His father, Lord Motobu Chōshin (Motobu Aji Chōsin) was a descendant of the sixth son of the Okinawan King, Shō Shitsu (1629-1668), namely Shō Kōshin, also known as Prince Motobu Chōhei (1655-1687). Chōki was the third son of Motobu Udun (“Motobu Palace”), one of cadet branches of the royal Okinawan Shō family.
As the last of three sons, Motobu Chōki was not entitled to an education in his family’s style of Te (an earlier name for karate). Despite this Motobu was very interested in the art, spending much of his youth training on his own, hitting the makiwara, and lifting heavy stones to increase his strength. He is reported to have been very agile, which gained him the nickname Motobu no Saru, or “Motobu the Monkey.” He began practicing karate under Ankō Itosu and continued under Matsumura Sōkon, Sakuma Pechin and Kōsaku Matsumora.
Chotoku Kyan (喜屋武 朝徳 Kyan Chōtoku, born December 1870 in Shuri, Okinawa – September 20, 1945 in Ishikawa, Okinawa) was an Okinawan karate master who was famous for both his karate skills, and his colorful personal life. Chotoku Kyan (also spelled Chotoku Kiyan) was a large influence in the styles of karate that would become Shorin-Ryu and its related styles.
Chotoku Kyan was born as the first son of Chofu Kyan who was a steward to the Ryukyuan King before the realm’s official assimilation into Japan as the Okinawan Prefecture. Kyan was noted for being small in stature, suffering from asthma and frequently bed-ridden. He also had poor eyesight, which may have led to his early nickname Chan Migwa (squinty-eyed Chan).
Kyan’s father is noted as possibly having a background in karate and even teaching Kyan tegumi in his early years. When Kyan was 20 years old, he began his karate training under Ankoh Itosu, Kosaku Matsumora and Kokan Oyadomori. While at 30 years of age, he was considered a master of the karate styles known as Shuri-te and Tomari-te. The most long time student of Kyan was Zenryō Shimabukuro, who studied with Kyan for over 10 years. Kyan is also noted for encouraging his students to visit brothels and to engage in alcohol consumption at various times.
Kyan was a participant in the 1936 meeting of Okinawan masters, where the term “karate” was standardized, and other far-reaching decisions were made regarding martial arts of the island at the time.
Ankichi Arakaki 1899-1927 The first of 11 children, Ankichi Arakaki was born in November 1899, in Akata Village, Shuri. His family were sake (rice wine) brewers and, as such, enjoyed a comfortable lifestyle and eventually moved to Tori-hori Village.
Sensei Arakaki commenced his karate training at an early age, learning from Shinpan Gusukuma (his primary school teacher) and also Chomo Hanashiro (his junior high school teacher), before leaving school and intensifying his training under Chosin Chibana (founder of Kobayashi Shorin-ryu).
It was because of the wealth that his family enjoyed that Arakaki was able to devote a great deal of time to his training, and soon became very proficient, earning the nickname of ‘Uwayaguwa Ankichi’ (Ankichi of Uwayaguwa). His specialty was the development of the toe kick or tsumasaki-geri.
One story tells of the devastating effect of Arakaki’s toe kick: Once, when Sensei was around twenty years old, he and some friends were in a tea house in Tsuji drinking and having a good time. While getting up to go to the toilet, he accidentally bumped into a big man who insisted on picking a quarrel with him in the corridor on the second floor. Trying to ignore the man, Sensei was unable to get out of his way, which resulted in Sensei being shoved down the staircase. Being in such good physical condition, Arakaki was able to roll down the stairs avoiding injury. The enraged man leaped down the stairs and grabbed Arakaki by the arm, trying to yank him up in an effort to punch his face. Seizing the man’s arm with the other hand, Sensei drove his toes deeply into the armpit of his attacker, which resulted in the man dropping to the ground unconscious.
Needless to say, Sensei never returned to that tea house again. About six months later, while reading the newspaper one morning, Ankichi was shocked to see a story which described some big wrestler who had died as a result of injuries sustained by “some karate expert” at a tea house in Tsuji. The article went on to say that “survived by two daughters, both of whom were serious judoka, the family sought to revenge the death of their beloved father”. In spite of the man allegedly dying sometime after his encounter with Arakaki, the police were never called in, and a subsequent investigation was unable to provide the actual reason for his death
Around 1921, after discharge from his military service, he moved to the village of Kadena. Unfortunately, due to the fact that his father had died and the family business was profoundly affected by the recession which followed World War 1, Sensei Ankichi Arakaki contracted stomach ulcers and died on 28th December 1927. He was just 28 years old.
