Matsubayashi-Ryu Karate do
Matsubayashi-Ryu (which translates as "Pine Forest style") is one of the main branch styles of Okinawan Shorin-ryu Karate. It was formulated in 1947 by Grandmaster Shoshin Nagamine 10th Dan, Hanshi and was named to honour of the teachings of Sokon Matsumora (1806-1894) and Kosaku Matsumora (1829-1899) who heavily influenced the style. Grandmaster Nagamine began his Karate training at age 17, under the Tomari-te master Chojun Kuba, in order to help improve his health. With much improved health, he learned under Chotoku Kyan's students, Taro Shimabuku and Ankichi Arakaki. In 1931, after serving in the Japanese Army, he joined the police and was stationed in Kadena, Okinawa, where he was instructed by Chotoku Kyan. While studying in Tokyo at the Metropolitan Police Academy, he studied fighting principles and techniques under the famous Choki Motobu. In 1940, Nagamine Shoshin received the rank of Renshi from the Japanese Budokukai. Later after the war, Nagamine opened his dojo, The Kodokan, in order to help the disconcerted youth of Okinawa and to help preserve its cultural heritage. Nagamine became the first vice-president of the Okinawa Karate-Do Federation ( an organisation that encompasses many styles of karate such as Goju-ryu, Uechi-ryu and various Shorin-ryu styles) and for years to following, as an advisor. In 1969, Nagimine Sensei began his study of Zen Buddhism under the Myoshinji school and, later under the Enkakuji school and, as such, Zen meditation play an integral role in Matsubayashi-Ryu. In December, 1996 Nagamine received his "inka" or "mind stamp" to confirm his realisation of Karate and Zen as One. This is the first time that a Karate teacher has been given this honour. Unfortunately for the world of Karate, Nagamine Sensei passed away in November 1997, but his teachings continue through dedicated instructors the world over. Nagamine Takayoshi, a very talented and dedicated teacher, has now taken over as head of Matsubayashi-ryu. His knowledge and ability as a Karate-ka continue to inspire,as does his devotion to the art. He will continue to spread Matsubayashi-ryu world wide into the next century.