Has anyone heard of Soryu Karate?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by Soryu, Jul 13, 2006.

  1. Soryu

    Soryu New Member


    I take Soryu Karate in central Texas. I am under the impression Soryu may not be taught anywhere else in the US. Am I wrong? Has anyone ran into a school or student of Soryu outside of Austin, San Antonio?


  2. stoneheart

    stoneheart Valued Member

    It seems to be a fairly recent style, created in the sixties, so the dearth of Soryu karate-ka is not surprising.
  3. stoneheart

    stoneheart Valued Member

    I wish I knew what the philosophy of Soryu karate is. For example, Goju-ryu karate conditions the body to receive blows through a variety of methods (arm and leg 'banging', dynamic tension, strength training). They are a close-range striking style with various blocks and traps intended to hook the opponent into an exposed position, whereupon the Goju stylist will let loose with a crushing blow to a vital area. I wonder what the goals of a Soryu stylist are? What is their 'method'?
  4. Soryu

    Soryu New Member

    I am a third degree in Soryu but I never felt we were taught much in terms of Soryu philosophy. What I do know is that it is a very traditional Japanese style with very low stances in the katas. There is a HUGE emphasis on basics and keeping techniques simple with high levels of power in their execution. There is a large emphasis on the sparring side of the art although kata is evaluated strictly in belt rank exams. From your description it would fall more in the line of "crushing blow to vital area" philosophy. We fight from the outside and do all the normal things outside fighters do to bridge the gap. Hope this helps. If you can find anything else out about Soryu, please pass it my way. I would appreciate it. -Soryu
  5. tatsuo koyasu

    tatsuo koyasu New Member

    Soryu Karate-Do

    There was a question posed some time ago if there was Soryu karate outside of Texas. The answer is yes there is. I have a school in Nebraska and I studied with the Soryu founder in Japan. Soryu is directly associated with Kanken Toyama's Shudokan.
  6. YouKnowWho

    YouKnowWho Valued Member

    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012
  7. tatsuo koyasu

    tatsuo koyasu New Member

    soryu karate history

    Thankyou for your responce. I trained in Sasebo, Japan with the founder of Soryu Karate-do, Michio Koyasu, in the early 70's. I believe Joe Alvarado was also a student of Koyasu Sensei. I left Japan Aug 73 and met Joe in 1975.
  8. O-chaa

    O-chaa New Member

    Texas Soryu is NOT Japan Soryu

    Contrary to popular belief within Texas Joe Alvarado was not the founder of Soryu Karate. Thanks to tatsuo koyasu for pointing that out. In fact, Joe Alvarado received no higher than a 4th dan from Japan.

    Alvarado has since exercised the authority to promote several members of Texas Soryu up to 9th dan. But, it is important to be informed that these are not Japan-approved rankings.

    There is another branch of Soryu in the US under a man named James Caldwell, which is aligned with Japan.

    Just wanted to put that info out there, as Texas still uses the Japanese Soryu emblems to represent their style, yet their curriculum also differs vastly from what Michio Koyasu, the original founder, intended. It can be very misleading.
  9. tatsuo koyasu

    tatsuo koyasu New Member

    There is an individual that preceded Joe Alvarado. He is Sherman Courtney a.k.a. Soman Koyasu. Sherman is the only other American other than myself to receive a Budo name from Michio Koyasu. To receive a Budo name meant that an individual had to earn at least a Godan Shihan from the federation.
    I personally do not have anything against Joe Alvarado. It is unfortunate that he and his group have strayed so far afield from traditional Soryu Karate-Do. I would be glad to assist anyone that is really interested in getting in line with traditional Soryu Karate-Do. I currently have three schools under my direction. I have been in the process of translating the original training guide that Michio Koyasu produced.
    Tatsuo Koyasu
  10. tatsuo koyasu

