The Purple Belt Perspective

1) Isshinryu - whole heart way

2) Three (3) towns where early karate started in Okinawa:

a) Shuri - Shuri-te-karate - nobles and kings;

b) Naha - Naha-te-karate - business and commerce; and

c) Tomari - Tomari-te-karate - farmers and fishermen.

3) Isshinryu Karate was founded January 15, 1956.

4) Tatsuo - Dragon Man (Tatsuo Shimbuku's nickname).

5) Sunsu - Strong Man.

6) Shinkichi - was master Tatsuo Shimabuku's given name. It was also the name he used whenever he told fortunes.

7) Isshinryu - developed from two (2) styles of karate:

a) Shorin-ryu (influenced by Shuri-te, from the town of Shuri)

b) Goju-Ryu (influenced by Naha-te, from the town of Naha)

8) There were thirteen (13) major features of Isshinryu Karate:

1) Elimination of fancy techniques - once used to hide karate's killing power because it was against the law to practice karate.

2) Combination of the best of Shorin-ryu and Goju-ryu to form a basic, realistic system of self-defense.

3) Use of low kicks (none above the waist) because low kicks allow you to move quickly with power and balance. Such kicks are hard to see, and hard to block. Sport karate can use high kicks.

4) Use of short, natural stances which eliminate wasted motion and major body shifting, giving a split-second time advantage in self-defense situation. Such stances are more adaptable to American physique and temperament because the stances follow natural body movements.

5) Hand and foot techniques are about 50-50 in the katas, giving the student a well-rounded system of karate.

6) Close-in techniques which are valuable for street fighting (Bunkai).

7) Snap-punches and snap kicks (punches and kicks come from a limb only 90% extended and immediately retracted), enabling you to move in and out quickly in a self-defense situation and to immediately correct yourself if you miscalculate. The lack of full extension of the limb prevents excessive wear and tear on the hinge joints.

8) Elements of hard blocking (meeting force with force) and soft blocking (deflecting or parrying the blows).

9) Blocks executed with the muscular part and 2 bones of the forearm rather than one bone and all muscle part to prevent breakage of the bones.

10) A fist made with the thumb on top of the fist rather than over the first two fingers. This method locks the wrist, helping to prevent the fist from buckling at the wrist on impact. This method also tightens the fist by allowing you to put tension on the top of the fist (thumb side) and the side of the fist (finger side).

11) Vertical punch, which increases the speed and focus of the punch.

12) Blocks are blocks and blocks are strikes. Basic kata teaches that blocks are blocks or kamae. Advanced Bunkai shows that blocks are strikes. (Ask Sensei for explanation.)

13) Kotekitai (arm conditioning exercises) - all Okinawan styles do arm conditioning.

9) Tatsuo Shimabuku - born September 19, 1908 died May 30, 1975.

10) Legend of Chinto - Karate first came to Okinawan in the 13th Century when Chinese families, some were experts in Chinese Kempo, immigrated to Okinawa. Years later Chinto, a ship-wrecked Chinese sailor was washed ashore. Naked and penniless, he hid in caves during the day and at night would sneak into the villages to steal food for survival. The villagers complained to the King, who sent his best Samurai, Soken Matsumura (1796-1893), to capture the sailor.

 Matsumura Tracked Chinto to a cave where he was living and confronted Chinto who refused to surrender. Chinto blocked every technique that Matsumura threw and ran and hid in a cemetery. Matsumura returned to the King and said there would be no more trouble from Chinto. He then went back, befriended Chinto, who in turn taught him his system, including the kata known as Chinto, in exchange for food and shelter.

11) Shihan - head instructor or director.

12) Renshi-go - Karate title which means polished expert.

13) Kyoshi-go - master Karate instructor.

14) Hanshi - a Master of Masters.

15) Five (5) Americans who brought karate from Okinawa to the United States:

1) Don Nagle

2) Harold Long

3) Harold Mitchum

4) Steve Armstrong

5) Arsenio (Jim) Advincula

16) Who were Tatsuo Shimabuku's karate teachers and what styles did they teach him?

1) His uncle, Kamasu Chan, was his first teacher and taught him Shurite.

