Grandmaster Eizo Shimabukuro

    Our Sensei in Okinawa Japan is Grandmaster Eizo Shimabukuro.  We are fortunate to study Shorin-Ryu Karate, Jujutsu and Kobudo under a long standing legend.  With his guidance and leading by example, our technique, spirit and moral character are continually improved.

 

 

Historical Introduction to Traditional Okinawan Shorin Ryu Karate of
Grandmaster Eizo Shimabukuro

Contributed by Sensei Sheree Adams
   The indigenous fighting art of Okinawa dates back hundreds of years. It has evolved from Gengkosu, or Okinawa fist, that is believed to be 900 years old. The evolvement continued into Todi then Bushi no Ti. Ti developed into what we commonly know today as Karate. Two main ryuha have developed. Shorin-Ryu from Shuri and Tomari and Shorei Ryu from Naha. Shorin Ryu is characterized by its quick movements and fast kicks while Shorei Ryu is know for its strength and flowing techniques. This series of videos contain the traditional kata of these two ryuha, or schools, as taught to Grandmaster Eizo Shimabukuro, Hanshi, of Shorin Ryu Karate Do Rendokan, as well as some traditional Okinawan Kobudo.
   Born in the village of Gushikawa on April 19, 1925, Grandmaster Eizo Shimabukuro had the good fortune to have been taught by the legendary teachers of both Shorin and Shorei Ryu.
   Grandmaster Shimabukuro began his studies in 1937 under Chotoku Kyan, an expert of Tomari-te. The empty hand kata learned from Kyan sensei are Seisan, Ananku, Wanshu, Gojushiho and Chinto.
   In 1938, Grandmaster Shimabukuro began training in Shorei Ryu under Goju Ryu's founder Chogun Miyagi. He trained simultaneously in Shorin Ryu and Goju Ryu under both Kyan and Miyagi senseis and continued to practice and teach both systems until 1950. Since then he has concentrated primarily on preserving and teaching Shorin Ryu.
   In 1943, Grandmaster Shimabukuro left Okinawa for Osaka. Living next door to his cousin in Osaka was Choki Motobu. Grandmaster Shimabukuro was able to avail himself of Motobu-sensei's expertise in regards his legendary and powerful punches.
   In May of 1948, Grandmaster Shimabukuro opened his first dojo. This was the beginning of, what came to be over 60 years of continuously teaching traditional karate. For 20 years the U.S. Marine Corp contracted Grandmaster Shimabukuro to teach their troops at several different dojo. To date, Grandmaster Shimabukuro estimates he has personally trained as many as 35,000 troops.
   In 1955, Grandmaster Shimabukuro trained with Zenryo Shimabukuro, a long time student of Chotoku Kyan. They were good friends and Grandmaster Shimabukuro credits Zenryo Shimabukuro as one of his teachers.
   In 1960, Grandmaster Shimabukuro was recognized as an expert in Okinawan karate and was awarded his 10th Dan by Kanken Toyama. He was appointed to the position of Chairman of the Okinawa, General Headquarters, All Japan Shorin-Ryu Karate-Do International League, one of the founding organizations on Okinawa.
   In 1961, Shimabukuro, concerned with the changes he began to see in Shorin Ryu Karate, went to see the oldest Shorin Ryu grandmaster alive at that time, Chosin Chibana, a grandmaster of Shuri Te. Wanting to preserve the old "Castle Karate" of Shuri, Grandmaster Shimabukuro trained with Chibana sensei. The empty hand kata practiced with Chibana sensei were Naihanchi Shodan, Nidan and Sandan, Pinan Shodan, Nidan, Sandan, Yondan and Godan, Passai Sho and Passai Dai and Kusanku Sho and Kusanku Dai.
   Grandmaster Shimabukuro also preserves and teaches traditional Okinawan Kobudo. From Kyan sensei he learned Tokumine no Kun and Sakagawa no Kun. These kata were devised by "Tode" Sakagawa and passed on via "Bushi" Matsumura.
   Grandmaster Shimabukuro's sai kata consist of Tawata no Sai as taught by Tawata via Taira Shinken to Shimabukuro and Toyei no Sai, a kata Grandmaster Shimabukuro originated in 1948.
   Grandmaster Shimabukuro also teaches his own kama kata that he devised in 1946 called Toyei no Kama.
   Grand Master Shimabukuro considers himself fortunate to have had five great teachers. They are Chotoku Kyan, Chogun Miyagi, Tatsuo Shimabukuro (his older brother and founder of Isshin Ryu), Choki Motobu and Zenryo Shimabukuro.
   Grandmaster Shimabukuro, now in his eighties, actively teaches at the hombu dojo in Okinawa. He also travels overseas to visit his various dojo.


         Preserving the Way

Through Special Training

  Grandmaster Shimabukuro has been consistent in his instruction since opening his first dojo in 1948. To aid in the preservation of what he teaches, "special training" in Okinawa is available to serious students. To learn more about "special training" click here.

 And Video
   Grandmaster Shimabukuro also has video sets available with all of the kata and bunkai that he teaches. To learn more about these videos or make a purchase, please visit toyei.com.

Tony Penna’s Extreme Karate 2009 ©