A short who's who in karate: Biographies and bibliographies.

Pre-modern karate

Okinawan karate has had heavy influences from the Chinese martial arts especially the White Crane style from Fujian [W], a province on the southeast coast of China. The most famous Okinawan Ti = 手 = Te (in Japanese) = Hand comes from three towns in Okinawa: Shuri (the old capital of the Rhuku Islands (Okina), Tomari (a town of fishers), and Naha (the modern capital) — hence Shuri Te, Tomari Te, and Naha Te. Shuri Te and Tomari Te were grouped as Shorin Te = 少林手 = Shaolin Hand = pine forest hand. Naha Te became Shorei Te. The various Te were eventually given a more generic name of Kara Te = 唐手 = Tang Hand = Chinese Hand. In 1933, Funakoshi, Gichin started using a homophone of Kara Te = 空手 = Empty Hand, and that generic term of karate has stuck ever since.

Goju Ryu

Goju Ryu = 剛柔流 = "hard soft school" [W]. Considered an infighting style.


Shito Ryu

Shito Ryu = 糸東流 [W]. A hard and soft style.


Shotokan = 松涛館 = "pine waves' house" [W]

Some of the most senior people in Shotokan.

Other people in Shotokan in alphabetical order.

  • Schmeisser, Elmar (1950/)
  • Sherry, Andy (1943-07-09/)
    • Chairman & Chief British Instructor to the KUGB.
    • PERSON: Karate: Sherry, Andy
  • Shirai, Hiroshi (1937-07-31/). Aka "La Tigre" = "The Tiger".
    • Taught in Italy for many years.
    • PERSON: Karate: Shirai, Hiroshi
  • Shiina, Katsuto
  • Sill, Leon
  • Smith, Colin
    • Originally from South Africa, now in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
    • I had a many classes with him.
  • Smith, Frank
  • Sugiyama, Shojiro (1929/)
  • Tabata
  • Takagi, Masatomo
  • Takashina, Shigeru
    • Taught out of Miami, Florida, U.S.A. for many years.
    • I had a several classes with him.
    • PERSON: Karate: Takashina, Shigeru
  • Tanaka, Masahiko (1941-02-24/)
    • Well respected for his kumite and spirit, especially in South Africa.
    • I had a few classes with him.
    • PERSON: Karate: Tanaka, Masahiko
  • Trias, Robert
    • Formed the United States Karate Association (USKA)
  • Tsuyama, Katsunori
  • Ueki, Masaaki (1939-03-24/)
    • I had a few classes with him.
    • PERSON: Karate: Ueki, Masaaki
  • Woon-a-Tai, Frank
    • Teaches out of Canada.
    • I had a few classes with him.
  • Yabe, James
  • Yahara, Mikio
  • Taekwondo

    Wado Ryu

    Wado Ryu = 和道流. Like Shotokan but with more jujitsu and taisabaki.

    Other karate

    Isshin Ryu

    Isshin Ryu = 一心流 = one heart style. Like a mix of Shorin Ryu, Goju Ryu, and Kobudo.

    Matsubayahsi Ryu

    Ryuei Ryu

    Shorin Ryu

    Shorinji Ryu

    Tang Soo Do

    Tang Soo Do = tangsudo = The Way of the Chinese Hand, i.e. the Korean pronunciation of the same Chinese characters for the older homophone of karatedo. Tang Soo Do is a combination of Japanese/Okinawan karate, Yang Tai Chi Chuan, and Kung Fu of Northern and Southern China.

    Uechi Ryu Karate


    In alphabetical order.

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