2) Kyan was his second teacher. He taught him Shorin-ryu.

3) Miyagi was his third teacher. He taught him Goju-ryu.

4) Motobu was his fourth teacher and he taught him Tomari-te, which is now Shorin-ryu.

5) Moden Yabiku taught Master Shimabuku at an early age (dates are vague). Yabiku was Taira Shinken's weapons instructor. 

6) Taira Shinken taught weapons to Master Shimabuku in 1958.

17) Katas from Goju Ryu:

1) Saisan

2) Sieunchin

3) Sanchin

18) Katas from Shorin-Ryu:

1) Seisan

2) Nihanchi

3) Wansu (Tomari-Te)

4) Chinto

5) Kasanku

19) Kata from Isshinryu:

1) Sunsu - strong man. Master Shimabuku created this kata himself.

20) Demonstrate the following:

1) Why Isshinryu's vertical punch is stronger than the twist punch

2) Why the hip is the chamber and not the arm pit

3) Why the thumb is on top

21) Isshinryu's Block - 2 bones and muscle versus one thin bone and muscle.

22) Jim Advincula helped design the Isshinryu Karate patch. Advincula was in Okinawa when Tatsuo Shimabuku was trying to recall his vision of Megami.

23) Kama-sama - is any god or goddess in Okinawan culture.

24) The Kama-sama of Isshinryu karate is the "protecting goddess of Isshinryu" and her name is Megami.

a) Megami is half woman/half sea serpent or dragon.

b) The woman represents the quiet, gentle side of karate.

c) The bottom half of her is a dragon or sea serpent. She is in a typhoon and, as a sea serpent, she can swim through the turbulence and troubled waters.

d) The water represents troubled times, obstacles in life, etc.

e) The 3 stars have many meanings:

1) Spiritual, physical and mental aspects of karate

2) Master Shimabuku's six (6) teachers - his teachers overlook him, the dragon man

3) Light to shine the way at night so you will not be afraid.

f) Dragon in sky - Tatsuo is another name for dragon. He was the dragon man and he is overlooking his creation which is Isshinryu karate.

g) Gray background - means darkness or nighttime. This represents fear or being afraid of the darkness.

h) Gold border - means karate is golden and it should never be misused.

25) Before naming his style Isshinryu, he taught a form of Shorin-ryu called Migwha-te Kyan, which was Kyan's nickname meaning "small-eyed Dyan's karate."

26) Motobu's nickname was "monkey man," because of his strength and climbing abilities.

27) Master Shimabuku's four (4) steps to learning karate:

1) Aakezuri - clean bark off wood or first learning basics.

2) Nakakozuri - shaping the wood or learning the katas but not perfecting them yet.

3) Hosokonzuri - sanding wood or learning time (focus).

4) Shiyagi - forever polishing the wood or achieving your chi or inner strength.

28) Chinkuchi - bone, sinew, muscle-these are your innermost strengths, which are learned in Sanchin kata as a brownbelt.

29) Kichiro Shimabuku - First son of Tatsuo Shimabuku. Head and 10th dan of I.W.K.A., Okinawa.

30) Shinzo Shimabuku - Second son of Tatsuo Shimabuku.

31) Tetsugi Shimabuku - Son of Kichiro Shimabuku. He will become head of I.W.K.A. after Kichiro.

32) Angi Uezu - Tatsuo Shimabuku's son-in-law.

33) Pronunciations:

Tatsuo - (Tat-sue-oo)

Shimabuku - (Shim-a-boo-ku)

Shuri - (Sure-e)

Naha - (Na-ha)

Tomari - (Too-mar-e)

Shinkichi - (Shin-key-che)

Sunsu - (Sun-sue)

Matsumora - (Mat-sue-more-a)

Shinhan - (She-han)

Renshi - (Ren-she)

Kyoshi - (Key-o-she)

Hanshi - (Han-she)

Kamasu Chan - (Kama-sue Key-an)

Kyan - (Key-an)

Miyagi - (Me-ag-e)

Motobu - (Mo-too-boo)

Moden Yabiku - (Mod-den Yabe-ku)

Taira Shinken - (Ta-air-a Shin-kin)

