The Founder of our Style, Nagamine Shoshin Sensei
Shoshin Nagamine was born on July 15, 1907 in Tomari, Naha City, Okinawa. As a sickly youth, he took up Karate in 1926, at the age of 17 under Chojin Kuba, to help his physical condition. As his health started to improve, his interest and fascination with Karate also increased. Eventually he began studying Karate under Ankichi Arakaki Sensei. His strength improved so much that by his later years in high school, his friends had nicknamed him "Chippaii Matsu" (Tenacious Pine Tree).
In 1928, he was examined for conscription . His health had improved so much that he passed as a class A infantryman, and was assigned to the 47th Infantry. After his military service with the Japanese artillery, he went into the police force in December 1931. There he studied karate under the famous Chotoku Kyan, and later under Choki Motobu. By the time he was 35 he had received the degree of Renshi in Karate and his Sandan in Kendo. As the Police Superintendent, in January 1951, he began training his fellow police officers in Judo and Karate. In January 1953 he built his first Karate Dojo and named it Kodokan Karate -Do and Kobujitsu Dojo.
Nagamine Sensei's Karate training was under three great teachers, Anikichi Arakaki, Chotoku Kyan, and Choki Motobu. Kyan was a student of Sokon Matsumura of Shuri and Motobu was the student of Kosaku Matsumora of Tomari. Since he formed his Karate based on the teachings of these two great men, in 1947 he adopted the name " Matsubayashi" for his style of Karate, in their honor.
In 1963, Nagamine Sensei read "Gorinnosho" (Book of five rings ) by Miyamoto Musashi and "Tesshukoji-no-shinmenboku" (Buddhist layman and master swordsman, Tesshu's true self) and was resolved to adopt Zen meditation as part of Karate practice. He began studying under a Zen priest, Sogan Sakiyama of Enkakuji and began meditation within the dojo. He furthered his Zen study under Keisho Okamoto, Rengein of Itoman, and Shuzen Kise. Nagamine Shoshin Sensei died from old age on November 2 1997. He has been sorely missed by all whose lives he touched through the martial arts.