Orangeburg, New York Charles Valentin, Sensei
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About Shotokan-Ryu Karate:
Due to the lack of documented records, it is very difficult to provide "actual" dates for the history of Shotokan-09, the island of Okinawa was invaded by the Satsuma Clan (from Japan) and all weapons were banned.
So the native fighting style (te, tode or Okinawa-te) was learnt and developed as a means of unarmed self-
defense. Due to the laws this had to be practiced in secret. As Okinawa is situated about half way between
Japan and Formosa (Taiwan), it came into contact with many other oriental combat systems, especially Kempo
(Chinese boxing) from China, as well as styles from Japan and the Ryukyu islands. These fighting methods were
brought to Okinawa through the trading that took place between these countries. Okinawa was also engaged in trace with the people of Fukien province in Southern China and it was probably from this source that Chinese Kempo, was introduced to the ordinary people of the Islands. Further refinement came from the influence of other martial arts brought by nobles and trade merchants to the island. This Okinawa-Te continued to be practiced in secret, even after the end of the Satsuma rule in 1872. The secrecy did not end until 1902, when the Commissioner of Education (Shintaro Ogawa) recommended in a report to the Ministry of Education that Karate be included in the physical education of the first public high school of Okinawa prefecture. This was the first time (in 1902) that Karate had been introduced to the general public. Some of these styles were combined to form different styles of "TE". Three fighting styles were developed around the main towns: Shuri-te, Naha-te and Tomari-te. Gichin Funakoshi learned Shuri-te and Naha-te from Yatasune Azato Sensei and Yatasune Itosu Sensei respectively (he started training in 1879). They were eventually refined into two styles of Karate: Shorei-Ryu and Shorin-Ryu.