Shorin-Ryu Shorin Kan Karate traces its' roots back to the original Okinawan Te Style of unarmed combat. Many historians believe that Okinawan Te can be traced back over 1000 years, to a time when many warlords fought for supremacy on the island. Most Okinawans were poor and did not own weapons.
In 1372, Okinawa entered into a trade agreement with China and, in 1392, 36 Chinese families came to live on Okinawa, brining with them the system of Chinese Martial Arts.
In 1429, the island was unified by King Sho Hashi. In 1477, Sho Shin became king and banned all bladed weapons. Three main styles of Okinawan Te emerged from three villages, Shuri Te coming frm the village of Shuri. Sho Shin's ban on weapons also led to the development of Kobudo, in which common farm and fishing tools became powerful weapons.
In 1609, Okinawa was seized by the Japanese Satsuma Samurai clan, and Okinawans were again banned from carrying any weapons. During this time, trade relations with China continued. In the 18th century, a Chinese diplomat named Kusanku came to Okinawa. His student Tode Sakugawa, is credited with combining both the essence of Te and Chinese boxing principles. These principles formed the basis of modern Shorin Ryu.
Sakugawa's student, Sokon "Bushi" Matsumura, taught "Ankoh" Yasutsune Itosu, who introduced karate into the public schools of Okinawa. His student, Chosin Chiban, renamed the style Kobayashi Ryu, teachng his instructor's original style. Our current grandmaster, Shugoro Nakazato, was Chibana's most notable student and successor. Grandmaster Nakazato still operates his dojo in Okinawa today.