History of Okinawan Shorin Ryu Karate
Okinawan is a small village island near Japan blessed with cultural and natural diversity. The present day martial art ‘Karate’ traces back its root to the Buddhist Shaolin Temple of China.
The Buddhist monks from Shaolin Temple visited Okinawa and sowed the seed of martial arts and named it as ‘Tote’ as direct translation of ‘Chinese Hand’. The word Tote slowly reformed to ‘Te’ means hand and later to ‘Karate’ means open hand. The word Karate also represents the fact that it is practiced bare handed. Later ‘Kubodo’ means weapon techniques were also introduced. Since then the people of Okinawa learnt, practiced and tough Karate to rest of the world.
The original Okinawa Karate was developed in various villages mainly Naha, Shuri, and Tomari and diversed into three styles Naha-te, Shuri-Te, and Tomari-Te. Shuri-Te, also known as Shorin-ryu, divided in to Shobayashi-Ryu, Kobayashi-ryu, Matsubayashi-Ryu and Matsumara Orthodox and are collectively known by its family name Matsubayashi-Ryu.
The grand master Shoshin Nagamine, student of two most influential teachers in Okinawa Chotoku Kyan and Choki Motobu, unified and led Matsubayashi-Ryu in honour of this grand teachers Bushi Matsumara and Kosaku Matsumara. The word Matsubayashi means ‘pine forest’ and also have links back to the Buddhist Shaolin Temple surrounded by pine forest. Therefore this style is also known as ‘forest style’.
[Note: The two styles Shobayashi-Ryu and Kobayashi-Ryu emerged due to misspelling of the word Shobayashi.]
Master Shimbabukuno of Shobayashi-Ryu requested Chosin Cibana to correct his kata and discripencies proliferated in Shorin-Ryu in Okinawa. Due to his respect towards Sensi Cibana, Shimbabukuro removed his 10th dan black belt and wore white belt while learning kata from Sensi Cibana. This show the intense desire of teachers to preserve the purity and originality of Shorin-Ryu.
Shorin-Ryu is one of the famous styles of Okinawa which is still being practiced in its original form, while keeping in mind the quote of Sensi Cibana “Karate is teaching kata we have learnt from our forefathers without changing it at all.
Note to the readers: As this is a complied version of many stories available in the internet, so before using any information from this for educational purpose, you must consult the historian having knowledge in this field.