It is estimated that probably 90% of American martial artists know little about there style and, other than the physical aspects, most of those martial artists seem content merely to practice karate, with little interest in studying the origins of their art. Those of us in Okinawa Shorin Ryu Matsumura Seito Karate and Kobudo Association are of different mentality. While we enjoy the physical aspects of Shorin-ryu, we also have a burning desire to learn the history and the origins of our art.
Generations of secrecy have shed a veil of mystery around the history and origin of Okinawan karate. To a certain degree, this veil of secrecy still exists. This, coupled with the general lack of written records, has created the lack of information on the early years of Ryukyu martial arts. What little information we may have has come to us by scattered bits and pieces that somehow have come into the possession of modern karate historians or from those of you who were fortunate enough to have been told some of the history from an Okinawan sensei. Nevertheless, any attempt to write on karate “history” will leave many stones unturned, and the following attempt is no exception. A lot of questions are left unanswered, perhaps one day we will know more.