History

What is a Dojo?

Your Karate school is called a Dojo. Students should maintain respectful behavior while in the Dojo. This includes before, during and after class. A large part of Karate training consists of learning respect and self-discipline. These behavior patterns are anticipated as well as nurtured in the dojo. A student should always remember that as a part of the Dojo, he or she always represents the Dojo.

What is a Sensei?

Your teacher is called a “Sensei” which roughly translates as “Professor”. Your head instructor at Karate Fitness, Fairview Heights, Illinois, is Sensei Jeff Harris. Not every Black Belt is a Sensei. A Black Belt becomes a Sensei only when they have completed instructor training and has received a teaching certificate.

Although your Sensei’s purpose is to teach you Karate, the ultimate goal is to take the benefits that are part of Karate training and use them to make you goal-oriented, better disciplined, and more confident. Why is this important? It is important because everything you do in life will involve your ability to be clear in your goals, disciplined in your work, and confident in your approach. No matter what you do in your life, you will need these three elements to be successful.

Outline of Kara-Te influence

China
Okinawa
Shorin Ryu (Anko Itosu: 1830 – 1915)
Matsubayashi Ryu (Shoshin Nagamine: 1907 Naha, Okinawa – Nov 2, 1997)
Shima-Ha (Masao Shima: 1933 – 2003)
Kiyoshi Nishime (born Oct 7, 1949 on the island of Kumejima, Okinawa)
Toshihiro Oshiro (born 1949)
Eihachi Ota(born May 23, 1945 on Yaeyama Island, Okinawa)
Kobayashi Ryu (Chosin Chibana)
Shobayashi Ryu (Chotoku Kyan; Matsumura orthodox Hohan Soken)
Shotokan (Gichin Funakoshi: 1868 – 1957)
Shito Ryu (Mabuni Kenwa: 1889 – 1952)
Goju Ryu (Miyagi Chojun: Apr 24, 1888 Naha, Okinawa – Oct 8, 1953)
Wado Ryu (Hironori Otsuka: June 1, Shimodate City, Ibaragi, Japan 1892 – 1982)
Uechi Ryu (Mr. Uechi, went to South China & studied 3 foremost styles of Kempo and after 10 years he took the good parts f each of the three and formed this style)
Shorie Ryu (Kanryo Higashionna: 1845 – 1915)

Profiles of Karate Masters

Kanga Sakukawa (1733 – 1815)

Satusuku SakugawaIn 1750 (Age 17), Kanga Sakukawa (or Sakugawa) began his training as a student of an Okinawan monk, Peichin Takahara. At age 23, Sakugawa was advised by Takahara to leave and train under Kusanku, a Chinese master in Kung Fu (Chuan Fa). Sakugawa traveled to China with Kusanku to study and learn all that he could from Kusanku. Sakugawa learned valuable lessons from Kung Fu and went on to become a great master himself. He Later returned to Okinawa and began to spread what he learned in 1762. He became such an expert that people gave him, as a nickname: “Tōde” Sakugawa (Sakugawa “Chinese Hand”). His most famous student, Matsumura Sokon, went on to develop the Shuri-te which later develop into Shorin-ryu style of karate.
Teachers: Takahara Pechin and Kusanku
Notable students: Sokon Matsumura

Sokon Matsumura (1809 in Yamakawa village of Shuri – 1901 in Shuri)

Sokon MatsumuraSokon Matsumura is one of the original Karate Masters of Okinawa. He served as the body guard to the King of Okinawa during the time and traveled to China and studied Chuan Fa as well as other Martial Arts and brought what he learned back to Okinawa.
Teachers: Kanga Sakukawa and Annan
Notable Students: Anko Asato, Anko Itosu, Motobu Choyyu, Motobu Choki, Kentsu Yabu, Nabe Matsumura, Chotoku Kyan, Kiyuna Pechin, Ryosei Kuwae, Sakihara Pechin

Chotoku Kyan (1870 in Shuri, Okinawa – 1945 in Ishikawa, Okinawa)

Chotoku KyanChotoku Kyan’s father is noted as possibly having a background in karate and even teaching Kyan tegumi in his early years. When Kyan was 20 years old, he began his karate training under Kosaku Matsumora and Kokan Oyadomari. While at 30 years of age, he was considered a master of the karate styles known as Shuri-te and Tomari-te. The most long time student of Kyan was Zenryo Shimabukuro, who studied with Kyan for over 10 years.
Teachers: Sokon Matsumura, Yara Chatan, Kokan Oyadomari, Maeda Pechin, Kosaku Matsumora, Tokumine Pechin.
Notable students: Tatsuo Shimabuku, Ankichi Arakaki, Shoshin Nagamine, Zenryo Shimabukuro, Joe Nakazato

Anko Itosu (1831 in Gibo Village of Shuri, Okinawa – 1915 in Shuri, Okinawa)

Anko ItosuAnko Itosu was born into the RyuKyu Kingdom. He developed the Pinan Katas in order to teach in the school system. Also instrumental in breaking down Naihachi into 3 known katas today (Naihachi Shodan, Nidan, and Sandan).
Teachers: Sokon Matsumura and Nagahama Chikudun and rumored (Gusukuma of Tomari – Shiroma)
Notable students: Choyu Motobu, Choki Motobu, Kentsu Yabu, Chomo Hanashiro, Gichin Funakoshi, Moden Yabiku, Kanken Toyama, Chotoku Kyan, Shinpan Gusukuma (Shiroma), Anbun Tokuda, Kenwa Mabuni, Choshin Chibana

Masao Shima (1933 – 2003)

Masao ShimaMasao Shima was born in 1933.
Teachers: Shoshin Nagamine
Notable students: Kiyoshi Nishime, Toshihiro Oshiro, Eihachi Ota

Chokei Kishaba (Oct 4, 1929 – 2000)

Chokei KishabaChokei Kishaba is the older brother of the Kishaba family. He is the founder of the Shorin-ryu Kishaba Juku. His teachers were Hohan Soken, Shoshin Nagamine, and Seigi Nakamura.

