Shorin karate lineages wiki chart - add your school or instructor



chibana chosen shorin-ryu karate

This page is desgined to allow anyone to contribute to Shorin karate family trees or a "genealogy" chart using a wiki collaborative tool. We decided to create some very simple rules to make debates over hierarchy, styles etc. simple and create a focus on the most likely nature of an instrcutor's approach to the art by classifying via what the majority of their training to date has been - rather than focusing solely on styles or most recent rank issued. Six sub-pages with charts exist to attempt to cover most of the major straeams of karate.

Rules that classify someone's chart position: - adhere to these when posting/editing a name into a chart:

1. They must hold at least the rank of shodanover 18yrs old, and
2. They must be placed underneath the person who appears most often on their assorted Dan rank certificates,
      and 
3. They must be placed underneath someone they spent more than 1 year training with directly or on a regular basis - face-to-face

The aim is to represent the primary influence on an instructors lifetime of karate study, not to record recent shifts in organizational reporting or necessarily the last rank issued. Once someone has had a majority of their ranks issued to them by a given individual it is assumed that best represents their primary lineage, and hence their position in the chart. While not a perfect system, trying to show everyone's broad experiences and belt rank connections together in one chart is a task that is not really feasible given the diversity of travels and exposure senior karate-ka generally have.

Within the chart below are some of the Shorin lineages (unlike a Shotokan or Goju ,the Shorin groups do not start at one person). Click the below categories to jump to the webpage representing the other karate lineages.

    Born before 1900 chart         Shotokan lineage chart        Kyokushin lineage chart            Goju lineage chart 


At the bottom of this page is the link to edit the chart - it simply requires you understand basic spreadsheet function and follow a few simple rules which are posted in the linked spreadsheet (or ask someone you know who can do it). The charts are backed up monthly in case users spam it, or corrupt it. If you see a corrupt chart please contact us and we will flip it back to the version from the prior month.

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Shorin Karate lineages (family tree)





Shorin style background:

A quote from a well publicised 1988 article by Graham Noble gives an intorduction to Shorin styles of karate:

"Modern-day Okinawan karate has three major styles: Shorin-ryu, Goju-ryu and Uechi-ryu. Of the three, Shorin-ryu has the longest history and may in fact be considered the traditional style of Okinawan karate.

The name "Shorin" refers to the Shaolin style of Chinese boxing, though the relationship between the two forms is only tenuous. The first recorded usage of "Shorin-style" was in Ankoh Itosu's "10 Teachings" of 1908. Itosu distinguished between two forms of Tode (karate): Shorin-style and Shorei-style. Itosu was not specific in describing these two forms but Gichin Funakoshi used the terms later to classify his kata into two groups, (confusedly, I think).

Shorin-ryu was used in these cases as a general classification of kata. The first person to use Shorin-ryu specifically as the name of his style was Choshin Chibana, around 1933. After the war other schools which traced their lineage back to the old Shuri- and Tomari-te used the name Shorin-ryu too."


Quote Reference: Graham Noble with Ian McLaren and Prof. N. Karasawa. Masters of The Shorin-ryu. Fighting Arts International, Issue No. 50, Volume 9, No. 2, 1988 (pages 24 - 28).