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Mississippi Isshinryu Karate
Backgrounds, biographies, pictures and insights of Shimabuku's Isshin-Ryu

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Naihanchi/Sanchin

    The origins of Isshin-ryu karate-do start with Ryuzu Kannon the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy. As we all know, Shimabuku Tatsuo Sensei in 1955 had a vision of a Goddess riding a Dragon. The Goddess told Shimabuku that he had enough knowledge to incorporate his own ideas and create his own system. The Goddess also told him to create a image of her and according to Shinsho his father meditated on and off for three to four months to create her image. As we all know, Shimabuku combined the Goddess with the Dragon she was riding into one. The “Goddess of Isshin-ryu” often mistakenly called “Mizugami” or “Shugoshin No Sama” is the symbol of Shimabuku’s philosophy. Shimabuku Sensei told me that within the symbol lies all of his teachings of Shorin-ryu and Goju-ryu along with other Gokui of Isshin-ryu. Just as Shimabuku Tatsuo Sensei combined Kannon (Goddess of Mercy) with the Dragon and made them one, he did the same when he created Isshin-ryu by taking Naihanchi kata from Shorin-ryu and Sanchin Kata from Goju-ryu to create Isshin-ryu Karate-do..

     Naihanchi kata and Sanchin kata are the parents of Isshin-ryu. Shimabuku Tatsuo Sensei stated that Naihanchi kata which came from Shorin-ryu was the mother while Sanchin kata which came from Goju-ryu was the father of Isshin-ryu karate-do. As often stated it is important to understand the parents Naihanchi and Sanchin kata to understand the offspring Isshin-ryu.

     Recently I have been asking individuals to perform doing Naihanchi and Sanchin kata together. Since Naihanchi and Sanchin kata are foundation of Isshin-ryu I think it would be good to talk about this subject to get a better understanding of the philosophy of what Shimabuku Tatsuo Sensei was doing when he made our system.

     The study of Naihanchi and Sanchin kata is perhaps the best method of learning about concepts of Shimabuku Tatsuo’s philosophy. I believe this is where one can find the "real" or "true" essence of the art of Isshin-ryu Karate-do.

     Kata is where we practice the physical movements but let us talk and discuss your thoughts on why and what you know or think about why Shimabuku Sensei used these two kata as the basics of our system when he created it.

Shorin-ryu Naihanchi Mother (---) Yin
Goju-ryu Sanchin Father ( | ) Yang
Isshin-ryu Karate-do Offspring (+) Equilibrium / Balance


Your thoughts. AJA


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