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Shuri-ryu (???, Shuri-ryu?) karate, is an eclectic martial arts system developed by Robert Trias, the first person to teach karate in the mainland United States. He opened the first dojo in 1946 in Phoenix, Arizona. Later in 1948 he formed the first karate association in the U.S., The United States Karate Association (USKA).a21011175 The USKA became one of the largest karate associations in the country; its membership included almost all of the early top karate instructors. . The style of Shuri-ryu is taught in the United States, parts of Europe, and South America it is is related to other Trias styles of karate such as Shorei-Goju Ryu, Shorei-ryu, and Shorei Kai.
Shuri-ryu is a style that has a lineage coming from a variety of sources, including Shuri-te. Other influences, include Naha-te ., XingYi (Hsing-Yi).
Trias was first introduced to karate while in the Navy during World War II, when he was stationed in the Soloman Islands. Robert Trias in 1942, met T’ung Gee Hsing and began training with him. Hsing practiced the Chinese system of Xingyiquan and had reportedly cross-trained with Choki Motobu in the Okinawan village of Kume Mura several years previously. Later Trias reportedly studied with Hoy Yuan Ping in Singapore in 1944. In addition to these teachers, Trias learned from other martial art teachers, such as Yajui Yamada (Judo), Gogen Yamaguchi (Goju-Ryu), Roy Oshiro (Goju-Ryu), Yasuhiro Konishi (Shindo Jinen Ryu), Makoto Gima (Shotokan, Shito-Ryu), and several others. Both Konishi and Gima served as mentors to Trias instead of in a formal teacher-student relationship.
Konishi trained with many karate teachers including both Choki Motobu and Gichin Funakoshi, and recognized Trias as 9th Dan in 1964. This date is contested by some as inaccurate and date the 9th Dan rank in 1974 or 1975, about the same year that Konishi declared Trias to be the style head of Shuri-Ryu. Gima was a prominent student of Funakoshi and recognized Trias as 10th Dan in 1983 reaffirming Trias as style head for Shuri-Ryu.
In addition to the punches, blocks, and kicks of karate, Shuri-ryu also incorporates joint locks, take-downs and throws, and kobudo (traditional weapons). Several senior sensei also hold high ranks in jujitsu and judo.
Shuri-ryu also has several short combinations. These include: 26 ippons (ippon kumite kata), which are performed to develop form and power; 10 taezus (taezu naru waza) which are performed to develop speed and fluidity; 30 kihons which are performed to develop fighting technique; 8 sen-te motions; and 7 kogeki-ho to develop attacking and retreating.
In addition, there are additional training exercises including form sparring (kata kumite), focus stance sparring (kime dachi kumite), free exercise (jiju undo), and free sparring (jiju kumite).
Shuri-ryu has three form exercies called Taikyoku Ichi, Ni, and San to prepare the student to learn the 15 core forms (kata):
Besides these forms, Sanchin and Tensho have alternate ways of performing the forms. Also, the senior sensei of Shuri-Ryu also teach several other forms such as Shudo So and Hakutsuru Shodan, Nidan, Sandan, and Yondan.
Many of the above kata emphasize the use of various animal forms, and the definitions are often reflective of this. For example, Wunsu (Strong Arm Dumping Form) uses the tiger form, Anaku refers to a swallow pivoting on a beach, Empisho (First Elbow Form) refers to the flying swallow, and Go Pei Sho refers to a tearing peacock. Some kata will emphasize multiple animal forms, such as Dan Enn Sho, where ten animals are emulated. Also, there are 15 animal body and fist form exercises.
The Shuri-ryu style, like most systems of the martial arts, uses a belt system to designate rank. The appropriate rank is awarded when the student demonstrates a certain level of proficiency when performing the required techniques, kata, etc. The ranking system as spelled out in “The Pinnacle of Karate” by Trias is as follows:
At each rank, the student must also pass a rigorous physical requirement before performing the technical requirements. Running one or two miles (up to green = 1 mile, purple and beyond = 2 miles), lifting 10 or 15 lb weights 75 times over the head (depending on gender), performing 500 front kicks, and various hand technique exercises are commonly used.