About Us and Our Style of Karate

Information about Matsubayashi-Ryu, us, our philosophy, and our history.

What is Matsubayashi-Ryu?

Matsubayashi-Ryu is a world reknowned, exceptionally documented, traditional style of Okinawan Karate. Created by the late Grand Master Shoshin Nagamine, it is a substyle of Shorin-Ryu, descendant of the Tomari-Te and Shuri-Te styles of Okinawan Karate, and shares the rich roots of these styles.


More about Matsubayashi-Ryu

The origins of Karate are poorly documented, but are believed to have begun as the art of “Te” (the martial art of self-defense) which appeared in 7th century to 15th century. The art of Te was developed and passed on by the Ryukyuans through oral tradition and hand-to-hand training during the era when Ryukyu was governed by the Satsuma clan of Japan. Afterward, “Te” was sub-classified as “Shuri-Te”, “Naha-Te”, and “Tomari-Te” named according to which town or city it was practiced. During 19th century these three arts of Te developed into unique forms of Okinawan karate.

Our organization, the World Matsubayashi-Ryu Karate-Do Association, strives to uphold and preserve the traditions and philosophy of Okinawan Karate. It is the official successor to the Grand Master's teachings, and uses the Soke's teaching methods.

Visit the WMKA

Our Philosophy

Two phrases come to mind:

  1. "First purify your mind."
  2. "There is no first attack in Karate."

Grand Master Nagamine elaborated when he wrote the Precepts in the Mastery in his book:

  1. He is human, and so am I.
  2. I cannot develop my own potentialities when in the trap of self-limitation.
  3. I must discard this self-limitation. If he practices three times, I must practice six times.
  4. "Do not be dependent upon others for your improvement." Musashi Miyamoto, Japan's greatest swordsman, once said, "Pay your respects to the gods and Buddhas, but never rely on them."
  5. Earnestly cultivate your mind as well as your body and believe in yourself.
  6. Karate-do may be referred to as the conflict within yourself, or a life-long marathon which can be won only through self-discipline, hard training, and your own creative efforts.

Who was Shoshin Nagamine?

Karate Grand Master, author, founder of our style, and a person responsible for the popularity Karate enjoys today.

There were many great Karate practioners before him, but a much needed contribution our Grand Master made to Karate was documentation. As such, his book The Essence Of Okinawan Karate-Do comes as highly recommended reading.