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Matsubayashi-ryu (Shorin-ryu)
Official logo
Official logo
Date founded1947
Country of originOkinawa, Japan
FounderO-sensei Shōshin Nagamine
Arts taughtKarate, Kobudō
Ancestor schoolsTomari-te, Shuri-te, Shōrin-ryū
PractitionersTakayoshi Nagamine Soke (deceased), Masao Shima, Eihachi Ota.

Matsubayashi-Ryū (松林流), is a style of Okinawan karate founded in 1947 by Shōshin Nagamine (1907–1997) (an Okina Sensei[1]). Its curriculum includes 18 kata, seven two-man yakusoku kumite (pre-arranged sparring) routines, and kobudō (weapons) practice.[2]

Nagamine named his style in honor of the two most important masters that his teachings were based upon: Sōkon Matsumura of Shuri-te,[3] and Kosaku Matsumora of Tomari-te.[4] He chose to name the school using the first kanji characters from both master's names Matsu (松) and the style is pronounced in Japanese "Matsubayashi".[5][6] Matsubayashi-ryū is a style of Shōrin-ryū and the terms Matsubayashi-ryū and Shōrin-ryū can be used interchangeably.[5] Normally, the style is referred to as Shōrin-ryū, but when a definite distinction is required between the other styles of the Shōrin-ryū family (Kobayashi Shōrin-ryū, Shōbayashi Shōrin-ryū and Matsumura Seito Hohan Sōken) then it is called Matsubayashi-ryū.[7] Nagamine also credited Motobu Chōki as the teacher who inspired his seven Yakusoku Kumite Forms.

Matsubayashi-ryū is one of the better-documented traditional karate styles, owing to Nagamine's book, The Essence of Okinawan Karate-dō.[8] as well as Tales of Okinawa's Great Masters.[9] Takayoshi Nagamine

After the death of Nagamine O Sensei in 1997, many of his senior students formed their own organisations to teach Matsubayashi-ryū. In the years following Nagamine Soke, continued to lead the organization, but was unable to get unification, due to politics within the organization. Since 2012, Yoshitaka Taira has been the association president. There are now, many other organizations which are continuing the teachings of O Sensei outside of the WMKA.



Kata are sets of moves in Karate and are considered the most important part of the Matsubayashi-ryu style.



These are the ranks as set out by the World Matsubayashi-ryu (Shorin-ryu) Karate-Do Association (WMKA) and the Kodokan Nagamine Karate Dojo (World Honbu).


  • 8th Kyu - White Belt, one green stripe
  • 7th Kyu - White Belt, two green stripes
  • 6th Kyu - Green Belt, three white stripes
  • 5th Kyu - Green Belt, two white stripes
  • 4th Kyu - Green Belt, one white stripe
  • 3rd Kyu - Brown Belt, three white stripes
  • 2nd Kyu - Brown Belt, two white stripes
  • 1st Kyu - Brown Belt, one white stripe


  • 1st to 10th Dan - Black Belt

Shogo Titles

  • Renshi (6th Dan) - Black Belt with one stripe
  • Kyoshi (7th & 8th Dan) - Black Belt with two stripes
  • Hanshi (9th & 10th Dan) - Black Belt with three stripes
  • Hanshisei (10th Dan) - Black Belt with four stripes

Major Organizations of Matsubayashi-ryu


After the passing of the Matsubayashi-ryu founder, Shoshin Nagamine, in 1997 many practitioners of Matsubayashi-ryu Karate-do were affiliated with the Nagamine Honbu Dojo and the Okinawan Matsubayashi-ryu Karate-do Federation.

  • World Matsubayashi-ryu Karate-Do Association (WMKA), headed by Yoshitaka Taira and Toshimitsu Arakaki
      • Matsubayashi Associations or Honbu dojos throughout the World ***
  • SKKA North American Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu Karate & Kobudo Association, Gardena California. Eihachi Ota Hanshi, 10 Dan.
  • NAMKA North American Matsubayashi Ryu Karate Association - Don Caponigro Sensei
  • European Matsubayashi-ryu (Shorin-ryu) Karate-Do Association (EMKA)], Europe - Ole-Bjørn Tuftedal
  • Okinawa Shorin-ryu New Zealand, New Zealand - Kevin Plaisted
  • Matsubayashi-ryu Karate Association of Australia (MKAA), Australia - John Carlyle
  • Okinawan Shorin Ryu Karate - Midwest-honbu-dojo (USA) - Bill George sensei
  • World Shorin-ryu Karate-Do Federation (WSKF), United States - Board of Directors
  • Matsubayashi Shorin-ryu International, Ireland & Netherlands - Patrick Beaumont Sensei
  • Matsubayashi-Ryu (Shorin-ryu) Karate-Do Argentina, Argentina, headed by Shigehide Akamine Hanshi
  • Matsubayshi Ryu Karatedo Tenyokan Association, (Tiida Ryu) - Lara Chamberlain. www.sczenkarate.org
  • Shorin Ryu Karate-Do International headed by Figgiani Jerry Sensei. Tamaki Takeshi Sensei, Technical Director
  • SKKA Canada

Well-known Matsubayashi-Ryu Practitioners


Ranks and honorifics have been excluded from the list for simplicity.


