Kobayashi Shorin-ryu

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Kobayashi (??) Shorin-ryu (???) (Shorin-ryu?) is a school of Okinawa Shorin-ryu karate founded by Choshin Chibana.

After the death of Anko Itosu in 1915, one of Itosu’s most senior students, Choshin Chibana, wanted to continue to teach the Shorin-ryu style of karate he learned from his instructor. Chibana named his system Shorin-ryu, but using the Chinese characters for “”small”” (?[1]) and “”forest”” (?[2]). Chibana lineage schools are commonly referred to as “”kobayashi,”” but this is technically incorrect, as Chibana never used this term to refer to his karate. It was meant to be “Shorin” as tribute to the Shaolin Temple. (Shorin is the Japanese and Okinawan pronunciation of Shaolin). However, he believed strongly that Shorin-ryu was largely Okinawan and purposely modified the first character from the Chinese “”Shao/Sho”” so it would retain its originality. As other schools later adopted the name “”Shorin-ryu,”” the term “”kobayashi”” was probably added to describe which exact characters were used to write the term “”Shorin,”” but was never meant to be the official name of the style.

In 1920, Chibana opened his first dojo in Torihori. Spellings such as “”Tottoribori”” or “”Tottori-cho”” are erroneous and incorrect. The old name of Torihori was Tunjumui, so it is unknown where these erroneous names came from. He later taught in places such as Gibo, Yamakawa, Naha, Kumoji and Asato, with the main Chibana dojo being in Yamakawa.[3] [4]

Chibana taught this style of Shorin-ryu until his death in 1969. Each of his top students went on to create his own branch of Shorin-ryu: Nakama Chozo created Shubokan, Yuchoku Higa created Kyudokan, Katsuya Miyahira created Shido-kan, and Shugoro Nakazato created Shorinkan.[5]

“”… now the Japanese call it ‘kobayashi style’ but that is incorrect – but that is all right because only people who do not know Okinawan karate will call it by that name. Since they do not know you must gently remind them or the Okinawan people will laugh at their ignorance. After all, it is funny, many foreign people call it kobayashi shorin-Ryu (?????)- that is just like saying shorin shorin-ryu. It doesn’t make much sense …”” [6][7]
Miyahira Katsuya hanshi
Okinawa Shorin-Ryu Karate 10th dan

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