Brief History of Shorin Ryu Karate

There are many legends about the beginning of Karate, but one has emerged as the most popular. Around 500 AD, a Buddhist monk from India crossed the Himalayan mountains into China with a purpose to spread his faith. He later became known as the Father of Zen Buddhism. He believes that if the body was in poor health, the spirit would also be weak. This resulting belief led him to develop a system of exercises the keep the body and mind healthy simultaneously.

During this time, there were many robbers who often preyed upon the monks. He developed a type of fighting to protect these monks from the many robbers. It was much different than the systems of today, but was still effective for protection. The training he provided to them was said to also help them to better endure the rigors of their religious training also. The monks at the Shaolin Temple where he taught Zen Buddhism and his type of fighting became the most feared fighters in China. This fighting style became known as Shaolin Kenpo.

Between 1100 and 1314 AD, the Okinawan people fought among themselves. It became a time of civil strife and political unrest when local chieftains wanted control. Not longer after, Shaolin Kenpo arrived in Okinawa and the surrounding islands. The Okinawans had their own fighting art at the time known as Okinawa-Te. It was later combined with Shaolin Kenpo to form the foundation of modern karate.

Around that same time, King Sho Hashi united the regions into one kingdom and prohibited the ownership and use of private weapons, confiscating all to insure the safety of his dynasty. 200 years later, the Lord of the Satsuma Clan conquered Okinawa and all of the surrounding islands and banned the practice of martial arts and all weapons. The Okinawan people still practiced their art in secret and the prohibition only served to increase the growth of martial arts and develop empty hand tactics due to the lack of weapons. For more than 300 years the teachings of karate were handed down in secret from generation to generation. The masters would only teach people of good character and all the classes occurred at night or in remote places.

Around 1900, the secrecy surrounding the mysterious art of karate diminished when the first public demonstrations began with Anko Itosu and karate was incorporated into physical education programs in the Okinawan schools.


From that time forward, Karate has been carried from island to country to continent by masters in the art, primarily to stimulate interest. Okinawa is in essence the birthplace of modern Karate, but many different styles of Karate have evolved from the teachings of different masters. There are far too many different styles to date for us to name them all here; however, Shorin-Ryu is oftentimes called the "grandfather of all karate".

Here at OSRKKA

Okinawan Shorin-Ryu Karatedo and Kobudo Academy teaches traditional Shorin-Ryu Karate from Okinawa, Japan, the birthplace of Karate. Our martial arts style is one of the oldest fighting arts in the world today. Although we maintain its tradition, we also ensure the techniques our students learn constantly evolve so that they can be effective against modern threats. Students learn self-defense from standing up and standing their ground in order to protect themselves in any situation.

Our personally designed program allows students of any age or skill level to improve themselves mentally and physically. Students learn martial arts fundamentals like respect, discipline, confidence, situational awareness, self-defense and so much more. Our exciting classes allow students to learn valuable life-skills and develop martial arts skills in a safe, structured environment.

The Shorin-Ryu martial art is one of the oldest fighting styles known. It is an art that was designed to be practiced at any age, whether you are 5 or 85. Given the proper techniques and direction in practicing your kata, this art will not only be a powerful defense but will also be a means to keep the body physically fit and maintain good health and balance in life.

Our Mission

Our mission here at OSRKKA is to focus on traditional karate as we teach discipline, self-discipline, self-defense, and respect; all while teaching the roots of the spirit of karate as a whole. We do not emphasize tournament fighting, we prefer to focus on the true meaning of karate for one's own journey. We strive to instruct each student individually even if being taught in a group, and work with them to succeed at each level of their training. Every student learns that karate is considered a way of life, not just a belt to be worn.