What is Shito Ryu?



In the realm of martial arts, the path of Shito-Ryu Karate unveils a unique blend of techniques that sets it apart from other styles. As practitioners, we delve into the intricacies of Shito-Ryu, exploring its origins and the distinctiveness that defines this martial art.

The roots of Shito-Ryu trace back to the formative years of Japanese karate, specifically from 1901 to 1936. During this period, the foundations of institutional karate courses were laid, marked by the official introduction of Shorin-Ryu in Okinawan public schools. This era also witnessed the transition of karate to Japan and the transformation of the written character from “China Hand” to “Empty Hand.”

Kenwa Mabuni, the visionary founder of Shito-Ryu Karate, played a pivotal role in shaping this martial art. A member of an esteemed warrior class family, Mabuni studied under Anko Itosu and Kanryo Higashionna, absorbing the Shuri-te and Naha-te styles. Additionally, he delved into Kobujitsu, learning from masters like Bushi Tawada and Kamadeunchu Arakaki. Mabuni’s quest for knowledge extended to Chinese martial arts, where he acquired techniques from the White Crane style through Gokenki and Nin-jitsu from Seiko Fujita.

Combining the teachings of his main mentors, Mabuni established the Shito-Ryu school between 1929 and 1935. The name “Shito” originated from the initials of Itosu and Higashionna. This marked the official synthesis of Naha-te and Shuri-te, making Shito-Ryu the oldest recognized style to blend these two major karate fountainheads.

Shito-Ryu’s influence spread across the Osaka-Kyoto area, thanks to Mabuni’s efforts in popularizing karate. Following Mabuni’s passing, Shito-Ryu evolved into distinct variations, including the Itosu-Kai, orthodox Shito-Ryu, Hayashi-Ha, Tani-Ha, and Mobobu-Ha. Notable practitioners like Ryusho Sakagami further contributed to the legacy by establishing the Shito-Ryu Itosu-Kai in 1953.

Today, Shito-Ryu stands as a testament to the harmonious fusion of Naha-te and Shuri-te, serving as an inspiration for various martial arts styles. Beyond its recognized variations, Shito-Ryu’s impact is evident in other schools such as Shudokan, Chito-Ryu, Koei-Kan, Shindo Jinen-Ryu, and Kenyu-Ryu. The journey through Shito-Ryu Karate is a captivating exploration of tradition, technique, and the enduring spirit of martial arts.

Why the Wellington Community Loves

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M Vargo recommends Japan Karate-Do Genbu-Kai of Florida

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I have been going to this dojo for several months now, and can honestly say that I love it! The Sensei's teaching of the art and the encouragement from other students both create a calm and positive learning environment. I would recommend this dojo to anyone looking for an amazing place to learn and train!

Corina Valentin recommends Japan Karate-Do Genbu-Kai of Florida

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My son attends this school and I am always impressed when I see what he has learned. The staff and members are wonderful and treat everyone like family. This is a close-knit school with a great teacher/student relationship. I would highly recommend them to all.

Stacy McJury Hatcher recommends Japan Karate-Do Genbu-Kai of Florida

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My son has been taking lessons here for about months. He has progressed nicely. Sensei is great with the kids. He balances a good sense of humor with a demand for respect and discipline.

Romualdo Rodriguez recommends Japan Karate-Do Genbu-Kai of Florida

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My son loves this Dojo!!! He’s always motivated for class and everyone in the Dojo is pretty much the same way. I’m happy we chose this Dojo.

Faith Moreno recommends Japan Karate-Do Genbu-Kai of Florida

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I LOVE Genbu-Kai My boyfriend was a student there when we met and he got me into it! All of the instructors are understanding and friendly! Sensei Moore is great at explaining techniques and terminology so that the whole class understands it and all of the Senpais are well equipped to train all of the rest of us karate-ka.

Eugene Ryzhikov recommends Japan Karate-Do Genbu-Kai of Florida

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One of the rare traditional Okinawan karate schools. Teaching shito ryu style and Kobudo - the art of traditional weapons. Perfect for all ages.

Michael Simms recommends Japan Karate-Do Genbu-Kai of Florida

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I have had the opportunity to visit the Florida Genbu Kai dojo several times in the past seven years due to business travel. Sensei Moore provides an excellent environment for learning traditional martial arts including kobudo and batto-do. The dojo is warm and friendly and there is a culture of learning the art correctly without being robotic. This curriculum is based on the traditional foundation of the three K's: Kihon (basics), Kata (forms), and Kumite (sparring).

If you are looking for a traditional martial arts school, this is the place.

Scott Lowe recommends Japan Karate-Do Genbu-Kai of Florida

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My son loves taking karate here. He looks forward to it each week and Sensei Moore is wonderful. I would recommend this dojo.

Program & Pricing FAQs

My child isn't athletic. Can he/she still participate in martial arts?

Absolutely. Martial arts teaches kids to be coordinated, flexible and strong. Kids who don't naturally have these qualities develop them. Kids who do have these qualities develop them even more.

Are these martial arts classes fun?

Yes! After all, these are children we're dealing with here. And kids love their fun. We do a variety of games and activities that have kids laughing and smiling. We work hard here - but we play just as hard.

What's a good age for a child to start martial arts?

Honestly, practically every age is a good age to start! We have young children, as well as teenagers. We also have specific programs for adults. So no matter what age - we've got you covered.

Can martial arts cause injury?

Because we place such a huge focus on safety and injury prevention, we're proud to say that injuries are very few and far between with our program. In fact, because martial arts gets you in great shape, and makes you strong and flexible, people often see LESS injuries in their lives.

Do you have to be in good shape to take martial arts?

Not at all! In fact, many people use martial arts as a way to get in good shape. They come to us out of shape, and quickly become athletic and limber.

Is martial arts violent?

No! Because self-defense technique is taught in martial arts, it's often thought of as violent. However, the philosophies behind martial arts revolve around peace and harmony. The moves are more of a way to become connected with your body. We teach diplomacy and friendship. However, if a violent situation ever arises in your life, you'll have powerful tools to defend yourself and your loved ones.

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