History of Isshinryu Karate


Master Shimabuku

  While Isshin-ryu is a relatively new style, and while it has been fairly controversial since its establishment in 1954, it is important to realize that Isshin-ryu is very firmly rooted in traditional karate, and that, while Master Shimabuku was an innovator, he was also the most accomplished traditionalist of his day. Thus Master Shimabuku may be likened to other great and innovative artists, such as architect Frank Lloyd Wright or the painter, Picasso. While Wright introduced many new and bold concepts to the art of building, and in some ways revolutionized the practices of architecture, he was well trained in principles, techniques and materials that go back to the builders of ancient civilizations. And while Picasso’s paintings reflect his radical departure from traditional depiction of images, he was able to paint as realistically as any landscape or portrait artist. No one lacking the formal training of these two figures could have possibly matched their innovative creativity. Similarly, Isshin-ryu could have been invented only by one who had absolutely mastered traditional karate. Tatsuo Shimabuku was an acknowledged expert in Goju-ryu and Shorin-ryu before he refined and tempered the techniques, and handed down a style that is as pure and effective as any practiced today.