Pictures courtesy of Lasse Centervik & Shorin Ryu Seibukan Finland.
In the Footseteps of Grand Master Chtoku Kyan
Stockholm Sweden
March 2018

Last March, the event called “1st Okinawan Karate Nordic Seminar, in the footsteps of Grand Master Chotoku Kyan” took place in the city of Stockholm, Sweden, which as its name suggests, seeks to bring together the most representative styles that derived from the teachings of master Chotoku Kyan. Such styles are currently: Isshinryu, founded by Shimabuku Tatsuo sensei (1908-1975), Shorinji Ryu, founded by Nakazato Joen sensei (1922-2010)  and Shorin Ryu, founded by Shimabukuro Zenryo sensei (1908-1969).

Robert Iversen Sensei

The event, held for the first time in Scandinavia, was organized by the school Shorinjiryu Sweden, led by Robert Iversen Sensei and had representatives from Finland, Sweden and the special participation of Diego Rodriguez Sensei from Chile, who is currently based in the capital of Sweden.

The various training session was developed by the following instructors:
• Robert Iversen Sensei, Okinawa Shorinji Ryu Sweden, 7th dan.
• Kim Mitrunen Sensei, Okinawa Shorin Ryu Seibukan Finland, 5th dan
• Diego Rodriguez Sensei, Okinawa Isshinryu Seishinkan Sweden, 4th dan.

Diego Rodriguez Sensei

The training sessions were aimed at showing and developing the similarities in the techniques and principles of the three styles. This is how the training itinerary was divided into:
• Isshin Ryu:  Kihon – Seisan Kata & Bunkai – Ippon Kumite & Yakusoku Karate Kumite
• Shorinji Ryu:   Kihon – Ananku Kata & Bunkai – Bojutsu – Tokumite no Kon Kata
• Shorin Ryu:    Kihon – Wansu Kata & Bunkai – Ippon Kumite & Yakusoku Karate Kumite
The overall balance of the activity was positive on the part of the instructors and participants who valued instances like these to develop greater perspectives of Okinawan karate and enrich their training process in each style.

Participants from other styles of karate such as Shotokan rated the instance as a great opportunity to learn more about the origins of their style and discover similar principles and techniques in Okinawan roots.

The event is planned to take place annually and rotationally in the different Scandinavian countries, with the following meeting being scheduled for 2019 in Helsinki, Finland, and organized at that time by Kim Mitrunen sensei and the Shorin Ryu school of that country.

Seishinkan Budo Europe and the community of Isshinryu in the region highlight, support and appreciate the initiative to create a common space for the practice, development and promotion of Okinawan karate and Kobudo with an integrating perspective and in search of the universal principles that characterize the martial art practiced by thousands of people around the world