****o-ryu Karate! What's Your Opinion On It?!

Discussion in 'Karate' started by fightorflight, Apr 16, 2004.

  1. fightorflight

    fightorflight New Member

    It's being taught right around the corner from me inwalking distance and it's cheap too! Can someone give me info on ****o-ryu please, thanks!
  2. Kosokun

    Kosokun Valued Member

    What do you want to know?
    Obviously, I think it's a superlative style. Something for everyone.
    Who's teaching over there?

  3. Knight_Errant

    Knight_Errant Banned Banned

    yet ANOTHER ryu of karate?
    Sure, go along have a look.
  4. Kosokun

    Kosokun Valued Member

    Heheh. Not just another ryu. It's one of the first to have been recognized by the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai back in the 1930's.

    There's a fair amount of historical info on the net. I'd look at ****oryu.org
    an excellent website.

    Also worth a look is Soke Kenzo Mabuni's website
    Japan Karate-do Kai ****o Ryu

    ****okai.com is also an excellent ****o Website.

  5. fightorflight

    fightorflight New Member

    These sites don't say what the style consists of, it only gives a history. Is it a hard style or soft style? Do you blend into attacks or do you go toe to toe? What is the style of ****o-ryu like?
  6. Knight_Errant

    Knight_Errant Banned Banned

    Go and have a look, man. Then tell US. Sounds like an OK style- but the dojo near you may be an exception. Visit it and find out.
  7. Jeanne

    Jeanne New Member

    ****o-Ryu is actually the best style I've encountered! It's actually soft and hard since it includes naha-te and shuri-te katas. I don't know how the dojo is where you are but it must definetly be an exception, cause ****o-ryu is just awesome!!

  8. mikelw

    mikelw New Member

    I've got just the thing:

    The 5 Principles of ****o Ryu defense.

    Taisabaki (footwork). Shifting or turning quickly out of the opponent's way.
    Soft blocking. Redirecting a strong attack with a circular or deflecting parry.
    Hard blocking. Striking an off-center or indirect attack with sudden maximum power
    Defense as attack. A good defense is offense.
    Springing. A reflexive, darting "out and in" kind of body shifting from any angle

    ****o ryu utilizes both hard and soft techniques. It's a pretty good style for fighting if you adapt it (but then what would you expect from me? i do ****o ryu, lol)
  9. DAT

    DAT Valued Member

    ****o ryu is one of the originals but in my opinion would not be my first choice, that's of course if you have comparable senseis and schools in other arts. ****o has a little bit of Goju and Shotokan and in some styles some Fukien White Crane. My problem with ****o (and some other Japanese styles) is that it has little or no tuite or standup grappling/chin-na. Since the Japanese used to train in Jujutsu and Karate, their joint manipulation, throws and chokes were usually trained in Jujutsu. However in recent times some ****o-ryu lineages have incorporated some tuite type training in order to appeal to those interested in street wise self defense. The other thing I don't like about ****o is the fact that it is very kata intensive, I mean up to 45 before Shodan.

    In summation, pros...it is a very traditional art with a strong lineage...cons it's a little too kicky punchy for me and I'm not into THAT many katas! Having said all that, if you have a world class sensei close to you that teaches ****o you should go with the best teacher around regardless of style. Good training is good training.
  10. Kosokun

    Kosokun Valued Member


    You're mistaken in your understanding of ****o Ryu, in what it contains, or is missing.

    No, it absolutely does not have any shotokan in it. If anything, it's the other way around. As Nakayama himself said, Funakoshi sent Nakayama to Mabuni to learn some kata (Niseishi/Gojushiho in particular).

    If one had to pick two styles to compare ****o Ryu with, it'd be Shorin Ryu and Goju. Even then, that's just for comparisons sake, as Mabuni wasn't Miyagi's student, but a collegue and classmate under Higaonna.

