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

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One Heart Way

Isshinryu Kanji

On January 15, 1956, Master Shimabuku officially announced the formation of a new style of Karate, Isshinryu, meaning "One-Heart Way." He chose this name because, according to Shimabuku, "all things begin with One." Beginning in 1955, Shimabuku began to instruct a number of U.S. Marines in his front yard in Kyan Village.

Eiko Kaneshi, Tatsuo's right hand man said: "Why Isshinryu, why such a funny name?", and Shimabuku replied: "Because all things begin with one".

* from A.J. Advincula Interview with Sensei Eiko Kaneshi , December 24, 1984, on Okinawa

In February 1956, Don Nagle became the first American of note to train with Master Shimabuku at his original dojo. In 1957, Harold Long also began training with Master Shimabuku in Kyan Village. In 1958, the dojo was moved to Agena in order to be closer to the military bases and Master Shimabuku secured a contract with the U.S. Special Services to teach Karate to the U.S. Marines for $250 each month.

In March 1958, Harold Mitchum began training at the Agena Dojo. Mitchum later trained in Shorin-Ryu with one of Shimabuku's top Okinawan students, Kinjo Kinsoku. Arcenio J. Advincula also began training in November 1958. He trained on Okinawa with Master Shimabuku longer than any other American. He also trained in other Okinawan Karate styles and Hindiandi Gung Fu. Other Americans of note who trained with Master Tatsuo Shimabuku while serving with the U.S. Marines include Don Bohan, Sherman Harrill, Steve Armstrong, Ralph Bove, Ed Johnson, and William Blond, among others.



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One Heart Way