  • Shoshin Nagamine, Founder of Matsubayashi-Ryu, O-sensei (DECEASED) 1907 - 1997
  • Takayoshi Nagamine, Second generation headmaster (Soke) of Matsubayashi-Ryu. USA in 1967 to teach in Cincinnati Ohio until 1979. (DECEASED) [10]
  • Nakamura Seigi, Senior student of Shoshin Nagamine, and Chief Instructor at the Honbu dojo (DECEASED)
  • Masao Shima, Senior student of Shoshin Nagamine (DECEASED)
  • Yasuharu Makishi, Senior student of Shoshin Nagamine (DECEASED)
  • Toshimitsu Arakaki, Senior student of Shoshin Nagamine
  • Yoshitaka Taira, student of Shoshin Nagamine
  • Kiyoshi Shinjo, Senior student of Shoshin Nagamine
  • Eihachi Ota, Student of O-sensei Nagamine & Senior student of Masao Shima.
  • Takeshi Tamaki, Senior student of Shoshin Nagamine
  • Nobuhide Higa, Senior student of Shoshin Nagamine
  • Chotoku Omine, Senior student of Shoshin Nagamine and sent to the United States to promote Matsubayashi-Ryu by Shoshin Nagamine (DECEASED)
  • Kensei Taba (DECEASED), Senior student of Shoshin Nagamine and Founder of his own organisation, the Okinawa Shogen-Ryu Karate-Do Assn.
  • Chokei Kishaba, Senior student of Shoshin Nagamine and Founder of Shōrin-ryū Kishaba Juk
  • Shigehide Akamine, Student of Shoshin Nagamine who moved to Argentina and heads the Matsubayashi-Ryu (Shorin-Ryu) Karate-Do Argentina

United States

  • *Eihachi Ota Hanshi 10 Dan, student of Masao Shima. Highest ranked Matsubayashi practitioner in the US, over 75 years old, he is still very active. He is President of SKKA (Shorin Ryu Karate Kobudo Association) & Okinawa Karate and Kobudo Association.
  • James Wax, First non-Okinawan to receive a Black belt from Shoshin Nagamine in Matsubayashi-Ryu.(DECEASED)
  • Sam Palmer, Student of Ueshiro Sensei (DECEASED)
  • Parker Shelton, Student of Bob Yarnall and James Wax (DECEASED)
  • Joseph Carbonara - Student of Chotoku Omine (DECEASED)[11][12]
  • Bob Yarnall, Student of Jim Wax[13]
  • James Driggs, Student of Jim Wax & Takayoshi Nagamine - All (DECEASED)
  • Frank Grant (deceased) Student of Jim Wax and Shoshin Nagamine, Chairman of the World Shorin-ryu Karate-do Federation[13]
  • Bill George, Student of Soke Takayoshi Nagamine
  • Walter Rowden,(Deceased) Student of Sam Palmer,(Deceased)
  • David Erler, Student and son of Ed Erler
  • Ed Erler, Student of Omine Chotoku sensei
  • Evan Cosden, Student of Ed Erler & Eihachi Ota
  • Richard Lohrding, Student of Sam Palmer
  • Don Caponigro, Student of Frank Grant/Soke Nagamine
  • Frank Palermo, Student of Bob Yarnall


  • Frank Baehr - Student of Shoshin Nagamine


  • Patrick Beaumont - Student of Nagamine Takayoshi Soke


  • Ricardo Fuchs Camani - Student of Shigehide Akamine


  • Ole-Bjørn Tuftedal - Student of Yoshitaka Taira Sensei


  • Dmitry Boguslavsky - Student of Patrick Beaumont Sensei


  1. ^ * "World Matsubayashi-Ryu (Shorin-Ryu) Karate-Do Association". - accessed 2020-03-10 Bibliographical:
  2. ^ ^ Okinawan Karate: Teachers, Styles and Secret Techniques. ISBN 0-8048-3205-6, page 86.
  3. ^ "Shuri-te Lineage". Archived from the original on 2009-09-04. Retrieved 2011-01-17.
  4. ^ "Tomari-te Lineage". Archived from the original on 2009-08-01. Retrieved 2010-02-15.
  5. ^ a b Nagamine, Shoshin. Essence of Okinawan Karate-Do. Page 22.
  6. ^ ^"首里手系 Shuri-Te Group(11/15)|沖縄空手古武道道場一覧". Archived from the original on 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2011-03-16.
  7. ^ ^ Nagamine, Shoshin. Essence of Okinawan Karate-Do. Page 23.
  8. ^ Nagamine, Shoshin (15 September 1998). The Essence of Okinawan Karate-dō. ISBN 0-8048-2110-0.
  9. ^ Nagamine, Shoshin (2000). Tales of Okinawa's Great Masters. ISBN 0-8048-2089-9.
  10. ^ https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-simple-man-bill-george/1134879665
  11. ^ https://www.youtube.com/@senseicarbonara5515/about
  12. ^ https://goodmenproject.com/ethics-values/the-good-life-remembering-sensei/
  13. ^ a b ^ "History of Matsubayashi - Yarnall Dojo". Archived from the original on 2012-03-23. Retrieved 2012-02-21.



https://www.amazon.com/dp/1653464062 "A Simple Man" Takayoshi Nagamine