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Isshinryu Karate Academy
21 Star Plaza
Washington, NJ 07882
(908) 689-7577


One Heart Way

Isshinryu karate was developed by Tatsuo Shimabuku in the mid-Twentieth Century. It translates as “One heart way” and is a hybrid of earlier systems of karate, a martial art which originated on the island of Okinawa.
Karate itself was developed by the Okinawans to defend themselves against the Japanese who imposed a weapons ban after invading the tiny island during the 15th Century. The original fighting art on the island was Okinawa Te, or simply "Te" meaning hand. The sole purpose of karate was to defend against an armed and armored opponent.

Isshinryu originated from a synthesis of two earlier styles, Shorinryu and Gojuryu. Master Shimabuku did away with many of the graceful, dance like aspects of the art such as very low stances and flowery techniques. By fighting more upright, the Isshinryu system became an extremely efficient self defense system. Isshinryu also stresses the use of kata, exercises used to help the student develop the connection between the mind, body and breath. These are the three main components of a technique.

Isshinryu was brought to the U.S. by American Servicemen who served on Okinawa. Today Isshinryu is the most common style of karate practiced in the country. 

The Isshinryu Code

  • A person’s heart is the same as Heaven and Earth.
  • The Blood circulating is similar to the Moon and Sun.
  • A manner of Drinking and Spitting is either hard or soft.
  • A person’s Unbalance is the same as Weight.
  • The body should be able to change Direction at any time.
  • The time to strike is when the opportunity presents itself.
  • The eye must see all sides.
  • The ear must listen in all direction.