Shorin-ryu (小林流?) Kobayashi Shorin-ryū founder Choshin Chibana Also known as Kobayashi Shorin-ryu Date founded 1915 Country of origin Okinawa, Japan Founder Chōshin Chibana Arts taught Karate Ancestor schools Shōrin-ryū Descendant schools Shidōkan, Shōrinkan, Kyudokan,Reihokan Practitioners Katsuya Miyahira, Shūgorō Nakazato, Nakama Chozo, Yuchoku Higa, Nanobu Ahagon Kobayashi (小林) Shōrin-ryū (小林流) (Shōrin-ryū?) is the school of Okinawa Shorin-ryu karate founded by Chōshin Chibana. The style is properly called Shorin-Ryu. After the death of Anko Itosu in 1915, one of Itosu’s most senior students, Choshin Chibana, wanted to continue to teach the Shorin-ryū style of karate he learned from his instructor.
Chibana named his system Shorin-ryū, but using the Chinese characters for “small” (小) and “forest” (林). 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-ryū,” 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 the Torihori district of Shuri. 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 other parts of Shuri such as Gibo and Yamakawa, and in Naha at Kumoji and Asato, with the main Chibana dojo being in Yamakawa. Chibana taught this style of Shorin-ryū until his death in 1969. Each of his top students went on to create his own branch of Shorin-ryū: Nakama Chozo created Shubokan, Yuchoku Higa created Kyudokan, Katsuya Miyahira created Shidō-kan, Shūgorō Nakazato, created Shorinkan and Naonobu Ahagon created Reihokan. 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 (小林小林流)- that is just like saying shorin shorin-ryu. It doesn’t make much sense …”The kanji are never written as 小林小林流 (kobayashi shorin-ryu) but always as 小林流 (shorin-ryu). The term Kobayashi Shorin-ryu is only used in the west and only by certain branches of Shorin-ryu. The Japanese reader of the kanji 小林流 automatically knows it is not Matsubayashi-ryu 松林流 because the kanji are different. (Partialy taken from Wikipedia)
One of the oldest ryu-ha, Kojo-ryu was established in 1392 when the best and the brightest Chinese called “Kume 36 families” came to Ryukyu kingdom and became a nationalized citizen of the country. The primogenitor of Kojo-ryu, Sai Jo, was from Fujian Province, China. Sais started living in Kume village with other “Kume 36 families” and one of Sais family was named Kojo. Kojos became one of the warrior classes of Naha province. They worked for Ryukyu government for a long time and supported the kingdom. In the end of the 17th century, Kojo Pechin got together all the techniques of Kojo style and taught it to other Kojos. So Kojo-ryu as we know it today is based on Kojo Pechin’s style. The feature of Kojo-ryu is that you keep punching to attack and then finish with join constraint or throwing.
The original, Kojo Pechin was called “Umare Bushi,” means born warrior. The second, Sai Syo I was called “St. Tanme,” means great master. The third, Kojo, Isei was also called great master and he went to China, at that time Ming Dynasty, to practice Chinese martial arts under Chinese worrior, I Fa, with his cousin Kojo, Taitei. Kojo, Isei also went to Ming in 1879, back in when Ryukyu became one of the Japanese prefectures. Hoewver, Ming was unquiet days at that time to change Qing Dynasty. Isei remained China and opened Karate Dojo there. As an aside, the primogenitor of Uechi-ryu, Kanbun Uechi practiced Karate under Kojo, Isei when he when to China. Kojo, Isei’s cousin, Kojo, Taitei was also one of the greatest Karate masters and was good at many kinds of martial arts and Confucianism. It is famous that he argued with Kanryo Higaonna on Sanchin. And it is said that he taught Karate to Gichin Funakoshi for the first time.
The forth, Kahou Kojo [1849 ~ 1925]
The fifth, Saikyo Kojo [1873 ~ 1941]
The sixth, Kahu / Yoshitomi Kojo [1909 ~ 1996]
The seventh, Shigeru Kojo [1934 ~ 1999?]
All the masters of Kojo-ryu were great, but the seventh, Shigeru Kojo closed his dojo in 1975 because of sickness and after that, there is no listed dojo of Kojo-ryu in Okinawa. Since It is said that every kata of Kojo-ryu was made along with Chinese zodiac.
*In China, 36 mean many, a lot of. So “Kume 36 families” means “Many people of Kume village.”
Partialy from OkinawaBBTV.com
International Koshikan Karate/Kobudo Association
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