Sieunchin - (See-un-chin)

Sanchin - (San-chin)

Seisan - (Say-san)

Nihanchi - (nee-han-che)

Wansu - (Wan-sue)

Chinto - (Chin-toe)

Kusanku - (Koo-san Koo)

Sunsu - (Sun-sue)

Kamasama - (Coma-sam-a)

Megami - (Me-gam-e)

Migwate - (Mig-wha-ta)

Chinkuchi - (Chin-koo-che)

Kichiro - (Key-cher-o)

Shinzo - (Shin-zoo)

Tetsugi - (Tet-sue-ge)

Angi - (An-ge)

Uezu - (Way-zoo)



1) A person's heart is the same as heaven and earth .

If a man has a good heart, he has no quarrel. He is in harmony, as is the heaven and the earth.


2) The blood circulating is the same as the moon and the sun.

In the universe, just as every day the moon comes out at night and the sun comes out at day, blood must circulate or existence would be impossible.


3) The manner of drinking and spitting is either hard or soft .

Yin and Yang forces in the universe are opposite. You have to decide whether to take a challenge softly or meet it with full force.


4) A person's balance is the same as weight .

If too big a task is undertaken, the balance is upset and it cannot be handled.


5) The body should be able to change motion at any time .

Life is constantly changing. We have to accommodate to change or else we cannot survive.


6) The time to strike is when the opportunity presents itself .

Do not pass up opportunities. People who get ahead in life spot these opportunities and use them to their advantage.


7) The eye must see every way .

Try to consider the other man's view. New meanings result from different viewpoints.


8) The ear must hear in all directions .

It is impossible to see his view unless you hear his reasons.



1) Front snap kick to groin.

2) 45 degree blade kick to knee cap.

3) Cross over heel stomp kick to knee.

4) Side blade kick to solar plexus.

5) Front snap kick from cat stance.

6) Squat to side front kick to groin.

7) Heel thrust kick to solar plexus.

8) Knee smash to groin.

9) Back kick to solar plexus.



1) RFF-RH straight punch solar plexus

2) RFF-RH uppercut to chin.

3) LFF-RH straight punch solar plexus

4) LFF-RH uppercut to chin.

5) RFB-LH down block-RH straight punch to solar plexus.

6) RFB-LH side block-RH straight punch to solar plexus.

7) RFB-LH open side block-RH open spear hand to solar plexus.

8) RFB-LH open head block-RH upper cut to chin.

9) RFB-LH closed fist head block-RH straight punch to solar plexus.

10) RFB-LH closed fist head block-LH snap nose-RH straight punch solar plexus.

11) LFF-LH down block, 5 fast straight punches to solar plexus.

12) LFF-LH side block, 5 fast straight punches to solar plexus.

13) LFF-LH open down block-RH open strike to neck.

14) LFF-LH open palm chest block-RH roundhouse punch to solar plexus-LH roundhouse punch kidneys.

15) RF back in cat stance, cross arms in front, but hip back, at same time strike with arms by blocking the head and striking back with an elbow.


RH-right hand RFF-right foot forward RF- right foot

LH-left hand LFF-left foot forward RFB-right foot back



Karate - empty hand

Uniform - GI

Isshin - One heart

Belt - Obi

Ryu - Style

Grade - Kyu

Do - Way

Degree - Dan

Master - Shihan

Black Belt - Sho Dan

Sensei - Teacher

Form - Kata

Bow - Rei

Water Goddess - Mizu Gami

Begin - Hajime

Wooden Staff - Bo

Training Hall - Dojo

Hand Swords - Sai

Sparring - Kumite

Explanation - Bunkai


One- Ichi

Two - Ni

Three - San

Four - Shi

Five - Go

Six - Roku

Seven - Shichi

Eight - Hachi

Nine - Ku

Ten - Ju

Eleven - Ju-Ichi

Twelve - Ju-Ni

Thirteen - Ju-San

Fourteen - Ju-Shi

Fifteen - Ju-Go

Sixteen - Ju-Roku

Seventeen - Ju-Shichi

Eighteen - Ju-Hachi

Nineteen - Ju-Ku

Twenty - Ni-Ju