    This is also a mistaken impression. Much of what we do, between the movements, in kata analysis and application involves joint manipulation and striking vital areas. However, we don't do jujitsu (well, maybe some of the ****o kai guys do) and we also don't tend to buy into the magic and mystical pressure point concepts that are reminiscent of "Eric Von Zipper" in the old Beach Blanket Babylon movies.
    We've always had those things. Granted we didn't shout it from the rooftops, but we're hadly Johnny-come-latelys.
    Wow, that's ridiculous! The ****o groups that I'm aware of don't do that!
    Where'd you get that number?
    Our own association requires
    5 Pinans, Jutte, Jion, Bassai Dai, Kosokun Dai, Seienchin and two more,of the examinee's choice, for Shodan. That's only 12. Certainly one can learn much more but one doesn't have to.

    That's your personal choice, but please remember that the vast majority of ****o Ryu schools aren't as extreme as evidently the ones you've come in contact with.
    This last bit is indeed excellent advice.

    Rob Alvelais, Shihan
    ****o Ryu Karate-do
  11. DAT

    DAT Valued Member

    ****o history & kata

    No I think I have it down pretty good. You probably don't practice one of the orthodox ****o systems. As you know all systems begin to reflect their respective sensei. There is nothing nessesarily wrong with that but it is fact. And as far as tuite goes don't take my word for it go argue that with an Okinawan Karate/Kempo man. Your particular lineage may have added some joint manipulation down the line but traditional Mabuni contains very little. The same goes for kata. ****o systems in the North America routinely remove kata. But Mabuni was fiendish about kata and in the current culture we live in it would be hard to find a student dedicated to learn and perform the orginal number of kata. I will agree with you on the Shorin connection. However history tells us again and again tha there is a Shotokan connection that cannot be denied. Finally, I hope you don't think I was slamming or misrepresenting ****o-ryu. If you are a Shihan in ****o-ryu than you have taken a long and admirable journey. Below please find an excerpt of what I understand ****o to be including the vast array of traditional kata.

    Of all the traditional karate systems Shotokan, Goju-ryu, Wado-ryu, Shorin-ryu, Kyokushin, Isshin-ryu, and ****o-ryu among them ****o-ryu remains the most obscure. Several of its leading practitioners, such as the charismatic Fumio Demura and the prolific Touro Hayashi, do have widespread fame, yet ****o-ryu remains little understood outside its own schools. ****o-ryu had been most often described as a combination of Shotokan and Goju-ryu. It is also generally known that its teachers utilize formal exercises (kata) from many Okinawan sources. Unfortunately, such explanations fail to adequately describe just what ****o-ryu really is.
    In truth, ****o-ryu, along with Goju-ryu, Wado-ryu and Shotokan, is one of the four major karate systems of Japan proper (the Japanese islands excluding Okinawa). It was founded by Kenwa Mabuni (1889-1952), who, like most of karate’s old masters, was descended from Okinawa’s so-called warrior (bushi) class or aristocracy. Members of his family served Okinawan lords for hundreds of years. Mabuni started karate training at the age of 13 under Anko Itosu (1830-1915), the man who organized early karate in the Okinawan school system. Itosu was a student of one of Okinawa’s most famous karate masters, Sokon Matsumura (1792-1887), the forefather of Shorin-ryu. Itosu took a strong liking to his young pupil and Mabuni learned some 23 kata before the elder man died. Itosu’s death so grieved Mabuni that he built a shrine in front of the master’s grave and stayed close by for a year, practicing his kata daily.
    Itosu was not Mabuni’s only teacher, however. While still in his teens, Mabuni was introduced by his friend, Chojun Miyagi (the founder of Goju-ryu karate) to Kanryo Higashionna (1853-1915). From Higashionna, Mabuni learned Naha-te, a Chinese-influenced karate style. Mabuni also trained under the reclusive Arakaki Kamadeunchu (1840-1918), who taught a style similar to Higashionna’s. Arakaki also taught Tsuyoshi Chitose, the founder of Chito-ryu, Gichin Funakoshi of Shotokan, and Kanken Toyama of the Shudokan school. Arakaki, who was an acknowledged bo (staff) expert, taught Mabuni the unshu, sochin, niseishi, arakaki-sai and arakaki-bo forms. During the 1920’s the insatiable Mabuni participated in a karate club operated by Miyagi and Choyu Motobu, with help from Chomo Hanashiro and Juhatsu Kiyoda. Choyu Motobu was a master of Shuri-te (the antecedent of Shorin-ryu) and gotende, the secret grappling art of the Okinawan royal court. Hanashiro was also a Shuri-te expert, while Kiyoda came from the same Naha-te background as Miyagi. Known as the Ryukyu Tode Kenkyu-kai (Okinawa Karate Research Club), this dojo (training hall) was one of history’s gems. Experts from diverse backgrounds trained and taught there, and it was there that Mabuni learned some Fukien white crane kung fu from the legendary Woo Yin Gue, a Chinese tea merchant living on Okinawa.
    Technically, the karate of most ****o-ryu factions looks pretty much the same. Not surprisingly, there are minor differences in the kata between the various groups, mostly due to the proclivities of their founders. Regardless, all ****o-ryu looks a lot like Shorin-ryu in application. A long, linear style, even its Goju-ryu-type kata (those derived from Higashionna) are performed in a lighter, more angular and rangy fashion than they are in schools derived from Naha-te alone. ****o-ryu is much like Shotokan in that it relies heavily on the reverse punch and front kick. The style also seems to place a strong emphasis on sparring. In so doing, ****o-ryu stresses speed, and fighting is generally initiated from a higher, more upright stance than Shotokan employs. On the other hand, because the style has so many kata, a great deal of time is spent perfecting any one of its 40 to 60 forms.



