Tatsuo Shimabuko
Ciso: The Filial Son
The Birth of Isshinryu
Dojo Kun
Kempo Gokui
One Heart Way
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History-One Heart Way

Isshin-ryu Karate and Kobudo

On January 15, 1956, Master Shimabuku calls a meeting at his home and dojo and officially announced the formation of a new style of Karate, Isshin-ryu, meaning "One-Heart Way (Wholehearted way)." He chose this name because, according to Shimabuku, "all things begin with One." Beginning in 1955, Shimabuku began to instruct a number of U.S. Marines in his front yard in Chan (Kyan) village.

On July 12, 1956, Don Nagle arrived on Okinawa and became the first American of note to train with Master Shimabuku at his Chan village home and dojo. In early 1957, the dojo was moved from Chan village to Agena in order to be closer to the military bases. Master Shimabuku secured a contract with the Marine Corps Special Services to teach Karate to the U.S. Marines for $250 each month. After moving to Agena, Harold Long and Richard Keith arrived together from Marine Corps Base 29 Palms, California on July 21, 1957. Both Harold Long and Richard Keith began training with Master Shimabuku in the Agena Village dojo until they left on August 19, 1958 to return to 29 Palms, California.

Soon after, Harry G. Smith arrived on Okinawa on August 3, 1957 and stayed on Okinawa for a short tour of duty, leaving Okinawa June 7, 1958.

Harold Mitchum arrived on Okinawa, February 1958 and begins training at the Agena dojo March of the same year. Mitchum begins training his own students at his home in Agena and later trained in Shorin-ryu with one of Shimabuku's top Okinawan students, Kinjo Chinsaku. Arcenio J. Advincula also began training December 1, 1958. He trained on Okinawa with Master Shimabuku longer than any other American. He also trained in other Okinawan Karate styles and Hindiandi Gung Fu.

Steve Armstrong begins training at the Agena dojo June of 1959. Don Bohan, Sherman Harrill, also begin training in 1959 at te Agena dojo. Ed Johnson started in the Agena dojo December 18, 1959. Angi Uezu begins training in 1962 and Kichiro Shimabuku begins after returning from Japan in 1963.

Master Shimabuku passes away, May 30, 1975.


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