Noss Karate - El Dorado Hills Sports Club
Japan Karate-Do Hayashi-Ha Shito-Ryu Kai
Yamanni-Ryu Okinawan Kobudo 

The Traditional Difference
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Grand Master & Founder Teruo Hayashi
1924 - 2004
The History of Hayashi-Ha Shito-Ryu Kai
By: Shihan Reed Noss, 7th Dan

     Our particular school of Shito-Ryu karate, Hayashi-Ha, was led Soke Teruo Hayashi until his death in September 2004. Its headquarters are in Osaka, Japan. Hayashi, born in 1924, displayed a fervor for learning karate perhaps matched only by one of his teachers, Kenwa Mabuni.

Hayashi studied most directly under Kosei Kokuba (an Okinawan name pronounced as Kuniba in Japanese), founder of the Motobu-ha school of Shito-ryu. Not content to study the Okinawan art of karate only as modified in Japan, Hayashi traveled to Okinawa to seek karate's roots. There, he studied for several years in both karate and weaponry (kobudo) under Shoshin Nagamine, founder of Matsubayashi-Shorin-ryu, and Kenko Nakaima, leader of the little-known but extremely powerful family style of Ryuei-ryu. It took over a year, and much trial, to be accepted by Nakaima, but Hayashi became one of the first outsiders to learn this family style and teach it outside of Okinawa.

As his learning progressed, Hayashi became notorious for his fighting challenges at dojos, which eventually few dojos accepted because Hayashi was so formidable. Hayashi returned from Okinawa to found his own school of Hayashi-ha based on what he had learned from both his Japanese and Okinawan teachers. Several Ryuei-ryu katas and other Okinawan teachings are part of the Hayashi-ha Shito-ryu curriculum.

Hayashi was technical chairman of the World Union of Karate Organizations (WUKO, later reorganized as the World Karate Federation, WKF), is the emeritus chairman of the referee council of WKF, and in 1995 received his 9th degree black belt from the Japan Karate Federation (JKF). He was without doubt one of the foremost karate masters in the world. Karate-do translates as "the way of the empty hand," an unarmed, defensive art with a history that spans many centuries, originating in the Shaolin fighting arts of China and later developing in the Ryukyu Islands (Okinawa), combined with indigenous grappling techniques, and in Japan. The karate we teach at Noss Karate is a traditional Japanese/Okinawan style called Hayashi-ha Shito-Ryu.
Shito-Ryu Founder Kenwa Mabuni, 1889 - 1952

   Shito-Ryu is one of the largest styles of Japanese karate today and is represented by many schools worldwide. The history of Shito-Ryu starts with Kenwa Mabuni, an Okinawan master of martial arts who moved from the island of Okinawa to mainland Japan in the 1920s.

Mabuni is renowned as a karate genius who knew more kata (forms) than any person in his time. He studied under the leading karate masters in Okinawa, including

  • Yasutsune Itosu (a leader of the Shuri-te system of karate from the city of Shuri),
  • Kanryo Higashionna (a leader of the Naha-te system from Naha),
  • Seisho Arakaki (another renowned Naha-te practitioner),
  • a Chinese White Crane master known as Gokenki.
Kenwa Mabuni (seated), Gichin Funakoshi (standing far left)

Mabuni was a close associate of his contemporaries Chojun Miyagi (founder of the Goju-ryu style) and Gichin Funakoshi (founder of Shotokan), among other individuals well known for founding popular styles of karate.

    Owing to its founder, Shito-ryu is the most diverse and complete of the major karate styles today, with over 60 kata originating from Shuri-te, Naha-te, Tomari-te, and Shaolin White Crane systems.

Lineage Chart of Noss Karate History:  BudoLineageFinal.pdf