12 Features of Isshinryu Karate

When Master Shimabuku formed Isshin-Ryu, he did so by “blending” the best techniques from both Shorin-Ryu and Goju-Ryu, in addition to employing techniques that were unique to his own design. Taking what he learned from other styles, and molding it to fit his philosophy of what the ultimate fighting art should provide, Isshin-Ryu is the living example of all the martial arts and life influences that were Tatsuo Shimabuku.

1. The elimination of “fancy” techniques.
2. Combines the best of Shorin-Ryu and Goju-Ryu to form a realistic, basic system of self defense.
3. Kicks thrown below the waist (for power and balance hand techniques thrown above the waist).
4. The use of short, natural stances, which allow better mobility, eliminate wasted motion along with major shifts in the body, and are more adaptable to the American physique.
5. A balance of hand and foot techniques in the Katas.
6. Close-in techniques, which are valuable for street fighting.
7. The application of “snap” punches and kicks where the arm or leg is only 90% extended. This allows for quickness when moving in and out on an opponent and serves to reduce injuries associated with over extending joints.
8. The combination of hard and soft blocking.
9. Blocks are executed with the muscular part of the forearm, thereby, avoiding injury from bone to bone contact.
10. A fist made with the thumb on top of the fist as opposed to the thumb being over the two fingers. Such a position, with the thumb on top, locks the wrist and serves to tighten the fist.
11. A vertical punch, which increases speed and power.
12. Multiple-purpose techniques, which allow a block to become a blow and a blow to serve as a block.