Renseikan Logo on Main background

Karate Bamboo             Aikido Bamboo             Jodo Bamboo
Follow us on
Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter   Subscribe to our feed Blog Icon

Brief History of Matsubayashi-Ryu Karate-Do

Nagamine Shoshin OSensei
Nagamine Shoshin O'Sensei
(July 15,1907 - November 2,1997)
Matsubayashi-Ryu (Shorin-Ryu) Karate-Do Crest
WMKA web site
Soke Nagamine
Soke Nagamine Takayoshi Hanshi, 10th Dan
August 12, 1945 - April 27, 2012

Shoshin Nagamine was born on July 15, 1907 in Tomari, Naha City, Okinawa. When he was seventeen, Nagamine Sensei began to train in Karate with Mr. Chojin Kuba who lived in the same neighborhood. Two years passed and his interest in Karate became very serious so he began to travel to Shuri to study under the direction of Mr. Taro Shimabukuro. Mr. Shimabukuro, however, saw the eager interest of his student and recommended that be study with Ankichi Arakaki.

Arakaki Sensei accepted him as a student, and by the time Nagamine Sensei was a senior in high school he was advised to form and lead a high school Karate club. In this capacity he had the opportunity to meet and study with Mr. Kodatsu Iha, a direct disciple of Kosaku Matsumora. From 1931 to 1935, Nagamine Sensei studied under Chotoku Kyan, a very famous Karate Master, also known as "small-eyed Kyan." Then, in 1936, Nagamine Sensei was sent to Tokyo for special police training because of his position in the Nahashi Police Department. During his stay in Tokyo, he met and studied under another very famous Karate Master, Choki Motobu, also known as "Monkey Motobu."

The art of Matsubayashi-Ryu was founded in 1947 by Osensei. "Matsubayashi" is the Okinawan/Japanese pronunciation of the ideograms for "Pine Forest." "Matsu" means "pine" and "Hayashi" means "forest." When the two words are put together, the "H" of Hayashi is pronounced as "B," hence Matsubayashi. "Shorin" is the Chinese pronunciation of the same ideograms. The origin of this name is the Shaolin Temple in China. "Ryu" translates as style or system. Literally, it means "river," which conveys the image that an art is a living, flowing thing.

Nagamine Sensei's most influential teachers where Ankichi Arakaki, Chotoku Kyan and Choki Motobu. Nagamine Sensei named his school "Matsubayashi" in honor of two great Sensei who taught the later two of these teachers: Sokon "Bushi" Matsumura and Kosaku Matsumora.

Click for a more detailed biography of Nagamine Shoshin Sensei and for his last public address at the Okinawa Karate and Kobudo World Tournament.

Nagamine Sensei named his son, Takayoshi Nagamine Hanshi, 10th dan, as Soke to succeed him as the head of the World Matsubayashi-Ryu Association. Soke Nagamine had dedicated his life to promoting and expanding Matsubayashi-Ryu Karate-Do throughout the world. He made Okinawa and the hombu dojo open to everyone and encouraged students to contact him directly. In this way he made the WMKA community a stronger and closer one. Renseikan Dojo was directly under Soke Nagamine Sensei until his death April 27th, 2012. The board of directors has named Sensei Yoshitaka Taira Hanshi 10th Dan as new president of the WMKA.

Soke Nagamine
Soke Nagamine Takayoshi Hanshi, 10th Dan
August 12, 1945 - April 27, 2012

In 1976, Nagamine Shoshin OSensei wrote and published The Essence of Okinawan Karate-Do (Charles E. Tuttle Company). Describing his understanding of karate and Zen Nagamine Sensei wrote:
"All of the spiritual aspects of karate-do and the ways in which it can bring one to self-realization cannot be fully described. I have pursued the study of karate in an attempt to bring karate and Zen together as one. This has been a life-long effort, and one that can never be fully realized by any one person. My pursuit of karate has brought me a limited under-standing of the way to self-realization, however, and I hope to be able to share my experience with others throughout the world. In the near future, I hope to write another book concerning the critical connection between karate and Zen as expressed in ken zen ichijo, Karate and Zen as one."

Nagamine Shoshin Sensei received acknowledgment of his Zen realization-Ken Zen Ichinyo (Karate and Zen in Oneness) from Tanouye Tenshin Rotaishi. At a Testimonial Dinner held in his honor, he gave an inspiring speech entitled "Okinawa Karate and World Peace".

Yoshitaka Taira, Hanshi, 10th Dan (24K)
President of the WMKA Sensei Yoshitaka Taira Hanshi, 10th Dan

Sign-up today and receive a FREE uniform with your paid membership
(Limited time offer. Conditions apply)

Call today to book your FREE trial class today
905 ­- 409-8883