Shorin Ryu Karate was developed on the island of Okinawa. Okinawa is an island chain that extends from the southern tip of Japan to the Island of Taiwan. Okinawa means "rope in the offing."
Before the 14th century, Okinawa had a type of fighting art called "Te". Around 1372, China started to have a strong influence on the island. Representatives were exchanged between the two countries. Soon Okinawan's fighting techniques became involved with Chinese self-defense techniques. This style was later to be called Karate (meaning "empty hand").
To maintain the secrecy of instruction, Karate styles were named from the villages in which the fighting method developed: Naha and Shuri. Naha (became Goju Ryu) derived from the internal systems of China. Shuri (became Shorin Ryu) received the strongest influence from the external systems of China.
Shorin is the Okinawan pronunciation of Shaolin. For over 500 years, Okinawan Shorin Ryu Karate has been one of the most sought after and respected forms of Karate. It is one of the oldest and purest forms of Karate in the world. Our heritage can be traced back five generations to the Shaolin Temple in China with a monk by the name of Iwah.
Shorin Ryu is noted for it’s speed and power, emphasizing speed and agility rather than brute force. Shorin Ryu helps a student develop self-discipline, mental alertness, and concentration that can be used throughout their life.
Karate is both an art form and physical fitness. Karate develops individuals physically, mentally, and emotionally. No other physical activity provides the combination of these benefits like Karate does - to individuals of all ages.
Karate was viewed strictly as a means of self-defense. Now it is considered physical fitness activity that is both challenging and stimulating. Karate training helps develop increased muscle tone and definition; along with a higher degree of flexibility and cardiovascular capacity.
Other benefits of Karate other than the physical training are the psychological benefits. Karate provides a basis for self-discipline that can be used throughout life. It develops mental alertness, concentration, and the ability to think and act effectively in all situations.
Students of Karate begin training for various reasons: physical fitness, weight loss, self-defense, better health, self-confidence, personal growth, as an art form, or simple as a novelty. Karate offers all of these.