    1. Heiko Dachi Dai Itch:
    2. Heiko Dachi Dai Ni:
    3. Heiko Dachi Dai San:
    4. Heiko Dachi Dai Shi:


    1. Nekoashi Dachi Dai Itch:
    2. Nekoashi Dachi Dai Ni:
    3. Nekoashi Dachi Dai San:
    4. Nekoashi Dachi Dai Shi:


    1. Zenkutsu Dachi Dai Itch:
    2. Zenkutsu Dachi Dai Ni:
    3. Zenkutsu Dachi Dai San:
    4. Zenkutsu Dachi Dai Shi:



    (TO PENETRATE A FORTRESS, major version)
    (TO PENETRATE A FORTRESS, minor version)
    (Mabuni-Ke 1947)
    (Mabuni-Ke 1949)
    (GREEN WILLOW Mabuni-Ke 1941)
    (CHINESE MILITARY ATTACHE, major version)
    (CHINESE MILITARY ATTACHE, minor version)
    (Mabuni-Ke "four direction version")
    (54 STEPS)



    (PURE HEART Mabuni-Ke 1936)
    (NEW BREAK or TEAR Mabuni-Ke)
    (EIGHT WALK Mabuni-Ke 1949)
    (MEN "MONKS" of PEACE)
    (28 STEPS)
  12. Kosokun

    Kosokun Valued Member

    That’s rather interesting. Thanks for the info. Next time that Kenzo Mabuni comes over to teach us again, I’ll be sure to tell him to stop showing us that stuff, as it’s apparently not “orthodox” ****o. :rolleyes: You see, that’s one place where I get my info. The other source is from his various Hanshi. I don’t rely on the often erroneous stuff on the web.

    Certainly, there’s a connection. Mr. Nakayama, the late head of the JKA told Randall Hassel about it in his book, “Conversations with the Master: an interview with Masatoshi Nakayama” Mr. Nakayama said that he was sent to Mr. Mabuni to learn kata. It wasn't the other way around. The kata from ****o Ryu were incorporated into the Shotokan’s (JKA) syllabus. The kata of Shotokan were not incorporated into ****o Ryu,

  13. YounGrasshopper

    YounGrasshopper New Member

    Ask Nikki86 About it....i think she might do it.........
  14. tempo

    tempo New Member

    This is absurd. Where did you read that they make you learn 45 kata before shodan?
  15. DAT

    DAT Valued Member

    OK I guess these two sites are not reputable????????



