LINEAGE

SAKUGAWA, Kanga

(1733-1815)

"Tode" meaning "karate," was a nickname given to him by his eminent instructor TAKAHARA. Known as the "father of Okinawan karate," SAKUGAWA traveled to China to study the fighting arts. During this time he is attributed for combining the Chinese art of ch-uan fa and the Okinawan art of tode ("Chinese hand or empty hand"), forming Okinawa-te ("Okinawa hand") which would become the foundation for Shuri-te. He passed down Kusanku, which is said to be one of Okinawa's oldest katas. Furthermore, he developed a bo kata, Sakugawa no Kon.

MATSUMURA, Sokon

(1796-1893)

"Bushi" ("Warrior") it is acknowledged, began his training at an early age under the tutelage of SAKUGAWA, "Tode" and made several trips to China to further study the fighting arts. He is credited, by several sources, for making the most singular contribution, katas, to the development of Okinawan karate. The Shuri-te system of katas that are still practiced today in the Kobayashi Shorin-Ryu system are Naihanchi I-III, Passai Dai, Chinto & Gojushiho.

ITOSU, Yasutsune

(1830-1915)

"Anko" ("Iron Horse") trained under MATSUMURA, Sokon and is credited for introducing the Pinans ("Peaceful Mind") I-V Katas to the Okinawan public schools in 1901. He is also credited for Kusanku Sho and Passai Sho. Some of the most important modern day instructors that trained directly under him were: CHIBANA, Chosin, FUNAKOSHI, Gichin, KYAN, Chotoku, MABUNI, Kenwa to name just a few.

CHIBANA, Chosin "Hanshi no Sogo"

(1887-1969)

CHIBANA Sensei was the first to differentiate his system of karate from others by naming it Kobayashi-ryu ("young forest" style), in 1930, instead of Shuri-te or by his own name (e.g. Chibana-te) as had been done in the past within the Shorin-ryu systems. This decision was brought on by the growth and development of te, not only on Okinawa, but also with the foresight of international introduction. CHIBANA Sensei was one of the founding committee members of karate masters in 1936 that agreed karate should be translated as "empty hand."

In addition, he was awarded the Fourth Order of Merit from the Emperor of Japan, in 1969, for his life long contributions to the martial arts. It is attributed by some sources that he passed down the Kusanku Dai and Gojushiho katas. CHIBANA Sensei's most influential student of the modern day is Hanshi JuDan NAKAZATO, Shugoro, to whom CHIBANA Sensei presented his personal black belt, which was a great honor and tribute to NAKAZATO Sensei's devotion and martial arts skills.

Grandmaster Shugoro Nakazato

(1922-2016)

Shugoro Nakazato was born in Naha City, Okinawa. At the age of 16, while attending normal school in Osaka, Japan in 1935, he began his lifelong karate study under the direction of Ishu Seiichi. Nakazato studied under Sensei Ishu for six years. During World War II he was in the Japanese cavalry. Following the surrender of Japan, Nakazato returned to his home in Okinawa to find his family a casualty of the war. In June 1946, he began his study of karate under Chosin Chibana, who was the Menkyo inheritor of Anko Itotsu. In 1948 Chibana's Shuri dojo closed, but Nakazato continued his study with Master Chibana, being personally tutored for over a year in Chibana's own home. In 1951 Nakazato was instrumental in helping Chibana open his new Dai Ichi Dojo in Naha city at Natsuo. Chibana continued his personal teaching of Nakazato at the Dai Ichi Dojo until January 10, 1954, when Nakazato received his Shihan Menkyojo and became Master Chibana's Shihan Dai (Main Assistant). After working as the Shihan Dai in the Matsuo dojo under Chibana's direction for one and a half years, Nakazato was commissioned by Chibana to found the Shorin-ryu Shorin Kan Nakazato dojo in Naha city at Aza.

Nakazato was appointed as one of the directors of the Okinawan Karate Federation when it was formed in 1956 with the four major (shiryuha) system of karate in Okinawa (Goju-ryu, Ueichi-ryu, Shorin-ryu (Ko) and Shorin-Ryu (Natsu)). During this time Nakazato devoted all of his time and energy to teaching and perfecting Shorin-ryu karate. In 1960, the Okinawan Karate Federation promoted him to Eighth Degree Black Belt and titled him Kyoshi. Seven years later Nakazato continued his progress in karate when Master Chibana and the Okinawan Shorin-ryu Karate-Do Kyokai promoted him to Ninth Degree Black Belt and bestowed the title Hanshi on him.

Nakazato began his study of weapons almost from the beginning of his training in 1935. He was trained in the sai, bo, nunchaku, tonfa and nicho kama, but specialized in bojutsu for four years. Throughout his career he has given of his knowledge willingly. He has demonstrated his technique of karate all over the world and has made many trips to America in the furtherance of Karate-do. When Master Chibana passed away in February 1969, Shugoro Nakazato inherited the leadership of Okinawan Shorin-ryu Karate-do, thus becoming the Tenth Degree Black Belt.

NOUJAIM, Nabil

(1950 - Present)

Kyoshi Nabil Noujaim, 8th Dan-Karate, 6th Dan-Kobudo, is one of Hanshi Judan Nakazato Sensei's senior students in the Americas and California. Kyoshi Noujaim has been a student of Shorin-Ryu ShorinKan Karate since 1972 and is the head instructor of Noujaim's Okinawan Shorin-Ryu Karate in El Centro, CA., U.S.A. His senior ranking students have Shibo dojos in Indiana, New York, Kansas, Bermuda, Chile, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Mexico and various California cities including El Centro, Brawley, Berkeley, Temecula, Vista, Paso Robles, San Miguel, Atascadero and Centennial Park.

Kyoshi Noujaim also travels extensively promoting ShorinKan Karate & Kobudo nationally and internationally including seminars in Israel, Chile, Argentina, Jordan and Mexico. His travels also take him to Naha City, Okinawa, Japan where he trains under Shugoro Nakazato Sensei, Hanshi 10th Dan Shorin-Ryu ShorinKan Karate & Kobudo. In 2008, Kyoshi Noujaim was elected to the Masters Hall of Fame.

In addition, his annual November Camp, Noujaim's Cal South International Martial Arts Camp draws from all the martial arts disciplines. The 2003 CAMP was honored to have Nakazato Sensei as the Guest of Honor along with his son, Minoru Nakazato sama and several ranking kyoshis from Okinawa.