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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[edit]

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. Sensei Eihachi Ota Hanshi.
  • 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 - Patrick Beaumont Sensei
  • Matsubayashi-Ryu (Shorin-ryu) Karate-Do Argentina, Argentina, headed by Shigehide Akamine Hanshi Matsubayashi-ryu (Shorin-Ryu) Karate-Do Argentina
  • Shorin Ryu Karate-Do International headed by Tamaki Takeshi Sensei
  • Tiida-Ryu, United States

Well-known Matsubayashi-Ryu Practitioners[edit]

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) [1]
  • 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, Senior 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, student of Shoshin Nagamine & Masao Shima. Highest ranked Matsubayashi practitioner in the US, in his 70’s he is still very active. He is President of SKKA (Shorin Ryu Karate Kobudo Associatoin) & 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)
  • Bob Yarnall, Student of Jim Wax[10]
  • James Driggs, Student of Jim Wax (DECEASED)
  • Frank Grant (deceased) Student of Jim Wax and Shoshin Nagamine, Chairman of the World Shorin-ryu Karate-do Federation[10]
  • Bill George, Student of Soke Takayoshi Nagamine
  • Walter Rowden,(Deceased) Student of Sam Palmer,(Deceased)
  • Ed Erler, Student of Omine Chotoku sensei
  • Richard Lohrding, Student of Sam Palmer
  • Don Caponigro, Student of Frank Grant/Soke Nagamine
  • Fred Christian, Student of Soke Nagamine


  • Frank Baehr - Student of Shoshin Nagamine
  • Daniel O'Brien - Student of Eihachi Ota
  • Adrian Robichaud - Student of Eihachi Ota
  • Gary Christensen - Student of Eihachi Ota
  • Jason Pennell - Student of Eihachi Ota


  • Patrick Beaumont - Student of Nagamine Takayoshi Soke


  • Ricardo Fuchs Camani - Student of Shigehide Akamine


  • Ole-Bjørn Tuftedal - Student of Yoshitaka Taira Sensei

1962 Ansei Ueshiro arrived at idelwilde airport and was the first Okinawan born Sensei to Teach Anericans Matsubayashi Shorinryu Okinawan Karate. The Current system (2002) Shorinryu Karate USA headed by Robert Scaglione Kaicho. Ernie Ferrara was the first (1963) Shodan Established U.S.Shorinryu Association in 1999 As the First Generation Dojo Hegashi Karate-Do St James New York ( est 1964 ) Ueshiro Ha Karate USA Director Terry Maccarrone Was Awarded Kancho (2000) Head of Family as Nisei Second Generation Actively Taught until 2014 8th Dan Kyoshi Yushinkan The First Major Annotated Bibliography *(1984) Published in USA Maccarrone Kresge Martial Art Book Collection Terry Maccarrone Sensei Currently Retired is Advisor to And Official Karate Magazine Long Island The Okinawan Kokoro Council will celebrate

  88 th Anniversary 
  (April 20, 2021)

Ansei Ueshiro Patriarch


  1. ^
    • "World Matsubayashi-Ryu (Shorin-Ryu) Karate-Do Association". - accessed 2020-03-10
    • content attached to article using semantic "..."O'Sensei" means a venerable teacher...", used to source "Okina":, eCommunities LLC - accessed 2020-03-10
  2. ^ ^ Okinawan Karate: Teachers, Styles and Secret Techniques. ISBN 0-8048-3205-6, page 86.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-09-04. Retrieved 2011-01-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-08-01. Retrieved 2010-02-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ a b Nagamine, Shoshin. Essence of Okinawan Karate-Do. Page 22.
  6. ^ ^"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2011-03-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ ^ Nagamine, Shoshin. Essence of Okinawan Karate-Do. Page 23.
  8. ^ Nagamine, Shoshin. The Essence of Okinawan Karate-dō. ISBN 0-8048-2110-0.
  9. ^ Nagamine, Shoshin. Tales of Okinawa's Great Masters. ISBN 0-8048-2089-9.
  10. ^ a b ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-23. Retrieved 2012-02-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

Sources[edit] "A Simple Man" Takayoshi Nagamine

External links[edit]