Shoshin Nagamine (長嶺 将真, Nagamine Shōshin, 1907-07-15–1997-11-02) was a Japanese author, soldier, police officer and karate master.Nagamine was born in Tomari, in Naha City, Okinawa. He was a small and sickly child, and he contracted a gastroenteric disorder in 1926, his second year of high school. He began a self-imposed diet and took up karate under the watchful eye of his next-door neighbour, Chojin Kuba. Nagamine soon became a picture of good health, crediting his recovery to “hard work both at school and training of Karate”. His health improved to such an extent that he became a leader of the school’s karate club, and his friends dubbed him Chaippaii Matsu, a nickname meaning “tenacious pine tree”.
After graduation in March 1928, he began to study martial arts full time, moving to Shuri and training under Taro Shimabuku and Ankichi Arakaki. Later that year, he was conscripted into the Japanese army in the 47th Infantry Division, and fought in China before receiving an honourable discharge in 1931.
Leaving the army, Nagamine sought an area in which his martial arts abilities would be useful, eventually settling on the police force. During his time as a police officer, Nagamine received further instruction in karate from Chotoku Kyan and Motobu Choki, and achieved the title of Renshi in 1940. By 1951, Nagamine was a Police Superintendent, of Motobu, and was training his own officers in karate.
Nagamine retired as a policeman in 1952, and in 1953 he returned to Naha City and set up his own dojo, which he named “Matsubayashi-Ryu Kododan Karate and Ancient Martial Arts Studies”. From the dojo he taught Matsubayashi-ryu, a karate school he had invented in 1947, and named in honour of Sokon Matsumura and Kosaku Matsumora. He continued to teach the discipline until his death in 1997.
Nagamine wrote two books in Japanese, The Essence of Okinawan Karate-Do and Tales of Okinawa’s Great Masters. The Essence of Okinawan Karate-Do, which has been reprinted many times, was first published in the English language in 1976. Tales of Okinawa’s Great Masters received its first English translation in 2000.
Matsubayashi-ryu (松林流), also known as Matsubayashi Shōrin-ryū, is a school of Okinawan Shōrin-ryū karate founded by Shōshin Nagamine (1907-1997) in 1947. Its curriculum includes 18 kata, 7 two-man yakusoku kumite (prearranged sparring) routines, and kobudō (weapons) practice.
Nagamine named his school in honor of masters whom he viewed as two of the most important forebears of Shōrin-ryū, Matsumura Sōkon and Kosaku Matsumora. He chose to name the school using kanji characters that can be prounounced in Japanese either as “Matsubayashi” or as “Shorin.” Therefore, it is correct to refer to the school as “Matsubayashi-ryū”, “Shōrin-ryū”, or “Matsubayashi Shōrin-ryū”. Most people today choose one of the “Matsubayashi” variants in order to avoid confusion with the other many schools of Shōrin-ryū. Nagamine Shōshin also credited Motobu Chōki as the teacher who inspired his seven Yakusoku kumite forms. Today, the official Matsubayashi-ryū organization is run by Shōshin Nagamine’s son, Takayoshi Nagamine, though there are many schools teaching Matsubayashi-ryū that are not officially affiliated with the Nagamine dojo.
Matsubayashi-ryū is one of the better-documented traditional karate styles, owing to Nagamine’s book, The Essence of Okinawan Karate-dō as well as Tales of the Masters.
Ansei Ueshrio (April 20, 1933 – May 11, 2002) was an influential Okinawan martial artist. Born in Kin, Okinawa, Ueshiro relocated to the United States in 1962 at the request of founder Shōshin Nagamine of Matsubayashi Shōrin-ryū, under whom he had studied, for the purpose of spreading the martial art. He founded Shorin-Ryu Karate USA and, according to that organization’s official website, “was one of the first Oriental martial artists to bring karate” to the US.
Though not widely known, Chotoku Omine remains one of the brightest lights of traditional Okinawan karate-do. He trained under Master Shoshin Nagamine, the founder of modern Matsubayashi Ryu, and eventually became the chief instructor at the Honbu (headquarters) dojo in Naha.
In 1969 he accompanied Nagamine on a trip to the U.S., after which, at the master’s request, he remained behind to supervise the teaching of Matsubayashi Ryu in America, standardize techniques and teaching methods, and encourage unification of practioners under Nagamine’s traditional style. He spent several years living in the dojo of his disciple, Joseph Carbonara, where the two men trained together and taught each other about their respective cultures. Omine eventually returned to Okinawa and brought his family to America, and opened a dojo in San Bruno, California. Tragically, not long afterward, in 1975, he died of brain aneurysm, leaving behind a wife, four children, and many bereft students. At the time of his death he carried the rank of 6th Dan, Renshi. In light of his great contributions to the art, he was posthumously promoted to 8th Dan, Kyoshi.
