View Full Version : Uchuno Shorin ryu

31st January 2003, 09:49

I noticed in one thread on Baffling Budo this link
http://utenti.lycos.it/kayten/hpbimg/rankin.jpg and started wondering what is this Uchuno shorin ryu ? I'm basically just curious about how this style of karate relates to other, shall we say, more established Shorin ryu styles. I'm not saying that their karate is somehow bad or inferior, although to be quite honest I must admit I am getting a bit sceptical when I see that their founder is listed as a member of "World Head of Family Sokeship Council". Also this quote

GRANDMASTER WILLIAM A. RANKIN Founder of UCHUNO SHORIN RYU (created with the blessing of Supreme Master Yuichi Kuda of the Shorin Ryu Kobukan Karate System – Rankin’s system being one of the 5 major Shorin Ryu "families") from http://www.bushido.org/~whfsc/whfsc12.htm seems a bit puzzling. If their style is indeed one of the 5 major Shorin ryu styles, I would imagine that people here know of them, but I haven't seen any mention of them previously here. So, anybody know of them ? I tried googling for more information about them, but didn't find that much, and nothing really useful.

1st February 2003, 22:08
this is total B.S.

trust me, Kuda shinshii did not even know who this guy was when asked about him!



2nd February 2003, 00:50
Five major shorin families-
Shobayashi or Chubu
Shorinji ryu(Two different)

This guy Rankin don't rank in there.

Jussi Häkkinen
2nd February 2003, 07:45
Chubu Shorin-Ryu is not a style or faction of Shorin-ryu. It was an organisation founded in 1967, around the same times as Zen Okinawa Karate-do Renmei was founded. During that time there were several Shorin-Ryu schools. Chubu - meaning "middle" - included the schools in Kadena, Okinawa City, Gushikawa and Chatan, in other words: Schools that were located in middle-Okinawa. It was lead by Zenryo Shimabukuro.
Nambu Shorin-Ryu, headed by Joen Nakazato, included the southern Shorin-Ryu schools.

Neither of these (Chubu Shorin-Ryu or Nambu Shorin-Ryu) was a style, although they (merely Chubu) got often mixed up as one in the literature. Other styles had similar associations within the ZOKDR as well.

Also, Kyan Chotoku's heritage is commonly known as Shorin-Ryu or Sukunaihayashi, not as Shobayashi.

Hank Irwin
3rd February 2003, 01:31
The Shorinji-ryu that Shimabuku Sensei and Nakazato Sensei teach are different in many ways. The Shorinji-ryu that Kise Sensei taught in the late 50's and 60's is different also. Each dojo had a different "flavor" if you will on what was taught. Nakazato Sensei for one used the standing fist as a signature of his dojo and probably out of respect to Shaolin Fist. Not so in Shimabuku Dojo. Not so with Kise Sensei also. Not so in the Shorinji-ryu I learned. But Wansu, AnaKu, and Seisan was/is the core kata of Uchina Shorinji-ryu. How've you guys been lately? I just got back from a month long stint in Vegas. Good to be back. Heiwa!

3rd February 2003, 04:23
Hi Jussi,

I think the confusion we have with the term Sho-bayashi
is the first character used by the organization. I have
always thought that your organization used the characters
for "young forest" or "sho". For those who are reading this
and don't know, Ko-bayashi uses the character for small
and Matsu-bayashi uses the character for pine. All three
have the alternate pronounciation of Shorin.

What kanji character do you use for Sho in Shorin?

Best regards,

Jussi Häkkinen
3rd February 2003, 06:14
Same character as Shaolin uses - young forest. So, one correct way of reading is shobayashi, yet sukunaihayashi is just as valid way to read the characters (and used when pointing towards Kyan Chotoku's karate). So, actually you are correct as well.


3rd February 2003, 10:26

ok, thanks for confirming what I suspected. Not that it matters to me, since I'm quite safe here in Finland from the influence of such people :)

Now, since as everybody must have already guessed I'm just a beginner, so I guess I'll continue asking silly questions, maybe I'll even learn something :D. This reply confused me

Five major shorin families-
Shorinji ryu(Two different)

What do you mean by two different Shorinji ryu ?

I'm curious because I thought there exists (at least) three different Shorinji ryus. I don't know how big these styles are, especially internationally (except for Renshinkan, which is big here in Finland, but apparently quite rare elsewhere). Or am I once again getting confused about the naming of styles ?

3rd February 2003, 15:21
Thanks for the clarification Jussi.
We Shorin guys should try to know more
about our brothers.

There is also Shorinji Ken(m)po which is completely
different from Nakazato Joen's Shorinji ryu. A very
complete system. It was actually registered as a
religion during the American occupation.
They have an official web site somewhere.
I'll post it if you want it.


Jussi Häkkinen
3rd February 2003, 21:01
Shorinji-Ryu Renshinkan is a part of the Sukunaihayashi family. Its founder, Isamu Tamotsu, has studied karate under Zenryo Shimabukuro (founder of Shorin-Ryu Seibukan - names "shorin" and "shorinji" were used rather randomly back in the days) for a while and had instruction from Nakazato Joen in bo-jutsu (while Nakazato's Okinawa Shorinji-Ryu generally comes from the same family - Kyan - as Shorin-Ryu Seibukan, it is often counted as a separate style, due to its differencies. These schools - Okinawa Shorinji-Ryu and Shorin-Ryu Seibukan - are still very close relatives. Zenryo Shimabukuro was the most long time student of Kyan Chotoku. Both schools carry on the Kyan Chotoku heritage).
So, after returning to Kagoshima, Isamu Tamotsu did found a dojo and stayed in contact with okinawans. However, after a while, for some reason, the connection became loose and Isamu Tamotsu eventually founded his Shorinji-Ryu Renshinkan. Kata are basically same as in Seibukan, with certain modifications (some of which the current head of Renshinkan, Iwao Tamotsu, has admitted to have been done) and Renshinkan uses full-contact sparring (with protectors) as their preferred competition form. This form of sparring comes straight from Okinawa - Zenryo Shimabukuro was known to have used this as a training method. (Also, if I recall correctly, Masayuki Hisataka's book has this kind of sparring equipment pictured).

