Our Lineage

Shorin-ryu Shorinkan History and Lineage

Our style of Karate is called Okinawan Kobayashi North American Shorinkan Shorin-Ryu and dates back more than 370 years with its origins in Okinawan Tode. This simplified chart below shows the direct linage from "Toko" to Sensie Noel Smith. During the years, Okinwans and Chinese shared their Martial arts with each other, refining it to create what is now called Kobayashi Shorin-Ryu. Becuase of the history and mixing of the Chinese and Okinawan arts, we are an original " Mixed Martial Art".

  1. Satsunku Toko Sakugawa - 1733 ( OKinawan-Te )
  2. Sokon Matsumura - 1848 ( Created Shuri-Te )
  3. Yasutsune (Akon) Itotsu - 1870 - 1915
  4. Chosin Chibana - 1886 - 1969 ( Renamed Shuri-Te to Shorin-Ryu )
  5. Shugoro Nakazato - 1919 - 2016
  6. Minuro Nakazato - [ 2016 - present ]
    1. Noel Smith Hachidan 八段

( Sensei Smith, while stationed in Okinawa during the Vietnam war, trained drectly under
Shugoro Nakazato. He was among a handful of other U.S. students who eventually earned
their credentials to teach Okinawan Shorin-Ryu in the US. )


Our History as a Group and as a karateka

The history of Shorinkan dates back well over 300 years ago, our style was developed through the blending of Okinawan systems as well as Chinese Kenpo.   Those who developed Te, Shuri-Te and Shorin-ryu are import to use becuase of their contributions that they made to our syste.   Those contributions are in the form of Kata knowledge, their logic refined to movements.

Just as the forefathers of Shorin-ryu are import, so are our individual roots, where we came from.  Without these people in our lives where would we be today?  Their ways of teaching, explaining etc have become a part of us, their contributions to who we have become can never be forgoten.

The following lineage chart only shows the original 7 black belts that Sensei Shugoro Nakazato sent back to the United States, and their 7th degree black belts.  This is the history and the foundation of Shorinkan In North America.

Shorin-ryu Shorinkan North American Lineage ( History )