    tatsuo koyasu New Member

    There was a previous inquiry about the philosophy of traditional Soryu Karate-Do. I have devoted several pages in the general training guide that lays out the philosophy that is followed in traditional Soryu Karate-Do. It falls within Budo which is characterized by a way to seek self perfection. In no way does this make the system weak physically. It is a very strong system that strives to develop technique that is useful in combat. It is not about how much money one can make or how tough you are or how many people you can beat to a pulp.
    Soryu Karate-Do is a Shorin type, Shuri Te family external style of Karate-Do. It is an evolution of Kanken Toyama's Shu Do Kan.
  11. soryu fisherman

    soryu fisherman Valued Member

    Soryu karate is a very powerful and brutal style with hard defense and brutal attacks. Many people quit or are cut because they simply cannot make it. Central Texas is loaded with this style and it is obvious in competition. It is not for everybody and some just wish they could be part of it in Central Texas. It does exist in other areas but we in Central Texas do stand on our own and can defend to the end no matter the opponent. If you are up to the challenge you might also be a Soryu Karate practitioner. Try us out as most adults quit after 3 months. Just too hard???:woo::)
  12. O-chaa

    O-chaa New Member

    ...it was a fraud...and just too easy

    What makes it a brutal style, specifically? You say many people quit or are cut because they cannot make it? I find that very hard to believe. My reasons for leaving the Texas branch of Soryu were that it was not physically challenging enough, the system was not unified, and I ultimately found out that several of the instructors promoted themselves, yet still use the name "Soryu". No one in Japan promoted them. Why are they still using that style's name? That means they are dishonest and, in essence, frauds.

    You say it is evident in competition? What competition are you referring to? AOK point sparring? That's hardly legit competition. It's basically playing tag. James Caldwell, on the other hand, still has students participating in tournaments that some of the greatest karateka in the world (http://www.ozawa-tournament.com/) also participate in, including Japan. Central Texas "Soryu" (as I think it should be renamed because it strays so far from the original, not to mention the 9th dans in Texas promoted themselves and were not approved by Japan Soryu) has yet to compete on this scale.

    The problem with Central Texas Soryu is the delusion that this style is some crazy awesome brutal force, when in reality, most of the instructors know close to nothing about the origin of the style, and insist on basking in the meager accomplishment of winning a plastic trophy at an AOK "tag" tournament.

    I know I'm dishing out some brutal honesty, but someone has to tell the truth about what's really going on in Central Texas so-called "Soryu." Lest they be deceived like I was. Thankfully, I moved to Japan and am more than challenged by Okinawan Kyokushin. If I were in the states, I would probably rely on James Caldwell as a legit teacher of the original Soryu style. He is a well of knowledge and does not really behave in a manner that only satisfies his ego. I believe he is a person of integrity and is also very intelligent. It shows in his words and actions, unlike the cute little emoticon you used at the end of your response.

    What's the violence all about? Karate was supposed to cultivate peace. Ah, I guess it doesn't really surprise me. The Central Texas folks seem to have forgotten the true meaning of it all.

    Good day.
  13. soryu fisherman

    soryu fisherman Valued Member

    You make us stronger as you diminish yourself as a martial artist. Look within yourself for the answer as that is where the problem lies.
  14. O-chaa

    O-chaa New Member

    ?? I don't really have a problem, man. You're the guy with the gun animations.

    How could speaking facts about a martial arts style be diminishing to me? If anything, it speaks volumes about the people who shamelessly promote themselves.
  15. soryu fisherman

    soryu fisherman Valued Member

    Really? You have no problem? The gun animation was just that, an animation I used to fire it out. No more no less. I have no shame in my promotion of Soryu Karate in Central Texas. You are the one who speaks in volumes when it only takes a few sentences. Again, look within yourself and figure out why it would be diminishing too yourself. Here is the other animation I used :) guess you missed it.:):
  16. O-chaa

    O-chaa New Member

    ...it was a fraud...and just too easy

    It was unnecessary to use gun animations in your response. I took it as a sign of aggression, as would most people.

