com)  

Ryu Kyu Kobudo Tesshinkan: - Ryukyu Kobudo - Wikipedia

Remember: "No matter what style we practice, we all walk the same road".