ISSHIN RYU (一心流) corresponds to the system of Okinawan roots founded by Master Tatsuo Shimabuku in January of 1956; considering this date as the official time when Tatsuo Sensei named his system of Karate and Kobudo by the name of Okinawa Isshin Ryu. It is extremely important to point out that only after long years of training and personal research with the renowned Masters of the time, Tatsuo Sensei came to consolidate the style we know today.
Isshin Ryu has strong influences from the most significant and important karate styles in Okinawa such as the Goju Ryu (剛柔流) that Master Shimabuku practised under the guidance of Master Chojun Miyagi; of Shorin Ryu (少林流)practised with Master Chotoku Kyan and commendable practice with Master Choki Motobu. In addition, Master Shimabuku gave space to complement his martial art by learning Kobudo (古武道)with the important referent and legendary Master Taira Shinken and with Master Moden Yabiku.
Finally, the technical knowledge of Isshin Ryu in the present time is the operation of the strong principles of Naha te (Goju Ryu), Shuri Te (Chotoku Kyan), Tomari Te (Choki Motobu) and of Kobujutsu of Master Taira Shinken.
After the death of Master Shimabuku (May 1975) the future of Isshin Ryu had a geographical expansion throughout the world, particularly in the United States due to the strong development that the style had in the US military bases through the soldiers who trained systematically under the guidance of Shimabuku Sensei for several years in Okinawa.
In Okinawa, there are three major lines of development of the Isshin Ryu. One of them is led by the son of Master Tatsuo Shimabuku, Master Kishiro Shimabuku, who founded the IWKA (Isshinryu World Karate Association). The line of Master Angi Uezu, son-in-law of Master Shimabuku, who founded the OIKKA in 1990 (Okinawa Isshinryu Karate & Kobudo Association). Currently, the youngest representative and who fights for the survival of Isshin Ryu as taught by Master Shimabuku is Master Tsuyoshi Uechi, Okinawa Prefecture and Karate Kaikan’s representative. It is Tsuyoshi Uechi sensei who founds the IOTKA (Isshinryu Okinawa Traditional Karate Association).
In South America, Seishinkan’s contact with Isshinryu dates back to about 1989 through Master Hernan Moncada, who was the first to mention about Isshinryu to Sensei Osvaldo Rodriguez.
Later and with the passing of the years, various referents and former practitioners in the continent have developed Isshinryu under the protection of their own organizations.
DIEGO RODRIGUEZ SENSEI & THE ISSHINRYU
Diego Rodriguez Sensei makes contact with Isshinryu during his childhood, through his parents, Osvaldo Rodriguez Sensei and Magaly Inzunza Sensei, both former Karate practitioners.
He began his training formally in the 90’s as a complement to his education, an activity that accompanied him for the rest of his days.
In the year 2003, he obtains the 1st dan, Shodan, in what was a historical event for the development of traditional Okinawan karate in the region when a black belt rank test was carried out jointly by two Okinawan Karate schools: Goju Ryu Kenshinkan, with German Diaz Sensei, and Isshinryu with Osvaldo Rodriguez Sensei.
In the year 2013, he obtains the 4th dan and receives the title of instructor granted by the then president of the Master Angi Uezu’s organization (OIKKA), Master Christopher Chase.
During his career as an Isshinryu and Okinawan Karate practitioner, he has had the opportunity to participate in various Goju Ryu, Shorin Ryu and Ryu Kyu Kobudo seminars.
He has participated and trained with Isshinryu master on several occasions, highlighting in november 2016 the event organized by the Joshinkan organization held in Denmark in 2016, which had Master Tsuyoshi Uechi as the main authority. During the month of August in 2018 and in the framework of the “1st Okinawa Karate International Tournament”, he participated again in a series of seminars held by Uechi Tsuyoshi sensei and Akamine Hiroshi sensei, in Okinawa Karate & Kobudo respectively.
Currently, Diego Sensei keeps practising Isshinryu in a systematic way and supporting the guidelines of Seishinkan in its development and expansion in Europe. It is here where recently and within the framework of a personal project, he makes contact with Lars Andersen Sensei, a former Isshinryu practitioner in Denmark (and probably one of the most travelled in the world of Isshinryu) and director of Joshinkan and WUIKA (World United Isshinryu Karate Association) in Europe.
After many conversations and according to the mission of Seishinkan and the confidence of Lars Sensei, the author was sent in November of 2017 to Romania to carry out a tour through different dojos, within the framework of the mega project of WUIKA that aims to expand, develop and support the dojos and new generations of Isshinryu practitioners in the different continents.
Finally, and as a consequence of a regular and systematic process of training, personal growth and organizational level whose work of representation of Seishinkan in Europe stand out, during the last month of August 2018 and within the framework of the trip made to Okinawa (click here for further info) and after several trainings conducted under the instruction of Uechi Tsuyoshi sensei and Osvaldo Rodriguez sensei, the latter is the one who promotes him to 5th dan, Renshi go, starting with it, a new stage of continuity in the representation and support tasks of Isshinryu in the region.