    Hey, that's totally cool if you bear no shame with promoting a style that is led by people who promote themselves. However, I think that most serious martial artists, especially karate practitioners, are interested in studying with people who are not going to lie about their rank or inflate it to be more than what they genuinely earned from the founders of the original style.

    It's good to be real about stuff. The truth is, again, that many, not all, of the Central Texas Soryu practitioners will say that their style is the best in the world, when none of them have ever competed in a legitimate world tournament. Also, as you have already proven, they are quick to become aggressive at any mention of the bogus practice of self-promotion that has occurred in Central Texas "Soryu."

    You think I speak volumes? You may be right. I like to be thorough. And I bet a lot of people are grateful for having thorough information regarding the martial art that they contemplate investing time and energy in.

    What's the big deal? I'm simply exposing the truth. I don't find it diminishing in any way. Not "too" or "to" myself. I sort of adhere to this principal and quote,

    "To sin by silence when one should protest makes cowards out of men". - Ella Wheeler

    It would diminish me as a martial artist and seeker of truth if I DIDN'T say anything.
  17. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    Ok in keeping with the theme....

    1) What tournaments?
    2) What techniques?
    3) What is the pedigree if the system?
    4) what type of people quit?
    5) what level of contact do you employ?
    6) what pressure testing do you do?

    That will start a nice healthy chat
  18. Zabrus

    Zabrus Valued Member

    Reading this thread, to me, it seems that:
    There is a guy who is good at full contact and is 4th dan. He promotes himself to 10th dan and promotes other people to 9th. For me, this is fishy.

    Of course, playing devils advocate, I know of opposite cases, someone who is stuck at low dan because of politics, because of antagonising his sensei.
  19. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    That's a nothing answer. What O-Chaa has said so far does very, very little to strengthen your position. What you've said does even less. Hannibal raises some important questions.
  20. tatsuo koyasu

    tatsuo koyasu New Member

    The central Texas group does have roots that tie them to traditional Soryu Karate-Do that would be that their founder, Joe Alvarado, studied in Japan with Soryu Karate-Do founder Michio Koyasu. Joe studied under Koyasu sensei before Soryu became an official style. Since 1967 there have been many changes to the curriculum that the Central Texas group have not incorporated. It was offered on more than one occasion but turned down. I have no problem with that other than the idea that the Central Texas Group has gone a different direction and in reality are no longer Soryu Karate-Do in the traditional sense. I have know other group that once they veer from their original root they declare themselves another system. George Anderson was originally with Central TKD and the Kang Duk Kwon. His group is now the Kwan Mu Kan. Jim Harrison had roots in Sho Rin Ryu and he is now Sakura Warrior Arts and Ronin Jujutsu. There many other examples. The common thread is they give credit to their roots however have declared their own. I am not sure why the Central Texas group is so desperate to hang onto something they are really not.
    I reviewed several of the Kata taught an performed by the Central Texas group. It is obvious that what is being performed has been greatly changed or substituted. The Pin An Kata series order has been altered and the Kata performed resembles more of what is performed in Shotokan Ryu or TKD. It really does not come close to close what was or is taught in traditional Soryu Karate-Do or what was taught by Kanken Toyama. Kushanku has been greatly altered as well. There seems to be things taught to enhance the Kata for open tournament competition success. One group has adopted Kata from other systems to fill in the gap. Oh Well!
    The Central Texas Group does continue to teach and require A sparring and B sparring which part the Soryu Karate-Do curriculum however none of the other required Yakusoku Kumite is.
    I have no doubt the the Central Texas group is strong and has a reputation in their circle of influence. There are other Soryu Karate-Do groups that compete in the traditional circuits. The Indiana and Nebraska groups consistently produce National Champions and have fielded some their members to compete on the national team internationally. One has also competed in two traditional world championships under the auspices of the Ju-Jutsu International Federation (JJIF).

    Tatsuo Koyasu

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