Matsubayashi Ryu

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Matsubayashi Ryu (????), also known as Matsubayashi Shorin-ryu, is a school of Okinawan Shorin-ryu karate founded by Shoshin Nagamine (1907-1997) in 1947. Its curriculum includes 18 kata, 7 two-man yakusoku kumite (prearranged sparring) routines, and kobudo (weapons) practice.

Nagamine named his school in honor of masters whom he viewed as two of the most important forebears of Shorin-ryu, Sokon Matsumura and Kosaku Matsumora. He chose to name the school using kanji characters that can be prounounced in Japanese either as “Matsubayashi” or as “Shorin.” Therefore, it is correct to refer to the school as “Matsubayashi Ryu”, “Shorin-ryu”, or “Matsubayashi Shorin-ryu”. Most people today choose one of the “Matsubayashi” variants in order to avoid confusion with the other many schools of Shorin-ryu. Nagamine Shoshin also credited Motobu Choki as the teacher who inspired his seven Yakusoku kumite forms. Today, the official Matsubayashi-ryu organization is run by Shoshin Nagamine’s son, Takayoshi Nagamine, though there are many schools teaching Matsubayashi Ryu that are not officially affiliated with the Nagamine dojo.

Matsubayashi Ryu is one of the better-documented traditional karate styles, owing to Nagamine’s book, The Essence of Okinawan Karate-Do [1] as well as Tales of the Masters[2].

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