Okinawan Isshinryu Karate was created by Shimabuku Tatsuo Osensei shortly after World War II. The word Isshinryu (pronounced "ih-shin-roo") translates loosely to English as, "One Heart Way".
Shimabuku combined what he considered the essential elements from two prominent martial arts on the island, Shorinryu and Gojuryu.
Inspired by a dream he had, Shimabuku designated the Mizu-Gami, or water goddess, as the symbol of Isshinryu.
The hallmark of the Isshinryu style is to hold the fist vertical while punching. The philosophy behind Isshinryu's blocks and strikes is that simple straight-line motions starting near the center of the body will be both quick and powerful.
At the core of Isshinryu training are the kata: ancient patterns of movements that have been passed down from teacher to student over the centuries.
Beginners start by learning basic aspects of standing and stepping, and everyone proceeds through the material at his or her own pace. No previous martial arts experience is necessary. There is never any hard contact.
When looking for a martial art, the most important thing is the people — getting a feel for the atmosphere and personalities in a dojo. To truly see if you're comfortable working with the instructor and fellow students, you must try it out! For that reason, we offer the first three classes free of charge.