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     Karate originated in Okinawa back as far as the 14th century.  At this time the people of the Ryuku Islands (Okinawa) practised a form of self-defence known as Te, or Hand.  During these times Chinese Buddhist monks introduced another form of self-defence known as Ch'uan-fa.  This new art was quickly incorporated into the original Te.
     In the early 19th century the various forms of Te were collected and systemized by Master Sokon Matsumura.  This system eventually became known as Shorin, named after the Buddhist Temple in China where the formal study of the Martial Arts was first introduced; Shaolin.
 

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Chosin Chibana (1885 - 1969)

     The modern father of Shorin Ryu Karate was Chosin Chibana (1885 - 1969).  Chibana Sensei began his Martial Arts career under Master Yasutune Itotsu.

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Yasutsune Itotsu (1830 - 1914)

When he began to teach, he wanted to be able to differentiate the various styles which developed within the Shorin-Ryu system.  Rather than naming the style after himself, which was the popular practice, he called his style Kobayashi-ryu or young (small) forest style.  He opened his first school in 1917, and was the Karate Instructor for the Shuri police department from 1954 to 1958.  Chibana Sensei's top student was Shugoro Nakazato

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Grand Master Shugoro Nakazato

     Born in 1919, Nakazato Sensei has been involved in the Martial Arts nearly his entire life.  He bagan to study Judo at the age of 13 and started his Karate instruction under Ishu Seiich in 1935.
     He was accepted as Chosin Chibana's student in 1946.  After 20 years of training under Chibana Sensei, Nakazato was promoted to 9th Dan or 9th degree Black Belt.  Chibana Sensei also presented Nakazato with his own Black Belt.
     Upon Chibana Sensei's death in 1969, Nakazato became president of the Shorin Ryu-Shorin kan Karate Association and was promoted to 10th Dan in 1980.

Kyoshi Doug Perry

     Hanshi Doug Perry was born in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1937.  He was first introduced to Karate in 1956 while serving in the Marine Corps.  After WWII Hanshi Perry found himself stationed in Okinawa and it was there that he met Hanshi Nakazato and began training under him.   He is now a 9th Dan.  Hanshi Perry retired from a very distinguished career in the Marines in 1981 and moved his family to Hendersonville, North Carolina.  He began teaching karate and found himself with more and more students, finally building a Dojo to his specifications in Flat Rock.  Hanshi Perry is known as a man who lives what he teaches.  He speaks of being a servant in karate to his students and gives selflessly.  He is now President of the United States Shorin-Ryu Shorinkan Kyokai.

Kyoshi Pat Haley

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Kyoshi Pat Haley and Sensei Diana, June '95

     Kyoshi Pat Haley was born in 1952 and began his training in Karate in 1974.  He has been a personal student of Grandmaster Shugoro Nakazato since 1985 and was promoted very recently to 8th degree Black Belt.  Kyoshi Haley is known for his attention to detail, his enthusiasm and his motivational abilities.  He is the personal teacher of Sensei Diana Watts.