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The Twelve Major Features of Isshin-ryu Karate

Isshinryu PatchStyles of karate differ in the emphasis placed on punches and kicks, stances and combinations. Master Tatsuo Shimabuku, after almost a lifetime in karate, developed the Isshin-ryu system of karate in the 1950’s. He combined what he considered the best techniques of Shorin-ryu and Goju-ryu for self-defense purposes. Specifically, Isshin-ryu karate emphasizes the following.

1. Elimination of Fancy Techniques: Once used to hide karate’s killing power because
it was against the law to practice karate.

2. Combination of Shorin-ryu and Goju-ryu: Taking the best of both to form a basic,
realistic system of self-defense.

3. Use of low kicks: None above the solar plexus.

4. Use of short, natural stances: Eliminate wasted motion and major body shifting,
giving a split-second time advantage.

5. Hand and foot techniques 50/50: Gives the student a well-rounded system of karate:

6. Close in techniques: Valuable for street fighting.

7. Snap punches and kicks: Enables you to move in and out quickly in a self-defense
situation and to correct yourself if you miscalculate.

8. Elements of hard and soft blocking:

9. Blocks executed with the muscle part of forearm: Prevents the breaking of bones.

10. The vertical fist: Locks the wrist, helping to prevent the fist from buckling at the wrist on

11. The vertical punch: Increases the speed and focus of the punch.

12. Multiple purpose techniques: Allows a block to become a strike or vice versa,
making the shift from offense to defense a matter of a split second