Short History (some of this text has been respectfully borrowed from the official website)

Matsubayashi Shorin-Ryu was founded by Osensei Shoshin Nagamine (pictured right) in 1947. His most influential teachers where Ankichi Arakaki, Chotoku Kyan and Choki Motobu. Osensei Nagamine named his school "Matsubayashi" in honor of two great Sensei who taught the later two of these teachers: Sokon "Bushi" Matsumura and Kosaku Matsumora.

"Matsubayashi" is the Okinawan/Japanese pronunciation of the ideograms for "Pine Forest." "Matsu" means "pine" and "Hayashi" means "forest." When the two words are put together, the "H" of Hayashi is pronounced as "B," hence Matsubayashi. "Shorin" is the Chinese pronunciation of the same ideograms. The origin of this name is the Shaolin Temple in China. "Ryu" translates as style or system. Literally, it means "river," which conveys the image that an art is a living, flowing thing.

"Osensei" and "Soke"
Throughout this site, you'll see the terms Osensei and Soke. You may not be familiar with them, so here is an explanation:

Literally, Great Sensei. A term used posthumously to describe a Sensei who has reached the highest level of technique, character, culture and spirit. In Matsubayashi-Ryu, only Shoshin Nagamine, the founder of the art, is referred to as Osensei.

The headmaster or successor of a family martial arts system or ryu. Takayoshi Nagamine is the successor of Osensei Shoshin Nagamine.

Incidentally, Osensei Shoshin Nagamine's nickname growing up was Gaajuu Maachuu (sometimes Chippai Matsu), meaning "tenacious pine tree."

Osensei Shoshin Nagamine named his son, Soke Takayoshi Nagamine, Hanshi, 9th dan, to succeed him as the head of the Matsubayashi-Ryu system in the world.

Soke Takayoshi Nagamine (pictured left) dedicated himself to preserving his father's teachings and the legacy of Matsubayashi-Ryu until his death in 2012.

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