Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Isshin-ryu is a style of Okinawan karate founded by Shimabuku Tatsuo in the mid-1900s. The name means, literally, "one heart" or "one mind" or "whole heart" way. The style, while not very popular on Okinawa, spread to the United States and other countries where many variations of the system exist. The system is summed up in its kata, or formal practice methods. In many of the various forks of the system, thirteen kata are agreed upon as belonging to Isshinryu: eight empty-handed kata and three bo (staff) kata and two sai (forked weapon) kata, although there can be more weapon forms. The eight empty-handed kata are named Seisan, Seiuchin, Naihanchi, Wansu, Chinto, Kusanku, Sunsu and Sanchin. (spelling is not agreed upon) The three bo kata are named Tokomeni no kun, Urashi no bo, and Bo shi shi no kun. The two sai kata are named Kusanku sai and Chatanyara no sai. Some branches of Isshinryu include other weapon kata in their syllabus, including tonfa (grinder handle) and nunchaku (flail). Some also include various other empty-handed kata. The current Okinawan head of Isshinryu is [[Shimabuku Kichiro] oldest son of Shimabuku Tatsuo. However there are many political disagreements, and most would rather follow the younger son, Ciso, who Tatsuo intended to leave the style to. There are also many Isshinryu organizations that exist independent of Okinawan control or leadership, each with its own separate leaders.
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