Two questions about Isshin Ryu & Isshinryu karate:

Gaucho

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Firstly, do the terms describe the same art? I would have thought so, but I have read suggestions that Isshin Ryu [with or without the hyphen] is a separate critter from Isshinryu.

Secondly, it seems that Isshin Ryu is not very popular in Okinawa, but is doing quite well elsewhere, particularly in the USA. Why is that?

Thanks for any wisdom.
 

gpseymour

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I will say that I've been told by a mate who is fluent in Japanese that any parsing (like the difference between Isshin Ryu and Isshinryu) is not how the Japanese would write or expect it. They'd just cram it all together, so those two names would probably be identical in Japanese, even in hirigana or katakana.
 

isshinryuronin

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Firstly, do the terms describe the same art? I would have thought so, but I have read suggestions that Isshin Ryu [with or without the hyphen] is a separate critter from Isshinryu.

Secondly, it seems that Isshin Ryu is not very popular in Okinawa, but is doing quite well elsewhere, particularly in the USA. Why is that?

Thanks for any wisdom.

Whether Isshinryu, or any other style, is written as one word, two words or hyphenated, it's all the same when written in Romanized letters. As for your second question:

WHY IT'S POPULAR IN THE USA
Founder Shimabuku Tatsuo was one of the first Okinawans to teach Americans on a large scale. These were military men stationed there after the Korean War and Shimabuku had a contract with the military. So the majority of returning GI's were trained by him, and later on, by members of his family. Many of these guys, and their students, opened dojos in the US and thus established Isshinryu as a very popular Okinawan style here.

WHY IT'S NOT SO POPULAR IN OKINAWA
The US military paid better than Okinawan students could, so it seems reasonable that this was the market the Shimabukus chose to concentrate on. As a result there were not too many native students. Master Uezo's (Tatsuo's son-in-law) top student and hier, is Master Uechi Tsuyoshi. Recently, the Okinawan Prefecture government has recognized Isshinryu as a cultural treasure of traditional Okinawan karate. This increase in formal status may help the style grow in its native land.
 

Bill Mattocks

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Firstly, do the terms describe the same art? I would have thought so, but I have read suggestions that Isshin Ryu [with or without the hyphen] is a separate critter from Isshinryu.

Secondly, it seems that Isshin Ryu is not very popular in Okinawa, but is doing quite well elsewhere, particularly in the USA. Why is that?

Thanks for any wisdom.
My sensei informed me that the hyphenated version is incorrect, but either one word or two words are fine.

Isshinryronin answered the other two questions very well, no need to add to that.

Edit: but I will. I believe that in Okinawa, like anywhere, there are politics in martial arts. When Master Shimabuku passed, there was a schism. Two branches were formed, under his son and his son-in-law.

In addition, Isshinryu struggles to find acceptance within the traditional Okinawan styles, being a blend of Shorinryu and Gojuryu. Some Isshinryu karateka returned to one or the other after Master Shimabuku passed.

The recent addition of Isshinryu as noted by Isshinryuronin is also controversial because it is considered to be a variation of Shorinryu rather than a unique and distinct art.

Although there are plenty of political controversies in the USA over karate, we tend not to get too wrapped up in what some Okinawan karateka see as a purity thing. We tend to argue over other things.

Isshinryu is by many accounts nearly gone in Okinawa, but it is growing rapidly in Europe and especially in India, although I struggle sometimes to not comment negatively on the quality of instruction there. I'm glad to see it continue to be practiced.
 
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Koryuhoka

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Firstly, do the terms describe the same art? I would have thought so, but I have read suggestions that Isshin Ryu [with or without the hyphen] is a separate critter from Isshinryu.

Secondly, it seems that Isshin Ryu is not very popular in Okinawa, but is doing quite well elsewhere, particularly in the USA. Why is that?

Thanks for any wisdom.

Firstly, do the terms describe the same art? I would have thought so, but I have read suggestions that Isshin Ryu [with or without the hyphen] is a separate critter from Isshinryu.

Secondly, it seems that Isshin Ryu is not very popular in Okinawa, but is doing quite well elsewhere, particularly in the USA. Why is that?

Thanks for any wisdom.
Hello.. They are one and the same. That difference you are noting may be due to the preference of the head of the school lineage. One of Shimabukuru Sensei's black belts may have used the hyphenation to differentiate his lineage from one of his fellow classmates who are also teaching. Shimabukuru Sensei didn't have many, or any Okinawan students. His pupils were mostly, or entirely American servicemen in Okinawa. This is why it would be more popular abroad.
 

Bill Mattocks

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Hello.. They are one and the same. That difference you are noting may be due to the preference of the head of the school lineage. One of Shimabukuru Sensei's black belts may have used the hyphenation to differentiate his lineage from one of his fellow classmates who are also teaching. Shimabukuru Sensei didn't have many, or any Okinawan students. His pupils were mostly, or entirely American servicemen in Okinawa. This is why it would be more popular abroad.
Master Shimabuku had many Okinawan students in addition to his students who were US Marines. It is true that it has not flourished in Okinawa.

However, there are many Isshinryu students in Europe, India, and Canada, among other countries, and he never taught any students from those countries directly.
 

Koryuhoka

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Master Shimabuku had many Okinawan students in addition to his students who were US Marines. It is true that it has not flourished in Okinawa.

However, there are many Isshinryu students in Europe, India, and Canada, among other countries, and he never taught any students from those countries directly.
Thanks for that correction. Is there a list available where I can learn more about his Okinawan students? I would love to see who they were and where they went to teach.
 

Bill Mattocks

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Thanks for that correction. Is there a list available where I can learn more about his Okinawan students? I would love to see who they were and where they went to teach.
 

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