Official Karate Style



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 fighting styles 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).

(English: small woods) is the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese ShaolinThe primary dialect of Okinawa, although now an almost dead language due to the taking over of Okinawa by Japan; and ryu means “Association”. Therefore, Shōrin-ryū (“small forest”) 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.


Shōrin-ryū is generally characterized by natural breathing, natural (narrow, high) stances, and direct, rather than circular movements (with the exception of Shōrin-ryū Kyudōkan, which makes extensive use of circular movements). Shōrin-ryū practitioners will say that correct motion matters, being able to move quickly to evade violence by having fluid movements and flexible positions is quite important, and that a solid structure is very important for powerful moves, but stances that are too deep, will most likely make body movement very difficult.



Naihanchi – Shodan
Naihanchi – Nidan
Naihanchi – Sandan
Fukyu – Kata Dai – Ichi
Fukyu – Kata Dai – Ni
Pinan – Shodan
Pinan – Nidan
Pinan – Sandan
Pinan – Yondan
Pinan – Godan

Itosu – No – Passai

(Passai – Sho)
Kussanku – Sho
Matsumura – No Passai
(Passai – Dai)
Kussanku – Dai
Koryu – Passai