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                                                                      History Of Matsubayashi Ryu


In 1947 Shoshin Nagamine  founded  Matsubayashi-ryū  (松林流) in Naha Okinawa ,  Its curriculum includes 18 kata, seven two-man yakusoku kumite (prearranged sparring) routines, and kobudō (weapons) practice.


Matsubayashi-ryu is one of the three main recognizable styles of shorin ryu karate on Okinawa,   The following two are Kobayashi Shorin Ryu ( Choshin Chibana )  and  Shobayashi Shorin Ryu ( Eizo Shimabukuro ).  


Patrick McCarthy Sensei  a well known established historian of karate-do and president  of  the International Ryukyu Karate Research Society states that   Matsubayashi-Ryu karate can trace it's lineage from Chinese Gung-Fu to the original Okinawan karate.   
 The name “Matsubayashi” is the Okinawan / Japanese translation of the kanji for “Pine Forest”. Matsu  means “pine” Hayashi means “forest“.  When the two words are combined together, The “H’’of Hayashi is pronounce like a “B”,  thus the pronunciation is rendered Matsu ba yashi  Ryu as opposed to Matsu ha yashi.  

The romaji  "ryu" is used as a suffix found in all styles of Japanese and Okinawan martial arts.  The word  "Ryu" or also read as "nagare" in its literal sense means "to flow" or "flowing".   When used as heigo or martial arts language, it denotes as a style or system of a specific style.  


Nagamine Sensei  used the name Matsubayashi as a way to honor  the two legendary Okinawan  karate grandmasters that  he admired and revered; Sokon Matsumura of Shuri, the sensei  of Chotoku Kyan, and Kosako Matsumura of Tomari, the teacher of Choki Motobu.


as a side note,  an article from Japan’s  Bugei Ryuha Daijiten published in 1978 (pages 572-573) indicated the name “Matsubayashi Ryu”  may have been briefly used by Yara Choi, who was also a student of  Chojin Kuba in 1940-1941 for a brief period prior to changing the style’s name  to “Matsumora Ryu”.


What makes this qoute interesting is that Chojin Kuba was Nagamine Sensei first karate teacher in 1926.  At that time, O Sensei was 17 years of age.


 Shoshin Nagamine also credited Motobu Chōki as the teacher who inspired his seven Yakusoku kumite forms. Until his death in 1997 , the official Matsubayashi-ryū organization was run by Shōshin Nagamine's son, Takayoshi Nagamine.


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


After the death of Shoshin Nagamine in 1997,  The following people were the successors to this organisation:


  •     Takayoshi Nagamine (1992-2012), second generation headmaster (Soke)

  •     Yoshitaka Taira (2012-), Association President / Toshimitsu Arakaki (2012-), Association Vice-President


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