Other Traditional Karate Styles

A simple overview of the more common traditional styles but in no way represents a comprehensive list, nor a complete history of each.


KARATE: All styles of karate are credited to have come directly or indirectly from the teachings of Funakoshi Gichin and his instructors Itosu and Azato, from the modifications he made to the indigenous Okinawan fighting arts, which originally meant Chinese hand but which he renamed to a more apt empty hand.


GOJURYU: Means "Hard and soft" and was founded by Myagi Sensei (1888-1953) in 1933 and was based on Naha-te an Okinawan indigenous fighting system.


ISHINRYU: Means “One Heart Method” and was founded by Shimabukuro Sensei who had previously studied Shotokan. It is now well renowned for it's freestyle capabilities.

KYOKUSHINKAI: This is probably the physically hardest style of karate practiced today, definitely not for the feint hearted. It was founded by Oyama sensei, a former student of Shotokan, and means “The Ultimate Truth” the International symbol of Kyokushinkai is Kanku, Looking skyward, taken from the Shotokan kata Kankudai. It is known for it's full contact knock down touraments.

SHOTOKAI: The “sister” style to Shotokan means the way of Funakoshi. The Shotokai style was taken by Shigeru Egami (1912-1958) who had been one of Funakoshi's keenest students. The style focuses on the softer side of Shotokan.

SHITORYU: Shitoryu karate was founded by Kenwa Mabuni (1888-1952). He studied Shurite karate under Itosu but also trained and studied with Higashiona, Seisho and Gokenki. He named his style taking characters from their names.

SHUKOKAI: This method of karate was a direct descendant of Shitoryu and was devised as a fast track method of good sports kumite by Choiro Tani.

SANKUKAI: Another derivative of Shitoryu founded by Yashinao Nanbu a student of Shukokai karate. Sankukai was created with combining of principles and techniques of aikido, judo, shito ryu karate and shukokai karate. Its symbol are three circles: two red and one white. They represent Earth, Moon, and Sun - three elements always harmonically involved in their cosmic dance.

WADORYU: Founded by Japanese Master Ohtsuka (1892-1982) in 1934. Wadoryu karate is predominately based on Shotokan with a heavy influence of Jyu Jittsu. This combination according to it's founder is a softer more natural method of self defence and means “The way of peace”. It only focuses on fifteen of the thirty available Shotokan kata.

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From the east come many types of fighting arts, plus other less known ones from around the world. Some can be traced back well over 2,000 years. For many historical and geographical reasons, the Ryuky