The origins of Okinawan karate date back to the 18th and 19th century. Literally meaning “Chinese hand or empty hand”, karate became the accepted term for the empty-handed system of self-defense of Okinawa. Prior to that time period, it is believed that when Okinawa was invaded by Japan (they two were independent countries) there may have been a ban on all weapons, and confiscation of all the Okinawans? weapons. Without any weapons to defend themselves, the Okinawans practiced empty-handed self-defense techniques in order to defend themselves from the armed Japanese invaders. The self-defense system they developed was called te, and over time evolved into a more sophisticated form of martial arts which is known as karate.
On the main island of Okinawa, karate developed in three major cities: Shuri, Naha, and Tomari, which are all located within a few miles of each other. The early styles of karate were named after the cities where it was practiced; Shuri-te, Naha-te, and Tomari-te. Shorin-Ryu Shorinkan is a small branch that evolved from the Shuri-te system of fighting.
Development of Shorin-Ryu Karate