Joseph Carbonara was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., and served in the Navy during the Korean War period. Afterwards he became a professional slipcover cutter, got married, and moved with his wife out to Long Island where they raised two sons. He began his karate training under Sensei Ansei Ueshiro, and received his Shodan from Master Shoshin Nagamine, founder of modern Matsubayashi Ryu karate-do, when he visited the U.S. in 1969. Carbonara then opened the first of a series of dojos, and over the next few years trained closely with Sensei Chotoku Omine, former chief instructor at the Nagamine dojo.
After Omine’s premature death in 1975, Carbonara continued to teach traditional karate while remaining loyal to teachings of Omine and Nagamine, visiting Okinawa a number of times with his senior black belts, and eventually rising to the esteemed rank of 9th Dan, Hanshi. He retired from full-time teaching over a decade ago but continues to teach Doshi-Kai black belt workouts several times a year and gives private lessons at his home in Greenport, N.Y.
Since 1962 Matsubayashi Shorinryu has flourished in the USA under many organizations and groups that taught principles and skills found in the Okinawan Karate System of Shoshin Nagamine and his representatives. Terry Maccarrone found that opportunity in St. James Long Island NY. Terry Maccarrone became manager and partner in Hegashi Karate Do with Sensei Joseph Johnson.
-1969 he became full owner and sensei under Master Ansei Ueshiro
-1976 he took ownership of Ryukyus Karate Studio in Patchogue, NY
-1980 he opened Port Haven Karate Dojo in East Setauket, NY
-1983 he took ownership of Mastic Karate Dojo in Mastic Beach, NY
-1987 he opened Westhampton Beach Karate USA Dojo, NY
-1992 Master Ansei ueshiro awarded Kyoshi 7th Dan International Representative and full Instructor Menkyo
-2001 Master Ueshiro confirmed the title of Kancho head of Family to Terry Maccarrone
-Terry Maccarrone and Joyce Santamaria founded the original Empire States championship 1978-1979
-Terry Maccarrone and Nick Adler founded The Greater Long Island Open Karate Championships 1980-1989
-Terry Maccarrone founded the St. James AAU Karate Club, Patchogue AAU Karate Club
-Terry Maccarrone sponsored Junior Friendship Karate Exhibitions and Karate USA Juniors Under 21 Open at St Joseph College in 2000 to date
-Sensei Maccarrone has taught PE-101 Credit Physical Fitness and Self defense at St. Josephs College since 1989 to present
-Maccarrone Kresge Martial Arts Book Collection with Annotated Bibliography donated to the Patchogue-Medford Library over 1,000 books for public use.
-Over 250 men and women received blackleg recognition from his program.
-In 1996 created the first Junior Blackbelt title program in Matsubayashi Shorin ryu for children under 16 years of age Kosei, Okuiri, and Shido-in Levels to Shodan-ho.
-In 2004 the 47th Ronin awards were established.
-In 2004 the Kokoro USA Awards were established.
Arthur Drago was born and raised in N.Y.C. A graduate of N.Y.U. in Business Administration. Mr. Drago started his Karate practice in 1964. His first instructor was Ernie Ferrara and Zenko Heshiki who were both under Ansei Ueshiro. Mr. Ueshiro was the first Okinawan to bring Shorinryu Karate Do to the States. Mr. Drago also practiced Zazen at the NY Zendo from 1965 to 1971 under the direction of Eido Roshi while doing martial arts.
In 1971 he decided to move from the “Big Apple” to Virginia where he worked on two different farms while starting a Karate class at the Emmanuel Church in Delaplane. The Karate program expanded to Warrenton in 1972, being the first Karate class taught in that town. On April 7, 1973 the Budo Kai Dojo was opened in Front Royal.
From 1972 thru 1983 he taught martial arts at the Grafton School in Berryville. In 1978, junior classes were started at St. John’s School in Warrenton and Rappahannock.
Mr. Drago has also been working with Sensei Ed Erler from Alburquerque, New Mexico since 1992 on Okinawan Kobudo (weapons) and the White Crane Forms. Since 1996, Mr. Drago has done Tai Chi with Sam Mumper at the Front Royal Dojo.
Since 1982, to improve his practice Mr. Drago has been studying Karate at the Dojo of Sensei Seikichi Iha-10th Dan in Lansing, Michigan. Sensei Iha is a direct student of Katsuya Miyahira – 10th Dan who instructs the Kobobayashi root of Okinawan Shorinryu Karate (Young Forest System). The emphasis in these classes taught by Sensei Drago is stretching, conditioning, hard and soft contact on blocking and self defense techniques and balance of body movement which derives from the Katas (the foundation of Karate Movement).