Winthrop Isshin Ryu Academy

Chief Instructor:
Jim Longwith, 4th Dan
United Southern Isshin Ryu


  • Location/date of birth: Cookeville, Tennessee on January 12, 1960.
  • Date/Location/Instructor where Isshinryu training began: 1978 at Cleveland State Community College in Cleveland, Tennessee with Master J.C. Burris.
  • Date received Sho-Dan in Isshinryu karate: February 1985.
  • Date received present rank: Yo-Dan in September 2000.
  • Organizational support: Member of the IIKA since 1990 and AOKA since 1998.
  • Awards (Martial Arts): Nominated to the York County Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.

About Isshinryu
Master Shinkichi (Tatsuo) Shimabuku was born on September 19,1908, and began his study of karate (Shuri-te) as a boy with his uncle, Irshu Matsumora. Master Shimabuku would eventually train under three great Okinawan masters: Chotoku Kyan, Chojun Miyagi and Choki Motobu, ultimately becoming an acknowledged expert in both the Goju-Ryu and Shorin-Ryu systems. Over time, he refined techniques and concepts from both systems to form Isshin Ryu (One Heart Way) on January 15th, 1954.

Chotoku Kyan was a student of Master Yasutune Itosu, who taught Shuri-te, and of, Master Matsumora, who taught Tomari-te. These two styles were combined to form Shorin-Ryu. He was famous for his powerful kicks, and for his outstanding teaching ability. Kyan was a stern perfectionist, and young Tatsuo Shimabuku achieved the honor of being his best student.

Chojun Miyagi was the number one student of the Naha-te grandmaster, Kanryo Higashionna. Miyagi was known as an exacting sensei whose grueling workouts greatly strengthened the body and built up endurance. Miyagi placed great emphasis on breathing and tension, low kicks, and the development of mind, body and spirit.

Choki Motobu was a less formal instructor, but an accomplished master in Shorin-Ryu, and an indomitable fighter. Coming from an ancient line of Okinawan nobles, he had an eccentric personality and an enormous physique. He is remembered as a brawler as well as a master, teaching both street and classic techniques.


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Directions To This Location

Winthrop Isshin Ryu Academy
Gymnasium at Winthrop University
Rock Hill, SC 29733


Home Page: Hill.html

United Southern Isshin Ryu
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