Shorinji-Ryu that I know about:

Okinawa Shorinji-Ryu (Nakazato Joen)
Shorinji-Ryu Renshinkan (Isamu Tamotsu)
Shorinji-Ryu Kenkokan (Kori Hisataka)
Shorinji-Ryu Zentokukai (Tim Rodgers. Seibukan-offshoot)
Sakugawa Koshiki Shorinji-Ryu (Only heard about - I don't know about the heritage or validness of the history).


Shorinji Kempo (Doshin So). Influence from Kori Hisataka - check out the protectors occasionally worn in Shorinji Kempo training and sparring. Doshin So's art has some influence from Kori Hisataka, I have heard. I am currently trying to shed some light to this information.

Hank Irwin
4th February 2003, 00:18
'Skwaynayashi'(fast)is more the way Dan Smith Sensei said it last time we talked. He lives about 30 minutes from my house. Never heard of Uchuno, heard of Uchina. Maybe Tatsusan can shed some light, since he is deshi of Lindsey Sensei, maybe he could inquire about Mr. Rankin. Lindsey Sensei studied Matsumura Kempo from KudaSan for a number of years, brought KudaSan to US quite a few times also. I think they were friends outside of teacher/student relationship. Pine Forest Temple Style(Shorinji-ryu) has it's roots in Shuri-Te and Tomari-Te. My lineage comes from Kise Sensei's lineage. I am second generation ShorinjiKa from him, my Sensei studied with him in Okinawa in 60's. Maeshiro Sensei, Kise Sensei, Toma Sensei, Osborne Sensei, Paul Sensei, Coffman Sensei, Stanfield Sensei, and a few others are all Shorinji, from the "old days", late 60's and back. The To-de being taught then was quite different. It was all Uchina To-De Jutsu. IMO that is. Haven't checked the site listed above, will have to just for grins I guess.

Jussi Häkkinen
4th February 2003, 01:43
Mr. Irwin: The written form is "Sukunaihayashi" (you can ask it from Dan Smith next time. And tell warm greetings from Finland to him also). Pronounciation - at least how we pronounce it - truly sounds a bit like your description (now when I think about how americans would pronounce your description).

And yes, I agree - the links shown in the thread starter post definitely go under "suspicious" -category. A wee bit too many badges, a wee bit too red belt...on a westerner.

4th February 2003, 03:45
Can I add another one to your list, Jussi?

Shorin-ji: Richard Kim from Arrikaki from Itosu.

I don't believe this name reflects his karate tradition as he was so eclectic but I believe he took the name for respect.

He also always called it a Japanese style, not Okinawan. Firmly.

Jussi Häkkinen
4th February 2003, 08:33
Of course! I forgot Rickhard Kim's Shorinji-Ryu and I believe that it belongs to that list. Internationally one of the most well-known Shorinji-Ryu. I don't know what made me forget it.

Well, seems that we have now quite an acceptable list of most well known Shorinji-Ryu. Certainly there are others - offshoots and legitimaty-wannabes, maybe even some with legitimate roots.

One thing to remember is, of course, that "shorin" and "shorinji" were, in some cases, used randomly within some styles/schools before they made a more offcial selection.

Shorinji-Ryu Renshinkan can very well be counted into a "Sukunaihayashi" -family, with Shorin-Ryu Seibukan and Okinawa Shorinji-Ryu, due to its history.

Hank Irwin
5th February 2003, 02:40
Spelling as you say is correct JussiSan, this I know, but pronunciation is not what it looks quite like. Kinda like Yamashita, pro; Yah mush ta, not Yama sheeta. But anyway, Okinawan Shorinji-ryu I learned teaches attack the attacker, only logic being same as Shaolin adage of maim rather than cripple, cripple rather than kill, killing being last action. We have a saying in my Shorinji Family,... you will know me by my touch, for it will be the last. I live in the past no doubt, but I train and think in the manner of my Teachers and their Teachers Teachers Teachers. Modern times do not change some things. The Bushi of Okinawa may be dying out, but the caste for the mold will live on for a long time to come. heiwa

Jussi Häkkinen
5th February 2003, 13:15
Hank-san...I know what you mean. When I pronounce "sukunaihayashi" in finnish way, it'll actually sound correct. And it will, indeed, sound a lot alike "skwaynayashi". Finnish pronounciation is, also in other occasions, very japanese-alike. So I do get your point - the translitteration is made for japanese-alike pronounciation, rather than english-alike.

Gambatte kudasai!

7th February 2003, 01:58
Hi Hank, how are you? Hi Jussi, I guess there are lots of Shorin and Shorinji Ryu, I was thinking of the two shorinji, Kyan's and Joen Nakazato Kyan's, and Renshinkan.

Far as the Shobayashi ryu, that is what Lee Grow Sensei who studied with Eizo Shimabuku Sensei, told me what it was , whenever we trained together.Back in '72, I don't think there were as many styles as there are today.:-) Sukunuhayashi, Shobayashi, Kobayashi, and Matsubayashi, all mean Shaolin basically.

Anyway, I don't know anythinhg about any Uchuno style.

Take Care and regards,