    Hey fellows I'm not here to argue with what I know is fact. If you want to study 12 kata and call that traditional ****o-ryu then go right ahead. And if you think you are doing tuite ala Okinawan Karate/Kempo I don't know what to say.
    If I may, go to E.budo.com and present your ****o tuite/kata theory. I suspect Gene Williams will give you all the info you need. BTW...Budo is a very intelligent reputable forum. Check it out, I think you'll like it. Especially if you're into traditional Okinawan/Japanese arts. :D
  16. Ozebob

    Ozebob Valued Member

    I'm wondering whether or not Mabuni Kenwa shifted to the mainland to further his studies under Gichin Funakoshi, his senior within the Itosu lineage. Certainly Funakoshi had been training for many years before his junior, Mabuni. Possibly Mabuni, who originally called his style Goju, decided to emulate other students of Funakoshi who had named Funakoshi's school, Shoto, and went with the snappy name, ****o. All food for thought ;)
  17. Shuto uchi

    Shuto uchi New Member


    Kokosun and I are part of the JKO which is an organization headed up by Hanshi Miki that is watched over by Soke Kenzo Mabuni who is the son of ****o Ryu founder Kenwa Mabuni, so to say that his information isn't reliable, or that we aren't practicing The orthodox form of ****o Ryu is wrong. He is 100% correct.
  18. DAT

    DAT Valued Member

    He is 100% correct in what? In that he follows what he and you are instructed to believe? Because your signature has MAP on it means nothing to me. The fact that you have entered this thread as a rep of this forum I am quite surprised that you back up what your dojo mate says as if you are the ultimate and final word. If you have been around the arts, and in particular Okinawan/Japanese arts, you must be aware that sons, relatives and disciples are notoriously first in line to turn what the masters have given us to what is commonly known as "Schoolboy Karate" for naive uninformed westerners. In most cases the philosophy and flavor may still be there from the orginal concepts but key elements, kata and most important bunkai and intent are left out. It is a rare American that has been subjected to "real" Karate the way it was intended. Case in point, your 12 kata ****o-ryu.

    Sir, if you don't believe, understand or have knowledge of the orgins of the system you practice than I think you have been following someone blindly. The FIRST incarnation of ****o-ryu had well over 40 katas, period. If you are being told differently than you will have to take a hard look at the organization and people you are following. The term "orthodox" might mean different things to different people. To me it means the way the art was birthed and meant to be passed on from its inception.

    And as far as tuite goes, as I wrote, senseis may or may not incorporate it in their curriculum. This is based on personal choice and only incorporated by those who have had supplemental cross training. Moreover, I feel any serious martial arts scholar would agree that it is generally accepted that Japanese Karate systems do not have the amount of tuite found in Okinawan Karate/Kempo. In fact, I've met quite a few Japanese senseis who don't even know what tuite is, let alone make it a significant part of their syllabus.

    My input on this thread is over. Peace and good training. For those of you who are reading this and have become more confused then enlightened...do your own research. Don't believe half of what you read on any forum and what you are told by the present day so-called "keepers" of the art.
  19. tempo

    tempo New Member

    If you want to study 12 kata and call that traditional ****o-ryu then go right ahead. And if you think you are doing tuite ala Okinawan Karate/Kempo I don't know what to say.

    First you've gone from saying "Orthodox ****oryu" requires 45 kata for black belt, and now you're saying that anyone who dares argue with you only has 12 kata in their whole system.

    You've got to calm down, read this and think about it:

    ****oryu may have 40-50 kata, but maybe only 12 of them are required for shodan.
  20. tempo

    tempo New Member

    In this photograph, Kosokon stands with the JKO Shihan-kai of the JKO. Please note Soke Mabuni in the middle and Hanshi Miki Minobu next to him.


    IMHO, these guys know about ****oryu.

    Or, if you want, you can take the word of some guy that does Wingchung and Combat JuJitsu, along with 13 other styles.

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