The art of Matsubayashi-Ryu was founded in 1947 by Osensei Shoshin Nagamine (1907–1997). Matsubayashi-Ryu is a form of Shorin-Ryu, which in turn is one of the major styles of Okinawan Karate-Do.
“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.
Nagamine Sensei’s most influential teachers were Ankichi Arakaki, Chotoku Kyan and Choki Motobu (shown above). Nagamine Sensei named his school “Matsubayashi” in honor of two great Sensei who taught the latter two of these teachers: Sokon “Bushi” Matsumura and Kosaku Matsumora. Incidentally, Nagamine Sensei’s nickname growing up was Gaajuu Maachuu (sometimes Chippai Matsu), meaning “tenacious pine tree.”
In August 2015, Sensei Takeshi Tamaki became the official Technical Director of Shorin Ryu Karatedo International. Tamaki Sensei brings amazing skills, knowledge, and history to the organization, as he is the most senior student to come out of the Nagamine Dojo.
Tamaki Sensei was born on September 12, 1940, in the Philippines while his family was in exile during World War II. He moved to Okinawa in 1946 after the war, and in 1955, at the age of 15, he started training in Karate under Shoshin Nagamine, the founder of Matsubayashi-Ryu. He began training because he felt that it was the best way to become strong.
Jerry Figgiani, 8th dan, is the President and Founder of Shorin Ryu Karatedo International. He comes from a strong lineage of Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu practitioners who have followed the footsteps of Shoshin Nagamine. He has been training in karate since 1977 and has been teaching for over 25 years.
President: Yoshitaka Taira (Hanshi 10th Dan)
Vice President: Toshimitsu Arakaki (Hanshi 10th Dan)
Chairman of Board: Tetsuo Makishi (Renshi 6thDan)
Secretary: Bunshiro Nagamine (3rd Dan)
Accountant: Mayumi Horikawa (Renshi 6thDan)
Overseas Manager: Riki Nomura (3rd Dan)
The art of Matsubayashi-Ryu was founded in 1947 by O’Sensei Shoshin Nagamine. The WMKA was established by him to preserve and perpetuate the art. It has branches throughout the world. As his father’s successor, Soke Takayoshi Nagamine dedicated himself to preserving his father’s teachings and the legacy of Matsubayashi-Ryu. After the loss of Soke Nagamine, the WMKA board elected Yoshitaka Taira, Hanshi, 10th Dan to serve as the current WMKA President.
President: Jerry Figgiani ( 8th Dan)
Technical Director: HANSHI TAKESHI TAMAKI
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Brad Wells, Kentucky
Nestor Ramos, New York
Rick Kaufman, New York
Michael Borreca, New York
David Hogsette, Pennsylvania
Charles Barrett, New York
Jerry Figgiani, 8th dan, is the President and Founder of Shorin Ryu Karatedo International. He comes from a strong lineage of Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu practitioners who have followed the footsteps of Shoshin Nagamine. He has been training in karate since 1977 and has been teaching for over 25 years. Through his extensive background and training in the martial arts, he has developed a unique way of bringing the kata to life. He is a sought-after seminar instructor who has the ability to enable students to understand not only the kata, but the function and application, thus making his seminars universal to any system.
Sensei Figgiani has trained with Grandmaster Nagamine and in 1991 was a participant in the demonstration ceremony for his 85th birthday and the 55th anniversary of the Nagamine Dojo. At that time he traveled with his Sensei, Joseph Carbonara, who was a world delegate for the World Matsubayashi Karate Federation.