BRIEF HISTORY OF SHORIN-RYU KARATE-DO
The origin and development of Karate is intimately tied to the history of the Okinawan people, who brought it to its present form and preserved its tradition for centuries. A major root of the discipline, however, can be traced to ancient China, where in about the year 483 A. D., Daruma Tashi developed an exercise form for the use of Buddhist monks. The exercise form was first taught by Tashi at Shorin Temple. The exercise discipline concentrated upon the art of learning to control and master the body, mind, and soul.

In the 8th century, a Chinese feudal warlord invaded and occupied the Ryukyu Islands, known then as Uruma (Okinawa). They brought with them the techniques of a fighting art that had developed from the exercise form of the Shorin Temple. The Okinawan people had already developed a system of self-defense called "Te" or "Hand". The Okinawan King, Sho Neopashi was impressed by the discipline attained through the art developed from Shorin Temple and he ordered it combined with the teaching of Okinawan Te. The combination of the Chinese and Okinawan systems was the beginning of Karate.

During the 17th century, Okinawa was overrun and occupied by the Japanese. The Okinawan warriors were disarmed and forbidden to own, use, or
carry any weapons. Faced with the necessity of defending themselves and their people from their oppressors, and having only their bare hands with which to fight, the warriors turned to the ancient forms of Karate. In those desperate years they developed and refined the techniques of Karate until their bodies and hands were as deadly and as effective in their defense as the weapons that were taken from them. Karate was taught in secret and was only known to the king and his most loyal subjects. Where and how it was taught was a mystery to most Okinawans.

In the more settled times that followed, Karate although remaining a secret and known only through word of mouth on Okinawa, became a course of exercise valued for its health and character building. In the late 18th century, Matsumura Tode collected and studied the various forms of Karate that had grown up around Shuri, systematized them and designed an overall method for the training of Karate. His system was called Shuri Te. Matsumura's most famous student, Itotsu Anko of Shuri, is credited as the first person to introduce Shuri Te to the public. He taught at Naha's secondary schools and at various religious and military institutes. Itotsu passed his legacy to Choshin Chibana who was the first to call Shuri Te "Shorin-Ryu Karate-do." Shorin-Ryu Karate-do is based on the principles of physics and the laws and dynamics of physiology. Chibana spent a lifetime refining Shorin-Ryu to its present form.

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Choshin Chibana's disciple was Shugoro Nakazato who is the present leader of one of the Shorin-Ryu organization as its Supreme Grand Master and 10th degree Black Belt. Frank Hargrove began studying with Nakazato in 1964 and returned to the United States in 1973 as the first non-oriental to reach the rank of 6th degree Black Belt in the Nakazato-Chibana-Itotsu-Matsumura pure linage. In 1989 Frank Hargrove became the first North American  8th Degree Black Belt in Shorin-Ryu Karate-Do.  In the above video Frank Hargrove is seen on the State of Okinawa official website in its History of Karate video.