Chogi Kishaba (born 1934)

Chogi KishabaChogi Kishaba is the younger brother of the Kishaba family. He is the grandmaster in Yamanni Ryu (Yamanni-Chinen Ryu) and co-founded the R.B.K.D. (RyuKyu Bujutsu Kenkyu Doyukai) with one of his Senior students, Toshihiro Oshiro.
Teachers: Chojun Miyagi and Masami Chinen
Notable students: Toshihiro Oshiro and Kiyoshi Nishime

Kiyoshi Nishime (born Oct 7, 1949)

Kiyoshi NishimeKiyoshi Nishime was first exposed to martial arts as a child growing up in Okinawa on the island of Kumejima. The island was known for its champions in Okinawan Sumo, in which opponents grab each other by the belt and try to throw them. In the evenings, boys and men on the island would gather at the beach, practicing grappling and throwing techniques. Nishime’s first formal training was on the junior high/high school Judo team. He was a member of the team for several years.

Sensei Nishime began training in Shorin-ryu Karate when he was 15 years old. He belonged to the Shima Dojo and his teachers were Sensei Masao Shima, Sensei Chokei Kishaba, and Sensei Kensei Taba. He also studied the Yamanni-ryu system of weapons from Sensei Kishaba’s younger brother, Chogi Kishaba.

A native of Okinawa, Japan, Sensei Nishime moved to the United States in 1973 to teach karate. In 1998 he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Japanese government for his contributions to martial arts and was recognized as the 1999 National Instructor of the Year by the Amateur Athletic Union. His first dojo was in Hartwell, Cincinnati. He opened the Silverton Dojo in 1986, where he taught for 8 years before opening the Monfort Heights, Cincinnati, Dojo in January of 1994. He then moved his Dojo to Taylor Creek where he currently instructs. He is a father of three and grandfather of four, which 2 of his sons Ben Nishime and Jason Nishime continue to train with him on a daily basis. They own and operate dojos of there own in Bright, Indiana and Crescent Springs, Kentucky.
Teachers: Masao Shima, Chogi Kishaba, Kensei Taba
Notable students: Ben Nishime and Jason Nishime

Toshihiro Oshiro (born May 1, 1949 in Haneji, Okinawa)

Toshihiro OshiroToshihiro Oshiro began his study of Karate at age 6, eventually expanding his study to include Judo and Kendo. As a teen he began studying Yamanni Ryu (or Yamanni-Chinen ryu) with Chogi Kishaba, the direct student of Masami Chinen who was the only instructor of the style remaining in Okinawa. After retiring as a detective in the Okinawan Police Department, in 1978, he moved to the USA. He currently teaches in his San Mateo, California dojo and is Internationally known. In 1985, he co-Founded, with Chogi Kishaba of the R.B.K.D. (RyuKyu Bujutsu Kenkyu Doyukai).
Teachers: Masao Shima, Seigi Nakamura, Chogi Kishaba, Junko Yamaguchi, Jokei Kushi

Eihachi Ota (born May 23, 1945)

Eihachi OtaEihachi Ota was born on the island of Yaeyama, Okinawa in 1945 where his father was a farmer and a carpenter. His father moved him and his family to Naha City, Okinawa in order to focus the children on education when he was about 13 years of age (1958). Ota was then exposed to Karate thru his new neighbor friend. He joined the High School karate club and from there became a member of Shima Sensei’s Matsubayashi Shorinryu dojo.

Nagamine Sensei would not permit kumite so Shima Sensei and a few others opened a branch dojo where they could practice sparring by turning part of his house into a dojo. When Ota started training in the late 50s his instructors had just got their dan grades. The other senior instructor was Chokei Kishaba. Students didn’t have any money, and food was less than abundant. Shima sensei didn’t ask for a teaching fee, but the students were expected to provide water. Okinawa is a small island in a vast ocean so there always has been a severe shortage of drinking water. Sometimes they didn’t even have the money for that.

There were never more than ten members in the dojo, and by the early sixties the students were taught as a class and not individually as before. However, they were expected to train on their own a great deal; classes were basically for the instructor to correct you. Ota and his friend Nohara, practised before the group training often, sometime hitting the makiwara for thirty minutes at a time. Class training was gruelling and consisted mainly of basics and kata. After class we would do weight training-bench presses and squats-and we also used the chi’shi training weight like the Goju-ryu people do. They also studied the bo. As they had a close connection with the Nagamine Dojo there was never a problem getting an instructor.

Ota moved to Los Angeles, California in 1969 shortly after obtaining an electronics degree from Japan. He currently owns and operates a dojo in Los Angeles, California. He formed the Shorin-ryu Karate-do & Kobudo Association (S.K.K.A.) in 1992 in order to spread the teachings of Matsubayashi Shorin-ryu. He made a video, “Once a Secret” and is an accomplished Martial Artist to this day.

References:
Online Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/
http://www.dragon-tsunami.org/Dtimes/Pages/article37.htm
http://ryubukandojo.wordpress.com/2009/07/07/okinawa-shima-ha-shorin-ryu-karate-do/